America is at a turning point. Will we choose freedom or tyranny? Cancel culture has invaded society and is especially prevalent in educational institutions. Many young people fear speaking up in defense of their beliefs. How can we empower them to...
America is at a turning point. Will we choose freedom or tyranny? Cancel culture has invaded society and is especially prevalent in educational institutions. Many young people fear speaking up in defense of their beliefs. How can we empower them to speak freely and promote Constitutional rights and liberties? Linda interviews Brett Galaszewski, Midwest Regional Manager for Turning Point Action, an organization committed to developing young conservative leaders in campuses and communities around the country. Brett shares his personal story and provides examples of bold young people who are engaging in new ways to promote and protect their values, while learning how to combat a culture that often is in opposition. They also discuss tips for employers and employees who want to educate others within the workplace. This episode provides information for all people, young and old, who care about the future of America.
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Linda J. Hansen
Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author of Prosperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.
My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity101.com.
Thank you so much for joining with me today. You know, with Prosperity 101, I tried to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. Part of that education involves re-education. For many people who didn't learn some of these basic policy truths in school. They didn't learn basic civics. They didn't learn basic economics. Maybe they don't understand how everything affects their daily life.
So, whether it's the federal government, a state government, or local government, it affects our daily life. And to all people who say, “I don't really care about politics,” I usually tell them politics cares about you. So, we have to be aware. We have to be informed, so we can be involved, and we can be impactful. And it doesn't mean everybody has to be involved at, you know, national levels in terms of running for office or being a policy wonk. It means we have to be the citizens who are in charge of our government. We, the people, are in charge of this government, and it's up to us to step up and fulfill that role as leaders.
Many people compare our elected officials to leaders, they are our leaders. Actually, no. We are their leaders. And so, my goal with Prosperity 101 is to help people understand these basic things about the American government, American policy issues, and to help people become informed so they can be involved and impactful to protect their own freedom, their own economic prosperity, but also their right to flourish and reach their fullest potential here in our nation and around the world.
Young people need to understand these principles. And I believe helping young people rise up for truth. Young people rise up to defend freedom and liberty is what is going to help us preserve this nation now and in the future. Today, my guest is Brett Galaszewski, Midwest Regional Manager for Turning Point Action. I've recently met Brett with some various events, and we've become involved in some projects together. And Brett, it is just a pleasure to have you join the podcast today and bring your unique perspective to the audience.
Oh, hi, Linda. Well, the pleasure is all mine. I'm so happy to be on this and to chat with you today. Thanks for having me.
Linda J. Hansen
Oh, it's my pleasure and your energy and enthusiasm, as well as your heart for our country, your faith in God, and you're just enthusiasm to help other people has really been inspirational. And I'm sure you're quite an asset to Turning Point because it's just an incredible organization. And for those who may be listening and don't know anything about Turning Point, could you explain what Turning Point USA is?
Yes. So, Turning Point USA is a youth-based organization fighting the culture war on college campuses and in high school hallways nationwide. Turning Point Action, the organization that I'm with, takes that Turning Point brand and name and getting involved with youth involvement one step further politically. One of our goals as an organization is helping students take that leap from being the Conservative voices on their college campuses, to being the Conservative voices in their communities where it matters most. And we do this in a couple of ways. We endorse candidates. We hold events in support of our endorsed candidates. We educate students on Conservative policies and how decisions are affecting their everyday lives as students and help them get involved in the grassroots to help those candidates that are going to stand up for their prosperity as students to get more involved in because we're the off-campus arm to that Turning Point name. We're not just limited to the student base. We attract all sorts of people from all backgrounds and all ages to our events and getting involved in the grassroots and helping mold that next wave of Conservative leadership.
Linda J. Hansen
That is so exciting, and really gives me hope for the future of our nation. How did you get involved with Turning Point?
So, I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee. And when I was in college, I'm pretty ashamed to admit this, knowing what I do now but I kept my mouth shut. I sat in the back of all of my classes. I couldn't tell anyone what my political views were because I was afraid that I would be labeled as the class Nazi, the class misogynist, the class homophobia, whatever the Left tends to call us, College Conservatives, because I had to still see these people every single day and I didn't want my reputation to be labeled as such.
So, I even remember writing a paper in my junior year defending Obamacare because I was afraid that I would get downgraded by my professors if I had any hint of conservatism or any vouching for Conservative policies in my paper. I knew exactly where my professor stood, especially in the Political Science Department, which was my major. I knew exactly where they stood. And I knew that they were going to be a roadblock to anyone that's standing in their way of portraying their views on students. So, it wasn't until I left college really that I realized that there are far more Conservative students on campus than I could have realized, we all were just keeping our mouth shut. And what I often will think back to myself is if I would have seen one other student in my classes or on campus that wasn't afraid to speak up and let their Conservative mind be heard, I would have been 100 times more likely to get involved and become a consistent activist. But nobody was that voice for me.
