Baby Boomers, being raised by the Silent Generation, were taught socially and environmentally not to have discussions about politics. In this episode, our panelists discuss their voice when it comes to politics and why they must hold on to their right to vote.
Wayne Bucklar: This is Booms Day Prepping, the Baby Boomer podcast. You’re listening to another episode of Baby Boomers talking about being Baby Boomers. We’re joined as always by our panelists Bron Williams, Glenn Capelli and Amanda Lambros, our oldest Boomer panelist Brian Hinselwood sends his apologies – he couldn’t be with us today – and my co-host is Dr. Drew Dwyer. Today we’re talking about politics: your vote counts and lead us off, Dr. Drew Dwyer.
Dr. Drew Dwyer: Well hello everybody, welcome. A tough subject today I think, always a tough subject in any conversation. But I’ll open up the general conversation or the main point of influence for listeners is we’ve always been taught particularly in the last number of years socially and environmentally not to have discussions and to avoid talking about politics and religion which in my firm belief has led us to branching into new generations where there is a lack of understanding and knowledge around politics and religion because the avoidance of subject matter and the avoidance of controversy or debate is avoided. So I think more than anything we should have been teaching as a cohort of Boomers probably teaching our younger generations to be civil in the conversation, have level debate and balanced discussion about the difficult topic of things like religion and of course politics is what we’re going to talk about today. So keep that thought in mind as I open up the platform when we begin to have a conversation. I raise the subject today because I’m a politically thinking person, I’m a swing voter myself, I vote on policy and I would class myself probably center-right to more over to conservative politics and conservatism generally because like many people in our age group I was raised by a Silent and Great generation family and of course they instilled their political views being war generated, being politically motivated through that war and post-world war experiences so those values and systems come in very strong and of course Baby Boomer cohorts and post Baby Boomer cohorts have been traditionally raised to grasp political agendas, political platform and to understand their strengths as a voting population in changing and influencing the structure of society through how we build politics. So right now it’s important, there’s lots of stories and rhetoric and stuff you’ll hear within the political movement and the political journalists movement and I’m going to clear up a few things on facts and figures and stats first of all. You’ll hear very quickly in the arrangement at the moment and primarily driven in the public domain because of Brexit and of course Brexit is the case of the UK making the vote to remove itself from the EU and the big argument or debate at social debate around this in this political issue is that the Millennials are complaining because they are blaming the Baby Boomers for robbing them of their future and taking away their opportunity as citizens to enjoy being part of the EU and so forth. Now not being from the EU or the UK, I can’t make comment on how that would feel but when you look at the statistics and the data, I’ll simplify it for you. It was a simple case as if the older generations got out of bed and voted and the younger generations slept in, went out for coffee, did something constructive for themselves and forgot about Brexit and didn’t think of as a political point of view that needed be voted on. Hence they miss the bus and now they’re whinging about it. That’s the way it’s generally understood however there are deeper political issues that sit around it. Why were the Millennials left out, in actual fact well they weren’t. They just didn’t seriously take their voting right into control and doing what they needed to do as a cohort of civilians and voting public. Now going forward from this, you can summarize very quickly that the mantra is the Millennials are the largest voting form of population in most countries which is an actual fact incorrect. Baby Boomers still hold the largest vote of what they know, as what they term as political block. So if there’s going to be a political block, the biggest risk around any political block will come from the Baby Boomer population generally because they like to vote and generally because they still hold in most Western and civilized countries, they still hold between 8-12% above the mean average of voters. That very soon will dwindle away probably by about 2020-2024. Millennials will by far outweigh the numbers of voters in the Baby Boomer generation. Now if we consolidate all this, I want to put it into the panel your thoughts and discussions around the power of your vote because I’ll give it to you simply, the very much journalistic view that’s written in the public domain, you can pick this stuff up very quickly, is that the Millennials are tired of what the Baby Boomers have set up and they strongly believe it’s time for the Millennial cohort to vote out the Baby Boomers. Get rid of them, remove the white man, the middle aged white supreme man, this whole language you’ll hear in the political domain and they are swinging the political conversations away from where politics generally sits – Liberal or Democrat, conservative and non conservative and left and right – and they’re swinging into divisive politics around personal issues, identity, sexuality and more issues that are driven by emotion rather than stabilized study, intellectual thought and a conversation around politics. So it’s causing a very very hard line in the political sand in a country like Australia and specifically you’ll see in the press, in a country like America. But I want to send a strong message first and foremost for Baby Boomers to understand your history is that you’re very powerful in the political space, your history is that you were actually the big change agents from the parents of the Baby Boomer and you really went after changing your civil rights, the civil movement, the production of the big brands, the capitalist movement, the building wealth, the autonomy of business and ownership and so forth. And we’ve now transitioned back into our aging stage, our retirement phase and I want Baby Boomers to understand that your voting power is still very strong, if not now stronger than it ever was. And Baby Boomers need to open and broaden their thinking and remain be remindful of one thing – as we age, our political agendas and thoughts very much strongly remain the way they used to be in our very productive years, our aggressive voting years. So this is a concern for both left and right sides of the political realm in Australia of course, both our liberal and Labour, biggest parties are both in crisis because of the voting polls because they are just not tapping into particularly the Baby Boomers. They are upsetting the Boomer population and I don’t know whether they’re going get their finger right but I can assure you, the Boomer population needs to understand very clearly, “You are a very strong force of voters and you need to use your ability to swing voting in the political domain.” No matter where you live to get it right for what Baby Boomers understand to be their holistic understanding of what is right for their nation or country. So it’s a tough conversation I put it out there because everyone has a different thought. But first question is and out to the panel is how do you see yourself as a voting member of the public and do you find yourself reflecting or thinking in the contrast of maybe you’re not in touch with what you’re hearing and seeing in the mainstream media and the political press? Or are you the other way thinking “No what I’m seeing is wrong and it needs to come back and it swung too far and I want to get more stability around me, my retirement and what I’m worth as I step forward into the change of my life.” So I put those little questions out there and I’m going first to Bronwyn.
