loader from loading.io

Episode 31 - We The People

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 05/21/2019

139 – Perspectives from Across the Pond with Sarah Stook show art 139 – Perspectives from Across the Pond with Sarah Stook

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The United States and United Kingdom have enjoyed and, at times, endured a symbiotic history, culture, politics, and global relationship.  Often understanding the quirks of one nation helps us better understand our own.  Sarah Stook, journalist of American politics and history, joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss what Americans and Brits can learn from one another, what unique challenges face young, British conservatives, the importance of the British monarch, and whether American politics looks as off-the-rails from an outsider’s perspective as it does from those...

info_outline
138 – The Conservative Historian with Belisarius Aves show art 138 – The Conservative Historian with Belisarius Aves

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

“History offers not simply a chronicle of events but, more importantly, opportunities to gain insights about the human condition from the experience of other times and places,” writes Thomas Sowell in his provocatively titled book .  “That is, it offers not merely facts but explanations.”  Yet history’s capacity to benefit us is naturally limited by our natural biases.  “History cannot be a reality check for visions when history is itself shaped by visions.”  To learn how to extract beneficial explanations from history, therefore, we must first learn how to...

info_outline
137 – Political Theology with Jonathan Cole – Part 2 show art 137 – Political Theology with Jonathan Cole – Part 2

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Christian or not, it’s undeniable that Western civilization, and the United States in particular, has deep historical roots in Judeo-Christian teachings.  Scripture has shaped much of our culture, thought, values, and politics.  But while plenty of Biblical passages appear to have political implications, there’s little consensus among the general population—to say nothing of the religiously devoted—what a political worldview based on the Bible should look like.   Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis continues his conversation with Jonathan Cole on the topic of political...

info_outline
136 – Political Theology with Jonathan Cole – Part 1 show art 136 – Political Theology with Jonathan Cole – Part 1

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

“I never discuss anything else except politics and religion,” English writer, philosopher, and Christian apologist G. K. Chesterton once quipped.  “There is nothing else to discuss.”  For some sensible, genteel Americans, politics and religion are precisely what you don’t discuss in public and—perhaps even—in private company.  Others discuss both with ease yet may have trouble thinking through what their politics might say about their religion, or how their religion ought to inform their politics.   The discipline of political theology specializes in studying...

info_outline
135 – Cool Ellul with Jason Thacker show art 135 – Cool Ellul with Jason Thacker

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Modern views on how future technology is likely to change our lives range from bloviatingly aspirational visions of utopia to musings on whether the latest advancement in AI will destroy humankind in our lifetime or merely enslave us all in Matrix-style battery capillaries.  Yet debates on whether technology is a neutral tool for our benefit or a near-unstoppable force leading us to a particular destiny are nothing new.  In 1964, French philosopher and sociologist Jacques Ellul wrote , in which he argued technology had a totalizing effect that could potentially dehumanize our world...

info_outline
134 – Gilding a Mess with Avi Woolf show art 134 – Gilding a Mess with Avi Woolf

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In the aftermath of the Civil War and prior to the first World War lies an often overlooked era in American history known as the Gilded Age.  This was an extraordinarily “messy” period where it’s often difficult to identify the heroes to extol or villains to condemn.  But it is also a period that has unusually similar parallels to our own times from rapid technological advancements, growing partisanship, and the unraveling of communities and traditions.  We might benefit from a closer understanding of the lessons learned in this messy period.   Saving Elephants host...

info_outline
133 – Grappling with Hate Speech with Brooke Medina show art 133 – Grappling with Hate Speech with Brooke Medina

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In this brave new digital world, opportunities for hate speech seem ubiquitous and increasingly dangerous.  How should a conservative balance their values of limited-government and protection of the vulnerable in social media?  How do we answer the charges of “silence is violence”, or that speech and equal violence from a legal, cultural, and moral framework?   Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by frequent guest Brooke Medina to grapple with the problem of hate speech.  Josh shares his experiences of being harassed while (briefly) identifying as a woman on...

info_outline
132 – Classical Period Non-Perverts with Jack Butler show art 132 – Classical Period Non-Perverts with Jack Butler

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Among the very-online, relatively young, and mostly male cohorts of the Right is a movement growing in popularity and intensity that valorizes the very excesses the Left criticizes as toxic masculinity.  This movement, promulgated by the likes of and and defended or even praised by a surprising array of mainstream conservative outlets, has captured the attention of many a young man yearning for a deeper sense of purpose and pursuits in an age of secular materialism and Leftist wokism.   In this episode Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is joined by National Review Online submissions...

info_outline
131 – Witnessing Whittaker with Sam Tanenhaus show art 131 – Witnessing Whittaker with Sam Tanenhaus

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In 1948 Whittaker Chambers shocked the nation when, while testifying before Congress, he gave the names of individuals he claimed were working within the United States government as Communist spies for the Soviet Union.  Among those named was Alger Hiss, Chamber’s close friend and former Communist comrade.  The ensuing trial quickly divided the nation into competing narratives.  Who was lying and who was telling the truth?  Was Chambers insane or, perhaps, seeking to destroy Hiss due to some personal grievance?  Was this merely a pretext to the coming Communist...

info_outline
130 – Cultivating Kirk with Jeff Nelson show art 130 – Cultivating Kirk with Jeff Nelson

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Perhaps no other individual (or person, for the benefit of the Kirkian insider) was more responsible for resuscitating intellectual conservatism back to life in the mid Twentieth century than Russell Kirk.  Today, Kirk’s efforts to recover and conserve the “Permanent Things” lives on at the .  Co-founder and Vice Chair of the Russell Kirk Center, Jeff Nelson, joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to explore the legacy of Russell Kirk and its lasting impact on the conservative movement today.   About Jeff Nelson : Jeff Nelson co-founded the Kirk Center with Annette Kirk...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Politicians are fond of talking about “the people.”  But who are “the people”?  That might sound like a nonsensical question but—it turns out—there are a lot of presuppositions baked into the concept of “the people” and much of the divide between the Right and the Left begins here.  Identifying “the people” leads us to other important questions, such as: Who speaks on behalf of “the people”?  And what system of government or society can best represent their interests and protect their rights?

 

In much of our political rhetoric today we are told that the most democratic expressions best represent “the people”.  But what lurks behind the belief a direct, popular vote is somehow in the best interest of “the people” is the assumption is that “the people” can best be defined as a simple headcount.

 

They can’t.

 

“The people” is not a simple headcount. It is a recognition of sub-groups loosely bound to a larger group, of various interest groups within a nation-state, of factions that voluntarily choose to live in civil harmony with those with whom they don’t always agree and sometimes despise.  Simply blending these sub-groups into one mass doesn’t provide clarity, it only makes our understanding of these collective interests harder to untangle.

 

One ought to be suspect of any political system which defines who speaks on behalf of “the people” either too narrowly or too broadly. Circumstance coupled with prudence dictates whether the polling of the majority, or the voice of the perceived “leaders” within each faction, or some truck driver who happened to call into a local radio talk show to weigh in on the matter, or some other means of discerning what “the people” have to say best represents what “the people” have to say. In practice, this means we should be suspect of the politician who seems wholly disinterested in “the people” just as we should be suspect of the politician who seems absolutely and consistently convinced they speak on behalf of “the people.”