So now, I'm thrilled that through my work with Turning Point Action over the last three years, I've been able to help other students realize that they're not alone, their opinion does matter, and that it's more than okay to have Conservative views when everyone around them talks about them, their professors, administration, their classmates, their frats and sororities are telling them not to be, and using those students and finding their strengths as activists and helping them get involved in the grassroots outside of campus, and impact positive change on our local level of government.
Linda J. Hansen
That's absolutely wonderful. And it really shows how, you know, one person can make a difference. You mentioned if you had one other person, you would have been more bold in expressing your views. And there's so many people out there who have opposing views to the liberal mindset. You know, they have opposing views to some of the chaos we see in our culture. They are also afraid to speak up. I found it interesting that you attended a private college. A lot of people think that this cancel culture or the lack of freedom in speech or academic freedom is really only present in public colleges and universities. But no, it was a private college, a private religious school that you attended, and you felt the same pressure. And I'm guessing that you hear that from students all over the country.
I do. And it's almost worse at a private school because it's almost like they can govern, however they want. They don't have to worry about public funding being taken away from them for suppressing free speech. So, you know, we–especially during the students, for Trump days, when I ran that project up here in Wisconsin, we had a lot easier of a time becoming registered student organizations at public schools than we did at private schools. And that's just because, you know, most public schools, that's public property. We can set up a table. We can do whatever we want. But at a private school, it's a little more tricky and getting approved, and being able to just do stuff on a college campus.
Linda J. Hansen
That's really a good point that the private school. So, all of you out there listening, whether you are involved in a private or public college or university, or whether it's a relative, or maybe your son or daughter, please check into this because sometimes people don't even mention that they're so silenced. It's just become so much a part of culture that we don't even fight back. And there are alternatives, and you can be a voice and the Constitution is still valid in America.
And so, we can use our code constitutional rights, and use our freedom to speak freely and be involved. And it's great that the educational arm of Turning Point, you know, educates and helps people understand how these issues affect their daily life. But then also takes it one step further with Turning Point Action and it kind of puts feet to that. You know, it helps people understand what to do. So, there's, you know, a difference between just knowing something, and then knowing what to do with that knowledge. And that's just really exciting because Turning Point, I think, is really helping to create a wave of leaders for tomorrow. And like I mentioned before, it gives me hope for America. About how many young people are engaged with Turning Point around the United States.
Oh, my gosh, thousands. You know, it's so hard to put a number on it. We've been so fortunate to have a great group of students in every single state step up and want to lead, take that initiative to lead. And especially here in Wisconsin, what I've noticed is that the average age of anyone involved in politics, no matter what side of the aisle you're on, is 60- to 70-something years old.
So, it's a real problem in the grassroots movement. In order for the grassroots movement to survive and advance, it needs young people to step up. And not just join the grassroots, but have a say in it, influence it, and help determine the future of it. So, I'm convinced that, you know, through my time at Turning Point Action, I've talked to a future president. That's how stellar some of these student activists have been for the work we do at Turning Point Action over the last few years.
Linda J. Hansen
That reminds me of what I tell people with Prosperity 101. It's like, if you take time to educate, maybe that 15-year-old dishwasher in the back of your family restaurant, or someone who's working the assembly line at your manufacturing facility, you never know if you might be educating a leader of the free world. Ronald Reagan actually got his Conservative viewpoints through his involvement in an employee education program at General Electric. He had more of a liberal and economic and world view prior to that time, and they just had a simple book club.
General Electric leaders at the time just really wanted to help their employees understand how free enterprise work. They wanted to help them understand our American capitalistic system and why it mattered to their jobs. And so, they had a book club with a variety of books and through that, is what actually helped Ronald Reagan to form the worldview that helped to change the world and protect freedom for millions of people. So, you're right. You may be working with a future president. Maybe it's you, Brett.
Maybe, yeah. I've never thought about that actually. So–but no, you know, to your point, I think when other like-minded students get together, it really promotes that think tank environment, where I think some of the greatest ideas can be bounced off of like-minded both in age and ideologically speaking, those that kind of environments. So, they're really special environments to be part of, talking with young people who are so involved and do understand what's at stake in preserving this country. It's really cool. It's very rewarding work.
Linda J. Hansen
It is. And when you talk about them being involved, you know, the thing that you mentioned about activist being, you know, in their 60s and 70s, you know, of course, that's when people sometimes have more time in their life. But that what has been, I would say, part of the problem in America, is that people have been complacent. And as they've been complacent, they've like abdicated that responsibility to others. So, it's left a void. And people with anti-American views have often come in and filled the school boards, filled the county boards, filled the mayor's offices and things.