Bronwyn Williams: Okay. Just as me, I’ve been listening to you Drew, a few thoughts have been going through my mind. First is that Baby Boomers were raised by a generation of parents for whom absolutes were absolute. Many of us were raised in a Christian tradition with the idea of an absolute God, sin the devil, all of those things – so we had this idea of absolute. Now we didn’t necessarily raise our children that way and they live in a relative world and certainly the events particularly of this current century have made our world incredibly unstable in terms of a worldview so I’m not at all surprised that my children and probably now my grandchildren, they are not old enough yet but it won’t be long before one of them at least is able to vote. And so with that move away from absolute, things that are very much right and wrong, the way they should be, all of those sorts of ideas and into a world in which we’re trying to make the best of what we have where things change rapidly and where personalities like the rise of the celebrity culture where personalities are far more important than ideas.
Dr Drew: You’re referring to popularism Bronwyn. Populist politics, popularism in society, yes.
Bron: Yes, but I’m not surprised by it because you can’t have the dynamics of the economic world of like terrorism and have all of those things change and have your absolute. It is just not going to happen.
Dr Drew: Communication technology has changed all of this.
Bron: Absolutely and it’s been a holistic change, a whole change across the board. Does that threaten me? Do I want to go back to the world in which I was raised? No, I don’t. I’ve always been someone who actually deals reasonably well with change and I know I’m in the minority when it comes to that. However as a Baby Boomer myself, I want to embrace change. I certainly have been on the receiving end of those messages from particularly my younger two sons that us Baby Boomers stuffed up the world and look at the world.
Dr Drew: It’s a very common.
Bron: And I look at them and go “Oh really? Okay alright.” I think that’s alright, this was when they were both in their 20s. Once moved into their 30s and I find men actually start to mature more. When they get to be thirty they start to see the world slightly differently in a broader perspective, much more shades of grey than black and white.
Dr Drew: My wife would differ from you Bronwyn and say more like 50.
Bron: Well I’ll be generous there Drew. But yeah look, I suppose for myself I just know the world is changing. I’m trying to change with it and not hang on to things that have passed and that’s probably why I’m more like you now Drew. I’m a swing voter, grew up definitely in a household that everybody voted liberal so right-wing. That changed when I worked on Nauru and the Liberal government brought in the their policy around asylum seekers and the harshness of that and I couldn’t vote for the other side either because they agreed with them. So really I’m breaking through, something that I felt betrayed by my government to be perfectly honest.
Dr Drew: Yeah and it’s a big issue. I mean I’ve recently had I mean in the last voting sections, my own daughter came to us as parents, able to vote and really concerned around the issue of in Australia we’ve just been through, for the listeners, we’ve been through our changing the legislations and the rights of our LGBTI communities for same-sex marriage. My daughter came to us very confused, knowing that whole family is very pro and gay friendly and accepting and non-biased in this zone. My wife’s a celebrant, father is a nurse, all this very very diverse people in our thinking and wanted to clearly clear her mind up. Well we decided not to tell her, not to give her our influence because she was already culturally raised in this space and so we did the what I believe was the right thing and was a good experience for us. We drove her to policy, we drove her to the internet, we drove her and led her to policy, forced her to read policy to understand what these political persuasions and people and voices are saying to pull down the information. She’s at University, she has an analytical brain now and she made her own decision. One thing during this journey she came back to us what she used to be very heavy greens orientated and the devastation and the fear and the look of disappointment in her eyes when she started slamming down printouts and ideas and about “The greens weren’t all about saving whales and protecting dolphins Dad. They’re all about a whole heap of other agendas, political agendas.” And I said “Yes my dear. You have to pull stuff apart, analyze it and think it because it’s not what you think and politics are driven by many different things. If you just go with what the mainstream media or the social media is telling you, you could really make some big mistakes for you, your family your community if you don’t pull apart the policy.” I’m going to go across the Glenn who I’m sure has got some great thoughts on this.
