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Episode 93 – Repainting the Fusionist Fence with James Davenport

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 10/19/2021

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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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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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Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

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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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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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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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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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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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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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More Episodes

Founded in 1953, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) has remained on the forefront of the conservative intellectual movement with a particular focus on ensuring college students are equipped with the tools they need to explore the conservative worldview.  During the tumultuous begins of the modern conservative movement in the United States, ISI embraced many of the views and adherents of both the libertarian and traditionalist wings of the movements.  Today, ISI is yet again navigating the divisions on the Right as they seek to maintain a platform where these embattled factions can meet together and debate their differences with civility and passion.

 

Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis in this episode is James Davenport, Academic Program Officer for ISI, as they discuss indispensable books for the student of conservatism, the plight of young conservatives on college campuses, the importance and relevance of fusionism, cancel culture and civility, and how conservatives might combat the continuous Leftward bent of higher education.

 

About James Davenport

James Davenport is Academic Program Officer for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.  He received his BA in politics, philosophy, and theology from the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University.  As an undergraduate, James was an ISI Honors Scholar and president of his campus ISI Society—The Montaigne Society.  He also participated in seminars with the Elm Institute, was a fellow with the Philadelphia Commons Institute (formerly the Agora Institute), and was a course fellow in religion and politics with the Hertog Foundation.

 

James’ writing can be found in the Imaginative Conservative, The University Bookman, Philanthropy Daily, Front Porch Republic, the Forma Journal of the Circe Institute, and more.  He also hosts the Conservative Conversations with ISI podcast alongside ISI President Johnny Burtka and National Director of Student Programs Marlo Slayback.  You can find James on Twitter @mrJSDavenport

 

Listener Mail

In the listener mail segment Josh responds to a listener’s request to cover the topics of conservatism in urban areas and the challenge of countering the Left’s hold over elite institutions, particularly in higher education.