And you know, all politics is local. And I always say there's nothing more local than, you know, well, first your family, but where you go to work every day. And then also, for these Turning Point students where you go to school every day. And learning to use those skills and learning the issues there helps to bubble up and create a stronger nation. So, as these young people, too, understand the process and understand how to get involved, whether as an activist or potentially, as an elected official.
Maybe they want to run for school board. Maybe they want to run for county board. I mean, I've worked with someone who was the first 18-year-old ever elected in Wisconsin many years ago. But one of the first things he did was help get a resolution passed that anybody who had any kind of payments from the county, anyone welfare-type payments from the county had to help clean up the county park.
So, it was a very early, you know, Welfare to Work type thing. And young people can make a big difference. And we really appreciate the fact that Charlie Kirk, who founded Turning Point and then all of the young leaders around the country, who are helping to educate and activate these young people around their nation. I mean, it is just–it's such a swell of enthusiasm and the freshness that they bring is inspirational for, you know, a lot of us older people, too.
And I love that you said, “All politics are local.” That's Tip O'Neill’s famous quote and that's one of our mantras at Turning Point Action. We like to use the phrase, “When your neighborhood, when your state, local level politics can have a trickle up effect on state and national level politics.” Especially for us young people, we've been told all our lives, you know, that congressional level races are important and presidential level races are important because that's what we see on TV. And I'm not discrediting how important those races are.
But the most important position in politics is not in the White House. It's in your backyard. It's in your town. It's federalism. It's how our founders intended government to be close to the people. If you expose people to Conservative policies in their school boards and in their city councils and on their county boards, it's going to have a carryover effect when they're voting in state and national level races.
So, we've been really trying to change that rhetoric, and help promote that, especially among young people, helping them realize that if they want to see change in their generation, it's up to them to be those voices of change and take that initiative to lead. If not you, then who? So, yeah, and through our partner organization, Run GenZ, we've been able to help kind of take those best of the best students that I've talked about that we get involved in grassroots activism, and help them run for local level office. So, it's a pretty cool operation to see this generation stepping up and influencing positive change.
Linda J. Hansen
Well, that is exciting. And, you know, for those of us who've been seasoned, around a little bit longer, it's great to see the young people. And that has been one of my frustrations, in the 40 years that I've been involved in politics in one way or another, is the complacency of people in my generation, about being involved, about paying attention to all the issues that matter.
Most people just roll their eyes and just act like, you know, somebody else will take care of it. You know, they're going to go take care of their family. They're going to go, you know, make their money or, you know, whatever. But it affects every single day of our lives, what these policies are at every level. It affects the taxes we pay. It affects how much our gasoline costs, which, of course, we see, you know, very vividly every day when we pull up to the pump right now. But you know, we're looking at food price increases. The inflation is off the rails right now. We've got energy shortages. You know, we just have to pay attention. And I hope that maybe all the chaos, that's in our nation right now and around the world really, is waking people up enough to be involved.
So, to the listeners out there, if you are a young person, we'll be giving you information to make sure you can be involved in Turning Point. And you can learn how these policies affect you, but also how to be engaged in making a positive difference. But for those who may be, you know, more my era, more seasoned, there's other ways that you can help. You can help educate. You can help donate. You can mentor young people. There are so many ways.
And for the employers out there, which, you know, of course, I'm always trying to encourage employers to speak to their employees about all these issues, you know, help them hear about Turning Point. You know, you don't want to be partisan in the workplace. But then, you know, let them know maybe about some other organizations on the other side of the aisle that they might want to be involved in. But you know, you can keep it non-partisan. But the thing is be involved.
And Turning Point, it's just a great private organization. You know, it's a 501(c)(3), and then the Turning Point Action is a (c)(4), right? A 501(c)(4), and it's a great alternative to a political party because sometimes people don't like party labels. So, it's about being engaged regarding policy. And then, of course, you know, a lot of times you have to run with a party, you know, down the road in terms of what's on the ballot. But helping people understand that it isn't the party, it's the policy.
Yeah, and I think organizations like ours do a good job of opening the doors to people who might not otherwise have been involved in grassroots activism or just politics in general. You know, we've heard stories of groups of friends that have come to our events, you know, never door knocking before in their life. Door knocking for the very first time at one of our events and then, you know, a couple of weeks later, they're out door knocking with their local Republican Party. They got a taste of what grassroots activism is like, and how easy and how fun we make it at our events, and they wanted to become consistent activist and they became that.
So, yeah, I think definitely, if you have young people to those that are listening here–if you have young people in your lives that are just as passionate as you are and they're not involved, they're not even thinking about getting involved, I think a good way for them to get their feet wet would be organizations like ours, Turning Point Action, where we get them involved with other like-minded people that are their age, that are just as passionate as they are, and help them get a taste of what grassroots activism is like. The name of the game here is recruiting, activating, and empowering that next generation of Conservative leadership.