Glenn Capelli: Well it’s an interesting world because I mean it’s easier to trace my history, I went and lived on a kibbutz so I spent a year living in a socialist community and then worked on summer camps which are kind of a variation of that.
Dr Drew: I just like to let you know, right now this month I’ve had five new clients, all Boomers,.= different cohorts of people all of them asking me to help design, set up and educate them in living in a kibbutz.
Glenn: Kibbutz living can teach us a lot even though kibbutz has shifted and changed so dramatically. I’m back on the kibbutz in a few weeks time actually so it’s going to be particularly interesting to talk with my adopted kibbutz father who has been 45 years living on a kibbutz.
Dr Drew: I would love to come and have a look at one if you have the chance to show me.
Glenn: It’s brilliant, interesting lifestyle and the sideways thing too that, when you talk about don’t talk politics and religion well that’s that’s in our part of the world. In other parts of the world you can’t but help on a daily basis talk politics and religion because it affects whether you’re going to be alive or not in some ways or how are you going to be alive or not. But I was drawn to the kibbutz for collaboration for the community so I’ve always been more collective, collaborative together, focused and orientated and the things that can bring people together rather than to
divide them and find the common elements in religion and find the common elements of things. So anytime things going to direct division and are you left, are you right? Are you Israel, are you Palestine? Are you this, are you that? Then I’m more about “Okay, hold on. Don’t push the binary button in the brain. Let’s think.” So I am like yourself, somebody who before I vote I think. I think on the issues, I think on the concepts, I think on what’s going to be the situations and circumstances that make a better society, a better world, a more collective world, a more collaborative world, a more community-based world and therefore it’s quite a difficult devote sometimes.
Dr Drew: Growing up in a kibbutz, do you think and I’m being honest, I want you to be open with the listeners – do you think it’s influenced you to be more socialism orientated? And I say this because right now this is a massive issue particularly America – this push towards socialism from their left and from their liberalism. Did growing up in a kibbutz environment give you a heavy understanding of socialism? Has it stayed with you? Is this where it sits or not?
Glenn: I certainly didn’t grow up in that environment. I was 23 when I arrived on the kibbutz but it was interesting as an observer to notice it and to impartially notice because there are aspects of the socialist type collective nature of kibbutz that work and there were things that didn’t. So I came away believing that I like the aspiration of the collectiveness but I didn’t think that a socialist way of looking and living would actually work. There seemed to be some quirks in human nature that were against it so then I get back to Australia after seven years of traveling and having fifty dollars in my backpack and I start a business. And some of the earliest work I did was with a body shop so it was interesting to be able to see that the forming of a business, creation of a business, the more right-oriented, liberal approach in life if you like, could still have some of the socialist collective sort of tendencies. So it gave me a freedom to be able to run a business in the way that I chose to run a business. So it’s an interesting thing in my life because I still have a very collective community based mentality but at the same time there’s no assurance that any particular political party is going to savor that or promote that or stand for that or be for that so you have to think before you vote and I’m wary of anyone who doesn’t think before they vote, who goes “Well I’m always this. I’m always that.” In the same way, any religion that gets us not to think is something that I think we should be wary of.
Dr Drew: Yes, I’ve come across quite a number of conversations in my own space of recent times and because I am commenting in the public space a little bit more politically particularly around aged care and a few things and people say to me “Drew be careful not to do it.” And my answer at the moment is “No, I will not. I won’t be silenced but I’ll make the debate or the conversation fair and balanced and based in evidence.” Anyway, conversations I have had of late particularly from a lot of people around me in Australia that don’t vote, refuse to vote and yet to have such a verbal opinion of our country and politics. Now I always shut them down with when they say “Well I don’t vote.” My answer is “Then do not comment.” Because people who don’t vote or don’t believe in voting, I don’t believe should be right getting involved in political discussion or disagreement or debate because if you’re not going to vote or if you’re not proud enough to put your vote out there or your opinion either way, you shouldn’t be trying to form social understanding of politics from a person who does not vote. So that’s just my general thought but I’m going to push the conversation over to Amanda, our youngest person on the panel but also an immigrant to Australia, someone who comes from Canada and if you are politically motivated or interested in political agenda, discourse and rhetoric and conversation, Canada in my opinion has got huge political discussions going on at the moment and particularly centered around their leader and his opinions and what he’s pushing within their own country and it is quite frankly disturbing a lot of people in Canada. So Amanda now as an Aussie that lives in Australia, what’s your thoughts? Do you vote? Do you think your vote counts? And you’re a lot younger than the Boomer generation so where do you see it for you?
