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148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 02/06/2024

152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck show art 152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Fusionism—the viewpoint advocated by the likes of William F. Buckley and Frank Meyer of order and liberty mutually reinforcing each other—has been the dominant form of conservatism in the United States for a generation.  In the era of Trump and the rise of nationalist populism on the Right, however, fusionism has steadily lost influence.  Should conservatives double down on what’s worked in the past?  Or is it time for a different approach that was advocated by some of the original critics of fusionism on the Right?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is...

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151 – The God of This Lower World show art 151 – The God of This Lower World

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the single most important virtue for a leader to possess?  What quality can make the run-of-the-mill politician into a statesman?  Is it integrity, communication skills, resilience, courage, empathy, or wisdom?  All of these things are important, of course, and if any are sufficiently lacking we wouldn’t call that a good leader.  But what would you say is the chief virtue?   Conservative thinkers from Burke to Kirk to Kristol to Strauss and even many of the ancient and medieval thinkers from Aristotle to Plato to St. Thomas Aquainis identified a single virtue...

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150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan show art 150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the purpose of higher education?  Is it primarily to prepare us for the jobs of the future?  Is it to ensure the leaders of tomorrow hold the right opinions on important issues?  Is it to provide a safe haven for the pursuit of Truth?   Thinkers on the Right have held differing—sometimes incompatible—views on the purpose of higher education.  Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is returning guest Luke Sheahan to explore these arguments and how conservatives might respond to the rise of radicalism and wokism on college campuses.   About Luke...

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149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian show art 149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Having published more than forty books on an astoundingly wide range of topics and holding noteworthy positions at the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, the University of Oxford, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the University of Buckingham, Sir Roger Scruton was the quintessential British gentleman and scholar.  He was also one of the greatest conservative intellectuals of the last century and the beginning of this century who died in 2020.  Fisher Derderian joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis for a woefully incomplete exploration at the legacy of...

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148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels show art 148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Saving Elephants podcast has welcomed a wide array of incredible guests who are on forefront of the conservative political movement.  But most of the guests discuss conservatism from the perspective of a theory or set of principles or idea.  Few have had the opportunity to enact political conservatism as a practice.  And few ex-politicians have been as successful as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in advancing conservatism as a practice.  While Daniels is reticent to label his approach “conservative” or identify as part of red team vs. blue team, his practices...

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147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve show art 147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

One of the strangest political developments over the past several decades has been the devolution of the Religious Right and large swaths of politically active Evangelicals as they morphed from character counts moralists of the 1990s to MAGA Trumplicans.  Regardless of the merits of where the Religious Right stands today, one could be forgiven for being perplexed at how they arrived here at all.   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is JB Shreve, creator of podcast and blog, to demystify the Religious Right’s conversion to the Church of Trump.  Both JB and Josh were...

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146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman show art 146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What does is mean to be an American?  And why do we Americans obsess so much over the question of what it means to be an American?  This nagging question has plagued our nation since its birth and various national “myths” have been advanced to offer some form of national identity and cohesion.  At times one myth has proven stronger than the others, only to be overshadowed as historical events call its sufficiency and truth into question.  So where does that leave us today in an era of collective, existential crisis?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to...

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145 – Smoking Yule Logs and Donning Gay Apparel show art 145 – Smoking Yule Logs and Donning Gay Apparel

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In 2021, Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis joined three other veteran podcasters on a new podcast endeavor: Are We Right? Cal Davenport, Brooke Medina, and Calvin Moore, and Josh debated a wide range of topics from politics to religion to culture and invited the audience to weigh in on whether or not they’re right. While the show was tragically short-lived, a number of excellent episodes were produced and this is a re-podcast of their Christmas episode to commemorate the holiday season: In the spirit of the season, Are We Right presents an epic Christmas-themed episode unmatched in...

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144 – Conservative Historian Redux with AD Tippet show art 144 – Conservative Historian Redux with AD Tippet

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Earlier this year Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis was on AD Tippet’s podcast, .  This episode is a re-podcast of that conversation that covered a wide variety of conservative topics from both the past and today.   About AD Tippet   AD Tippet (the podcast formerly known as Belisarius Aves) is the founder and publisher of the Conservative Historian and . “History is too important to be left to the left,” writes AD. “The Conservative Historian provides content and opinions on conservative thinking through the prism of history.” You can follow Bel on Twitter @BelAves...

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143 – The Conservative Mind at 70 with Michael Lucchese show art 143 – The Conservative Mind at 70 with Michael Lucchese

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In 1953 a little-known political theorist Russell Kirk repurposed his doctoral dissertation as a book for publication.  His book, The Conservative Mind, would quickly become a bestseller, give the nascent conservative movement its name and intellectual moorings, be reviewed and debated in respectable publications across the country, and launch its author to international fame.   Seventy years later, the book is still going strong.  Now on its seventh edition and reprinted in multiple languages, The Conservative Mind is among the indispensable tomes for understanding the...

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The Saving Elephants podcast has welcomed a wide array of incredible guests who are on forefront of the conservative political movement.  But most of the guests discuss conservatism from the perspective of a theory or set of principles or idea.  Few have had the opportunity to enact political conservatism as a practice.  And few ex-politicians have been as successful as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in advancing conservatism as a practice.  While Daniels is reticent to label his approach “conservative” or identify as part of red team vs. blue team, his practices in executive offices from the governor’s mansion to serving in presidential administrations to leading a university have all displayed a strong tinge of conservative prudence and small-government grit.

 

Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis welcomes former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to the show to discuss his experiences as governor, advisor to Ronald Reagan, Director of OMB for George W. Bush, president of Purdue University.  His accomplishments in these offices and no-nonsense approach towards governing has earned him recognition among many on the Right.  Some leading conservatives—from George Will to Jonah Goldberg to Ross Douthat—have clearly stated he would have been their preferred presidential candidate in recent elections.  While Daniels isn’t a presidential candidate then or now, his story provides a roadmap in our politically bleak wilderness for what qualities we should be looking for in a leader.

 

About Mitch Daniels from Purdue University

 

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana.  He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for any elected office, and then re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate in the state's history.  During his tenure, Indiana went from an $800 million deficit to its first AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building and passed sweeping education and healthcare reforms.

 

After a series of transformations, which included the biggest tax cut in state history, the nation’s most sweeping deregulation of the telecommunications industry and a host of other reforms aimed at strengthening the state’s economy, Indiana was rated a top five state for business climate and number one for state infrastructure and effectiveness of state government as Daniels exited office.  Indiana’s business climate is now rated among the nation’s best.

 

At Purdue, Daniels has prioritized student affordability and reinvestment in the university’s strengths.  Breaking with a 36-year trend, Purdue has held tuition unchanged from 2012 through at least the 2022-23 academic year.  Simultaneously, room rates have remained steady, meal plan rates have fallen about 10%, and student borrowing has dropped 32% while investments in student success and STEM research have undergone unprecedented growth. It is less expensive to attend Purdue today than it was in 2012.

 

In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019.

 

Prior to becoming governor, Daniels served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.  He also was the CEO of the Hudson Institute, a major contract research organization.  During an 11-year career at Eli Lilly and Company, he held a number of top executive posts including president of Eli Lilly’s North American pharmaceutical operations.

 

Daniels earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Georgetown.  He is the author of three books and a contributing columnist in the Washington Post.  He and his wife Cheri have four daughters and seven grandchildren.