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Episode 86 – Perfect Bedrock

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 06/29/2021

Episode 92 – The Spice of Life show art Episode 92 – The Spice of Life

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

As the old adage goes, variety is the spice of life.  And the conservative heartily agrees.  Variety, not uniformity, is what gives life its vitality and each life the potential for self-actualization and the opportunity for each of us to develop in our own unique way.  But is variety compatible with equality?  What do we mean by equality, and how might equality be established?  What is the relationship between equality, progress, and justice?   In this solo episode, Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis explores what conservatism has to say about variety and equality...

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Episode 91 – Invisible Men with Ian Rowe and Nique Fajors show art Episode 91 – Invisible Men with Ian Rowe and Nique Fajors

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by Ian Rowe and Nique Fajors—two black Harvard Business School graduates—who hope to change the narrative and highlight the positive achievements of black men in the United States.  What is wrong with the common narrative surrounding black men?  How much has changed over recent decades and are those changes adequately reflected in the narrative?   Ian and Nique host , a podcast and video platform interviewing successful black men.  In the aftermath of Rodney King’s assault by police officers in the 90s and his attackers’...

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Episode 90 – Redlining and Reparations with Charles Marohn show art Episode 90 – Redlining and Reparations with Charles Marohn

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

America’s history of bigotry and racism have left wounds that fester to this day.  How might the country make amends to those racial minorities who were harmed?  To what extent are white Americans responsible for addressing wrongs perpetrated by their ancestors?  To what extent can the effects of these past sins be measured and known?   These are not easy questions, nor is there much consensus on where we go from here.  But there is one area where both conservatives and liberals may be able to find common ground: addressing historic wrongs committed by the practice...

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Bonus Episode – En Route with Dennis Sanders show art Bonus Episode – En Route with Dennis Sanders

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis joins Dennis Sanders on his podcast to discuss the past, present, and future of the GOP and conservative movements, what younger generations of Americans have to offer the country, and where the #NeverTrump movement went wrong.   About Dennis Sanders Dennis Sanders is a blogger, podcaster, pastor, and media and technology professional.  He hosts , a podcast about the journey focusing on religion, politics and culture and the things we discover on the way.  Dennis was born and raised in Flint, Michigan and currently lives in Minneapolis. ...

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Episode 89 – Uprooted with Gracy Olmstead show art Episode 89 – Uprooted with Gracy Olmstead

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Often the highest praise we can offer a bright, promising student is “you’ll go far”.  Americans have long associated success with striking out on one’s own and heading for greener pastures.  But is this transient attitude conducive to the long-term health of local communities?  What happens to the places we leave behind and what impact does that have on us?   Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by Gracy Olmstead, author of .  Their conversation delves into how Americans have historically thought of leaving or sticking with the communities of their...

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Episode 88 – Opioid Pains with Peter Pischke show art Episode 88 – Opioid Pains with Peter Pischke

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The opioid overdose crisis is back in the news with recent revelations that the already shocking death toll has increased dramatically since the pandemic.  Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death with opioids accounting for most of the deaths.  This crisis has certainly received a lot of attention from lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and the media.  However, Saving Elephants returning guest Peter Pischke argues that much of the debate over what to do about the growing crisis is overly focused on patients with medical needs who rarely abuse their...

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Episode 87 – E Pluribus Unum with Avi Woolf show art Episode 87 – E Pluribus Unum with Avi Woolf

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is America and what does it mean to be an American?  We Americans have been debating this question for centuries, yet we seem even less united on a common understanding than Americans of prior generations.   America’s original national motto was E Pluribus Unum: “Out of many, one”.  It contained the notion that this diverse country of ethnicities and religions and ideologies were somehow unified in some sense.  In 1956, our national motto changed to “In God We Trust”.  Yet this was no less of a statement on American unity.  In 1956 the Cold War was...

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Episode 86 – Perfect Bedrock show art Episode 86 – Perfect Bedrock

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Josh takes a break from the guests to cover a little conservatism 101.  Russell Kirk’s pithy list : begins with what Kirk called an enduring moral order: “The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.  That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.”   The full implications of this idea—not to mention the arguments in favor or disapproving of this view or the thorny business of trying to agree upon a working definition of “moral order”, “human nature”, or “permanent...

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Episode 85 – Strong Towns with Charles Marohn show art Episode 85 – Strong Towns with Charles Marohn

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

For thousands of years the ways in which cities and towns developed has provided us with a of blueprint for what human habitats need to flourish.  Yet today many of our cities and towns have forsaken these tried-and-true methods and instead imposed rational planning and an overreliance on pricey infrastructure projects to foster growth and further development.  What are the potential downfalls of departing from these practices of the past?   Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns to traverse the world of urban planning and discuss the need for...

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Episode 84 – The History of American Conservatism with George Nash show art Episode 84 – The History of American Conservatism with George Nash

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In 1976 historian George H. Nash wrote , a celebrated historical accounting that established much of the narrative for how we think about the development of modern conservatism even today.  George Nash joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss the various strands of thought that emerged after the second World War that eventually evolved into a political movement on the Right.  Along the way, Dr. Nash shares his insights on the colorful individuals who shaped the debate, how they fought one another, and how an eventual loose consensus was brought forth.  Finally, he...

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Josh takes a break from the guests to cover a little conservatism 101.  Russell Kirk’s pithy list Ten Conservative Principles: begins with what Kirk called an enduring moral order: “The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.  That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.”

 

The full implications of this idea—not to mention the arguments in favor or disapproving of this view or the thorny business of trying to agree upon a working definition of “moral order”, “human nature”, or “permanent truths”—is precisely what makes this so challenging to untangle.  But untangle we must for, if we ever hope to understand conservatism, we must first understand the foundation conservatism rests upon.

 

It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of order.  It’s not some idea relegated to trivial conversations amongst people with a lot of time on their hands, it is quite literally the glue that holds reality together.  “Either order in the cosmos is real, or all is chaos,” explained Kirk, “In a vortex of chaos, only force and appetite signify.”  Everything conservatism defends as worth conserving rests on the idea that there exists some standard by which we can truthfully distinguish what things have value from mere popular preferences.  Our ability to make these distinctions is important, but such efforts would be utterly hopeless if order did not exist.  In that case all we could say is that some people prefer some things while other people prefer other things; we couldn’t make actual truth statements about those things.

 

Edmund Burke put it more succinctly: “Good order is the foundation of all good things.”  The connection between order and foundation is key.  The existence of order—that is, something that is fixed, absolute, immutable, and completely outside of humanity’s ability to create or destroy—is precisely what grounds reality.  Without it, all that’s left is chaos and appetite.  Humans don’t submit to the gods they create; and if we come to believe there is no truth greater than whatever “truth” we create for ourselves we shouldn’t act surprised when a spirit of benevolence and comradery is insufficient to hold barbarism at bay.  Without order, we don’t have a basis for justice or a universal argument for natural rights and liberty from coercion.

 

If Kirk’s assertion of the existence of an enduring moral order is true, we’re faced with an abundance of questions, such as:

 

  • Can we define this moral order, or at least discern it? If so, how?
  • What is the relationship between societal order and the order within each individual in society?
  • Where does this order come from? Is it spiritual in nature?
  • What political and legal implications does a moral order impose?
  • Doesn’t the flirtation with ideas of a moral order quickly descend into authoritarian theocracy? How does the conservative guard against that?
  • What implications does this have for politics or the state? Or is this a matter of faith that should be left out of political considerations altogether?
  • What is the relationship between order and liberty? Are these ideas in conflict or can they be reconciled?

 

Josh tackles all that and more in this episode