Amanda Lambros: I am. Well I’ll just say that I’m a swing voter and one of the things I found most interesting, in Canada it’s not mandatory to vote whereas in Australia it is. And growing up in Canada I just thought well everyone votes like this is your country and you could have a right to have your say about how your country is run. So I really grew up thinking that my vote counts so I would vote. And then when I came to Australia and I realized that they actually charge people, like send them a fee if they don’t vote. I’m like “Why would people not want to vote? That’s ridiculous.” I just couldn’t understand how people would not choose to vote but I would say I’m a bit of a jaded swing voter and I’m going to say jaded swing voter because some of the things that I’ve noticed have happened probably over the last 10 years in politics that I think people you go and do the research so I’m an educated person, I’m capable of going out and finding out what’s on the political agenda for each party and I purposely go out and do that and then when you vote for someone and you realise that they’re like empty promises, I become a bit jaded. Yeah, lies. So it’s like you vote for someone because they said they’re going to do A B and C and then all of a sudden they pull R out of their pockets and it’s like “Okay you guys didn’t do A B and C so what the hell did I vote for?”
Dr Drew: Yeah, that’s right. I mean and I think this is a point too for the Baby Boomer generation is that for many more years the Boomers have been voting and building their society through a particular structure of politics and parties and social change. But for me I think one of the issues needs to be raised now around the Boomer voting population is this term called the voting block. And Boomers should understand what this means, investigate it and understand they are a voting block by the biggest voting block and they should use this power. Currently the political agenda is from the younger generations to take away the power of the Boomer because in their opinion we are already set up which is far from the truth. As this population of elderly grows, there is going to be massive influences on the way we structure our retiring or third age, access to transport, independency, living arrangements, retirement benefits and of course these are not the concern of a younger generation that’s growing exponentially around us or behind us and yet having a bigger push and pull by taking the political agenda away, the stuff that has meaning to the Baby Boomer generation, because now as I said earlier our political thoughts will remain with us as we get older. I know for example, a lot of my clients, their political thoughts is they hear politics, they see politics and they say “But what about us? We built this, we created this and now we’re going to be stuck in a void where the younger generation behind us is going to change the political realm so that we no longer count when we need things that are going to be very important to us as an aging population.” But streetscapes, council access, public transport, access to good Medicare and home care and independency and aging – having these rights and these services and we’re already now changed the retirement age to 70. So how much further would this push out if the Baby Boomer generation doesn’t use its voting power to push back and that’s the thing, the message for me today for Baby Boomers to listen to is “Don’t give up on your voting power because you are a huge voting block. As a generation of people to understand if something’s going to swing out of the means of balance for the Boomers, Boomers need to be very quick to vote it straight back or hold it where it remains probably until further debate or more discourse or as you put it Amanda more clarity comes around the issue. Because at the moment, things are clouded with rubbish, rhetoric, emotions and people being offended and everyone removing things that are traditional and things that have built the generation so jump in anyone because this is stuff that really connects to a lot of my clients.
Bron: I just want to comment around the retirement age, like I really don’t care to be perfectly honest like if something else has voted or if it’s voted that we now return 67 or 70. That is not only going to impact me, that’s going to impact my children so they’re voting for their own future and for mine.
Dr Drew: We as a generation thought about this when we voted when we were younger, current generation I believe is not thinking about this because they’re making a comparative between old and young.
Bron: Yeah, do I think we’re doing exactly the same thing? And that’s actually what I’m hearing at the moment, is this divide as much from outside as from theirs. I think that’s really dangerous because we are human beings together and look I don’t always agree with my sons and that’s fine. I don’t always agree with my mother either and that’s fine too. She’s got a different outlook on life, sometimes it drives me nuts but I’ve worked with her as a human being. I really just want to, like as I said, I really don’t care if I retire, if somebody else is voted in and said it’s going to be retirement 67 or 70. My sons are going to retire at 67 or 70 or maybe even 75 by the time they get to that age. It actually doesn’t do us any harm to have that pushed out because I’m a human being with health and things like that and I know there are people who are not and so will my son’s be. Like I’m no different as a living, breathing, walking person with health and age issues than my children will be at the same time. Maybe they’ll be a little bit better or maybe they’ll be less better, I don’t know. It just concerns me that I hear people in my generation look at my children’s generation and say “They’re not thinking, they’re not doing this, they’re not doing that and we did it all.” Because I don’t actually think that my children think less about things, they just think differently about things to the way that I do.
Glenn: Well with that passion Bron, and I put the question to you, I put it to me, I put it everyone on the panel – to my knowledge none of us have actually stood for Parliament and I’d like to know why.
Bron: I have actually flirted with the idea a few times Glenn because I do think about things and I’d like to be able to influence. It’s always been an object in my life, is to be someone who impacts. But I don’t like the schoolyard behavior in Parliament, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of some of the name-calling and like really basic base ways of communicating that is pretty typical in Parliament and I don’t want to open myself up to behaving in that way myself.
Dr Drew: Yes, I’m the same. I’ve investigated it many times and done the research I found that it’s an extremely dirty game I don’t like that aspect of humanity and I don’t believe that that aspect of humanity should exist in politics and I don’t believe that the autonomy of an individual to stand up for people in their voting public end and it actually exists. I think politics is what it is, I always make a reference and I know a lot of people don’t like him, but I always refer myself to people not that I’m like him but people like Alan Jones in Australia are quite controversial but I think make greater impact and change and influence to people by their jobs, their vocations and their positions by feeding out, talking, administering, investigating and doing what they do. And I think Alan Jones would make a terrible politician so I mean that’s where it sits with me. You can be a change agent in better ways than being a politician however Glenn I couldn’t be a politician. I’d be sacked in a week.
Amanda: Well I have a really valid excuse as I’m still technically Canadian as much as I’m an Australian and so unfortunately Australia doesn’t allow Canadians to be in politics.
Dr Drew: That’s right.
Amanda: In Australia you can have any different background which blows my mind because it’s such a multicultural country and yet “I’m sorry if you’re born in another country, you can’t be part of our political system.” So that’s why I’m not part of it.
Glenn: Yes, bringing a roll but we’ve got to have three or four nationalities within us to be able to be important. I don’t know how many other people in Australia would just absolutely just so “What a stupid thing to be arguing over.” These are human beings that have stood up with them and let’s put them in there, let’s change how we have the Constitution if need be but I always think it’s interesting because I always think there’s a power in vote, there is a power for standing for things. Like you guys, I very much tried to be an influencer from external sources so I realized I might be able to have more of an impact on education systems by being outside of the system yet you still need people within the system. The way we debate things, in fact that they’re stop debating things and have a better way of communicating when it comes to politics. But it’s Peter Garrett syndrome, I think Garrett went in there believing he might be able to change some of the ways things were done and I think kind of tore men down to size unfortunately and so I think there’s ways we need to influence how we communicate in politics and debate. I was never a fan, guys who were at my school who were into debating and debating clubs and went into politics because they loved the game that you talk about Drew. They love to debate, the thrash, your winner-loser. I prefer a debate and I came across it recently with the … Foundation. If Amanda stakes their case and then I’m arguing against what Amanda’s case is, before I argue against Amanda’s case I’ve got to summarize what Amanda said so that Amanda can then nod her head and say “Yes, you’ve actually got it. You’ve understood what I’m about. Okay now go forward and state your piece Glenn.” So I think that’s a wiser way to do conversation and how our politics seems to be defined is by debate and bash and clash and win-lose, good-bad, and so in I guess the work I do I try to influence sideways. So the vote can can be an influencer, a letter can be an influencer, our way of having conversations can be an influencer, taking stage and having ideas and getting people to think about ideas can influence. But I do think we do need to have some ‘meta say’ about the way that politics has been done these days because otherwise we only attract the kind of people into politics who want to be thrashed and bashed and debate and good-bad, I’m right and you’re Wrong.
Dr Drew: Of course. I mean I know in America when you look at the discourse which is huge and you really have to brush away 50-60% of it because it is just emotional un-intelligence or incompetency from a number of people. But the pure voting right of people has come very strong in America and specifically now that they’re heading towards the re-election, the next run, the getting ready. As much as I personally, the man doesn’t appeal to me he’s surpassing 50% as a populist vote in America and I was asked only yesterday “Why is this Drew?” And I said it’s because people are actually looking, sifting through the BS and starting to read and understand and look and understand and see and they’re starting to know their political voting power is a powerful force and if they truly want to enjoy and have what they want in their environment, in their country in their society the way to swing to get things changed and to make things happen it to vote. So given that, Boomers of course in America when you look at statistics are still and very much so the voting block. This is a huge controversial issue in America at the moment because they have of course a very different retirement or Medicare system. They have a lot of other differences to Australians and Canadians for that matter, free health in Canada. Americans are making sure that their new government or current governments or surpassing governments are going to focus on restructuring how their country sits for the future because their largest blocking people are saying “Hang on a moment. It won’t be a case of live longer and live better. It’s going to be a case of live longer, die sick and poor. And many of the Boomer generation in America don’t want to be in that space, they want to be able to enjoy the fruits of already their life so they can live and allow something to be left for the people behind them. For Australians I think it’s very much the same, we’re pretty much as Bronwyn said self-sufficient people as we get older and many of us aren’t. I work with a lot of poor elderly and by socio-economic circumstances that’s the way they end up. But our system of democracy provides a system to protect these people. They’re the components of policy that I want kept to have a center link, to have aged pension, to have community care, to have aged care frameworks, to have affordable housing networks, to bring some of the left ideas in because they balance out what is needed in a socialist regime to a point but very much then I want to see remain conservative that we give balance and I will vote this way every time. I will look at policy and vote according to policy and that policy to me doesn’t stack up to be fair, it won’t be getting a ticking the box.
Amanda: But one of the things I used about is that when I voted in Canada like when I lived in Canada and we would vote someone in, we knew that there was a term and we would allow those people the term to make their promises happen. We know nothing can happen in six months, we get that. You need to come in, you need to clean up the other guys or girls stuff and then give you some time to do whatever you need to do.
Dr Drew: What’s the term in Canada?
Amanda: I think three or four years. We get a pretty decent amount of time. So then when I was here and we went through in Australia and we went through five Prime Ministers in five years because they kept over turning them .
Dr Drew: Yeah, well that’s the political game that Glenn was talking about. That’s a backstabbing, a backroom party political take over.
Amanda: So as a voter, you don’t feel you have the right of vote. Like you don’t feel that you count because you voted someone in and then his own party has backstabbed him and then somebody else comes in and it’s like “Well what the hell was the point of voting if you guys have decided who’s going to go in anyways?”
Dr Drew: Well that’s right. This is where Bronwyn made the comment before about popularism or celebrity. This is politicians wanting to be more popular and celebrity focused because that’s going to get the younger vote or the better vote or the immigrant vote or the most popular vote and I can assure you because I’ve looked at that statistic on this point alone because it did aggravate me as well, that as a voting public we weren’t getting a right over who was going to be the prime minister of our country. It was being decided by in a backroom of wankers that decided they were going to reconstruct politics to suit themselves. And of course I can tell you the Baby Boomer cohort were more aggressive about this than anyone else.
Amanda: And so I think because of little things like this, it’s like little things that became over and over and over again, that people kind of went “Well what the hell is the point?” And so when there were big things like Brexit or Trump getting in and stuff like that, I think a lot of people chose not to vote because they went “Well of course the right people are going to get in.” Or “Of course Brexit is not going to happen.” So they sat back and then the outcome result was not at all what was actually expected. It wasn’t the common sense thing and I think it’s because a good chunk of people didn’t vote because they kind of went “Well obviously common sense is going to prevail.” And in reality it didn’t because the minority who did vote, ended up having the majority voice.
Dr Drew: Well we can see where that will swing because that majority vote on that time were the Baby Boomer cohort who have made a clear decision in the UK that they wanted change and so that change has occurred and now it’s failing for their political government. Theresa May is in a world of hurt over this vision and she’s not dealing with it very well and she’s about to get ousted.
Glenn: Possibly a million Russians voted for them as well. This is a quiz for all of us, so just a few sentences I’m going to read, you’re going to tell me who I’m talking about: “He is a pathological narcissist and supremely arrogant, he has a great sense of entitlement, never doubting that he can do whatever he chooses. He loves to bark orders and to watch underlings scurry to carry them out. He expects absolute loyalty but he is incapable of gratitude. The feelings of others mean nothing to him, he has no natural grace, no sense of shared humanity, no decency. He divides the world into winners and losers. The winners around his regard in so much as he can use them for his own ends. The losers aroused only his scorn.”
Dr Drew: Turnbull
Glenn: Richard the Third. The question would be why do we as human beings and there’s a brilliant book by Ian Robertson and Robinson is a neuroscientist who can actually write as well as do research and he’s written a book called ‘The Winner Effect’ and why we actually put certain kinds of personalities into power or allow those personalities to be into power. And then once they’re in power, that power then puts additional blinkers on them so these folks have a need to achieve and a need to get a pat on the head, go into the ballgame and then as they get further and further into that ball game and there’s an amazing chapter on Tony Blair that the less they become a listener and the more they become “I am the one with the idea, you listen to me.”
Dr Drew: And that’s what I don’t like about politics.
Glenn: The winner keeps winning and why we allow the Richard the thirds and I mean that much say about Richard the third being in power but we’ve actually put some Richard the thirds in power in some cases.
Dr Drew: I think the whole world needs to take a step back that I thoroughly believe it very strongly for that reason and to as you would do Glenn research, look back at history, read some literature. I’ve been watching a couple of feeds I’ve been getting in regards to particularly in America, now doing it in Australia, where the big push from the younger cohort, modern, the progressives as they’re called removing statues, banning books, taking literature out because they find it offensive and aggressive and you look at the other side of the argument which I firmly can relate to and that is if we do not hold that history, that literature, if we do not pull it apart and understand it, refer to it, we are very strongly subjected to making the same mistakes that we have made in the past and we’re going to cause ourselves a lot of damage politically and socially if we do not pull ourselves up, stop, sit back for a minute and listen. Perhaps listen to elders, perhaps listen to older people. We need, for me, I want to see and I think we need our Baby Boomer and older generations become more proactive in leadership, in teaching, in reflection, in mentoring and bringing the aspects like you would Glenn back onto the table – literature, art.
Glenn: Beware Pol Pot, I mean Pol Pot the savagery, kill the ideas people, kill the educated and anybody who as soon as they get the power and we’re seeing it time and time again – getting the power then kill the opposition. Kill the opposition voice, lock them up in prison, give them sodomy charges, do whatever you would like to get rid of their voice. But a true democracy is one where we can have articulated different opinions and somehow find a way to combine them together to get the best kind of an outcome. So the stuff you’ve been talking about Drew and even at a smaller level, organizations do this. They kill the ideas, here come the new new regime kill the ideas people.
Dr Drew: And the irony Glenn and you’re well aware this in the same space as I am and Amanda and Bron and the public speaking domain and I’ll say this and I don’t care. Innovation and leadership and everyone’s a leadership expert, an innovation expert, ideas people and entrepreneurial and if we have so much of this and we’re talking so much, you can find so much on it – why aren’t we doing it? Where’s the implementation of it? At some point, these organizations, these political parties, have got to make a absolute change and grab those ideas people. Take the small inputs and turn them into something and allow what we do talk about, speak about and research about and do and value – that entrepreneurship, that innovation, that idea – but it’s not happening I’m afraid.
Glenn: I’ve got a change in a meta level and we change the furniture on the decks of the Titanic but to change it that kind of meta level takes a real struggle and and a real challenge for people. And sometimes I think and that’s why I chose a career where I try to get people to help people to think and my aim was to ‘no longer be needed’ because we would be thinking and we would have these processes but sadly I’m still getting a lot of work. It seems to be that we’re not learning how to think and collaborate and communicate better as human beings and that is the the great challenge.
Bron: I’m finding that very interesting because I sit in the entrepreneurial space as an older entrepreneur, senior-preneur or mature-preneur, whatever the word you want to be, who has started my business after midlife and I do sit in the space with a lot of entrepreneurs like I was at networking group meet up last night talking with two young men who have their own ethical finance company and just talking what they’re doing. So I actually think there are people doing things, I think our world we do polarize very quickly – that’s a human trait unfortunately. We you know we we find our tribe and we stay with our tribe and if our tribe is doing one thing then all the other tribes therefore must be doing the wrong thing. We do that very readily as human beings.
Dr Drew: Is it driven by politics though?
Bron: Well I think politics is just one indicator of natural proclivity to polarize. So you choose one party over another and if you’ve chosen party X then party Y must be be wrong and the whole, certainly the populist thing leads into that because not only must the party be wrong but that leader is not only wrong but they’re immoral, they’re incompetent and we attack, we do the personal attack as well. So I suppose I am an optimist and I don’t want to deny that the world is full of very difficult things and there are a lot of people who are not may be thinking or changing but I think there are also equally large number of people who are looking at ways that they could change doing their small bit in their small corner of the world to facilitate change.
Glenn: That small, when we look at small business, when we look at medium-size business, there is a freedom, there’s an autonomy and we want to have a meta system to be able to protect that freedom and autonomy so there’s a lot to be gained by looking at how small business, how medium-sized business, how the entrepreneur through your mind comes into being. How some gems of ideas and kibbutz like mentality comes into being, but at the meta level if the big bureaucracies have to find a way to be able to ensure that there’s that kind of imagination going on within their bureaucracy. The bigger the building, the bigger the challenge.
Dr Drew: I do the same thing. I recommend to organizations to reduce the macro environment and increase the micro. In a space of individual care or providing direct care to someone, I find the individual person providing the care is the tool. Let them be autonomous, empower them to make decisions, build relationships and don’t allow the macro system to control everyone and task, orientate them and it’s just waste but we can’t seem to step out of it. I’m going to move the conversation, our last 10 minutes, and Bronwyn triggered my point on my document to bring it up but let’s go for the last discussion before we make our final points and I want to talk about
‘political correctness’ because I am extremely anti the term and don’t like it. My point of view on clerical quickness is we shouldn’t have a focus on it. We should not be changing or directing our language so dramatically because of ‘political correctness’ and again a macro-micro issue, I believe that this is a language because I love language and the use of language and culture. I believe this should be a intimate thing between individuals that if they’re not comfortable with each other’s language, not to use ‘political correctness.’ People shouldn’t be fearful of how they speak, they should have an understanding of what they speak may offend someone and be prepared to be challenged or questioned and going to a debate or apology or whatever and learn to change and grow your value system. But at the end of the day, I’ve made a public right of recent about the growth me for me Australian language and Australian vernacular and how we speak. Of course coming from a convict family, white Anglo Christian Irish Catholic for many many many many years now and 200 hundred years in Australia. My whole family has and the people I associated strongest with have a particular vernacular and language that we use. Never have I understood or wanted to see that is offensive to people and I get it and the ‘political correctness’ arrow gets shot into a lot of what me, my cohort or people who think like me do. I spend now a lot of time polishing the shield that says “Hang on a moment. The language I used wasn’t meant to be offensive. I do understand its offended you, can we have a conversation? Teach me tell me why my language is offensive and then I’ll learn to change my language when I’m around you.” But I don’t think we should blanket political correctness around and dictate to how everyone, macro and micro cultural, subculture should speak to each other. I think we should leave it up to the individual. Amanda?
Amanda: I think the whole concept of PC – political correctness – is a load of bullshit honestly. I think it’s one of those things people are stepping on eggshells around everything. “Oh sorry you can’t read this book, it’s a little too PC.” I’m like “Give me a break.”
Dr Drew: The Canadian Prime Minister made the biggest furphy of all in the last six months with his political correct language in Parliament in that interview with that young lady, did you see that? Where he didn’t like ‘mankind,’ he wanted now we all prefer the term ‘person’ or ‘people’ kind. And of course people went “Give me a break Trudeau.”
Amanda: Exactly and I think it’s getting a little too woowoo for it. It’s like “Just get over yourself. You know what you’re trying to say and just get on and say it.” Not everything has to be people, like now it’s police person, it’s not policewoman, policeman, yeah police person. I’m like “Really?” So I think I the world’s gone a little step too far with the whole PC thing.
Dr Drew: Yes. Glenn?
Glenn: The human brain is always struggled with enough. We go too much, too far. Free beers is the whole thing, when is it just right? But even in speaking that there’s some audiences that are with you until you do something to turn them against you and there’s some audiences that are almost against you and you’ve got to prove yourself before they’ll actually accept what you’re saying. If your mindset is that you’re looking for the stuff that’s going to offend you then you’re going to find the stuff that’s going to offend you. I think to be able to think in context, to be able to better look at each person in context of their behaviors and go “Okay well he/she is using that kind of language but everything that they’re about in their life demonstrates that they this this this this is person therefore I’m not going to be that button of that particular word. It’s not going to turn me against them.” But there are some mindsets at the moment that are very quick, ready to be offended and looking for the things that will offend and if we go looking for them, then we’re going to find them. At the same time we’ve got to put the mirror up to ourselves and shift some of our language and some of our behaviors shifts, some of our understanding. But to instantly be against rather than thinking and providing context I think it’s just not wise.
Dr Drew: Yes, it eliminates the point of us being tolerant as a society if we’re going to be intolerant of the use of language around individuals. That’s where I sit Bron, what is your thoughts?
Bron: I agree which I agree with that that often the people who are so adamant about tolerance are incredibly intolerant. People who don’t share their desire for tolerance, so yes, that was why I was chuckling there.
Dr Drew: I’m chuckling with you because it amuses me to see people calling people fascists and Nazis when their behavior is fascism.
Glenn: Wow. I’m going to throw in a word here from Woody Guthrie here. I mean people quote because on his guitar he had written “This Machine Kills Fascists.” But you’ve got to remember that Woody Guthrie had his tongue and his wonderful singing cheek at the same time, he understood that he was using a ‘fascist like’ statement against fascism. And we often see this whole thing that we become so fascist like in our rights to proclaim political correctness or something and well sharpen the behavior. I just find it really interesting that human beings and sometimes and how we use humor and how a sense of humor is portrayed becomes really paramount in this. How an organization laughs or doesn’t laugh. The fact that Woody Guthrie did, he’s smart enough to have his tongue in his cheek with “This Machine Kills Fascists” – is really a fascist like statement.
Dr Drew: Okay, well we’re going to wind up now with our final points. I just want to ask everybody to answer a question any way you want. As a Baby Boomer, older generation do you think their vote counts? Bron?
Bron: Yes, I do. I think it counted when I was 18, I still think it counts.
Dr Drew: Age doesn’t change that for you?
Bron: No because I’m still a voter.
Dr Drew: Correct. Amanda?
Amanda: Yeah, I think your vote counts and I think that’s why people need to do the research to really make sure that their vote does count and then go from there.
Dr Drew: Glenn?
Glenn: Let’s go back to Gough Whitlam’s time and it’s time and the song that helped get them into power but it’s time to recognize, yes our vote counts but also perhaps everything else in our life counts. Our behavior counts, we can influence directly as well as indirectly and sometimes sideways influence can be a beautiful way to influence.
Dr Drew: Yes and my final point on this is for our Boomer listeners is to understand something, “Your vote does count and it is a very powerful vote that you hold but more powerful to that is the congruency for the Baby Boomer to influence, educate, mentor and to investigate, to find balance and speak about balance in the voting space because I think our Boomers are fast becoming our elders. We need to hold as a society strong to the belief that our elders can influence and guide us and lead us and we shouldn’t cut them away and Baby Boomers hold on to your right to vote and vote smart.
Wayne: You’ve been listening to Bloomsday Prepping, the Baby Boomer podcast where we’ve been talking about politics. I know we’ll get around to sex and religion later but this episode was all about politics. And as usual we were joined by our panelists Bron Williams, Glenn Capelli and Amanda Lambros – thank you all – and my co-host was Drew Dwyer. Thank you for being with us Drew. This is Booms Day Prepping, my name is Wayne Bucklar.