Linda J. Hansen
It's true and iron sharpens iron. So, as you said, before, you know, if you would have had one more person who was a Conservative, you would have been more empowered to speak up when you were in college. And now, you know, you're helping many to speak up. We've talked together about some of the defining characteristics of this generation right now. And, you know, we are at a really unique point in American history. And, you know, really the history of the world, obviously. But every generation has its kind of identification markers. And some of the things we–you know, we've got the Baby Boomers, the greatest generation, you know, what would you say about the students you work with?
Well, Linda, you and I have talked about this. You know, although the national media portrays us as one of the more culturally liberal generations of the last 100 years, we are the most entrepreneurial generation. And this is something that you helped me realize, through our conversations, is that this generation, there is a lot of common ground that we can find with young people and helping them take that leap into Conservative activism.
One, there's that base there because a lot of our parents–this generation, this Gen Z, a lot of our parents grew up in the Reagan era. So, I'm 25. My parents’ very first presidential vote was in the 1980s for Ronald Reagan. So, you have people who are just a little bit younger than me, you know, who have parents that grew up in their adolescence and formative years being exposed to Reagan era policies. And for the most part, they were raising their kids that way.
So, you know, I would imagine that, you know, every single day, you know, more and more 18-year-olds are registering to vote Republican, based on how they're raised. Now, obviously, something happens right when they get to a college campus. And that's something that we could talk about for hours, and hours, and hours. But I think a lot of it starts with that it's really hard for someone, who is 17, 18, 19 years old to know exactly who they are politically, and a lot of what they get at that point is from their parents. So, there's a lot of political vulnerability and professors exploit that. And so, what I'll often tell students is that if you're not careful, if you're going to college trying to find yourself politically, if you're not careful, you will lose yourself politically and it could happen in a matter of weeks.
So, one, there's that base there. And then there's that entrepreneurial, that natural spirit that they have, which goes hand in hand with fiscal conservatism. So, there's a lot of conversations that could be had in finding common ground on issues and helping steer them in that right path. So, that's what I'm finding out among students is that there's a base there, and then there's that base that we can grow once they get to college and are able to explore different ideas. But for the most part, I do still believe that this is a very Conservative generation.
Linda J. Hansen
The entrepreneurial mindset that you mentioned, when we first talked about that, that really got me excited because of what I do with Prosperity 101, in the sense that if employees who work in a workplace that, you know, maybe they need to educate their employer. But these issues that affect the workplace are the common ground. And I truly believe if we can help bring about conversations in the workplace, we can help preserve America.
You know, we need to create an understanding of our constitutional rights, our liberties, the way our economy works, and be able to help people understand that that freedom needs to be protected if they want to start their own business. You mentioned them being the most entrepreneurial generation. Well, great. There's a lot of small business owners now.
They need to understand that a lot of these policies, fiscal policies as well as regulatory policies and, you know, all of these things affect their ability to run and grow their business. And that's common ground. We have that as common ground. So, we may be able to, you know, disagree sometimes on some of the cultural issues or social issues and we will.
I mean, we could never agree with someone 100% all the time. But we need to find the common ground that will actually help preserve freedom for all people. So, we can have the differing views. We can have the differing of opinions, but we have the freedom to do so. And no one is canceled. Everyone can flourish.
Yeah, that's something that's very possible with this generation. I think with this generation in comparison to other generations, this has the most or the largest opportunity, I should say, for those conversations to be had, and for a lot of students to steer in the right direction when it comes to fiscal policies and fiscal conservatism.
Linda J. Hansen
Well, that is a really great point. And as we close, what would you say to employers who wants to help their employees understand the importance of these issues and being involved?
Well, you know, I think for starters, one, I think a lot of social pressures on students who are wanting to explore fiscal conservatism a little more are very prevalent now more than ever. So, by the time they leave college, they've almost gotten used to staying silent on a lot of issues and speaking their mind. So, kind of promoting an environment for conversation and promoting an environment where their Conservative views would be welcomed among like-minded people, and you know, that–I think that's a start.
And then building it from there, helping them understand that decisions made in the workplace, and decisions being made by lawmakers are affecting you, your co-workers, your employers the most, you know, more than anyone else. So, yeah, just opening up those dialogue lines and allowing for free speech in the workplace. It's already going to be vastly different than what a lot of fiscal conservative students have experienced on college campus over their previous few years.
Linda J. Hansen
I've heard for many young people that their employer is who helped them understand. Their employer as they walked through their paycheck stub, and told them what the taxes were and everything, what all those little abbreviations and in their tax stub, but it was their employer who helped them realize how much policy and politics matter to their everyday life.
And so, for employers listening, I do have an online course. It's one of the things that I love to be able to share with others. Brett mentioned opening up the conversation. This can be used as a simple online course that they take themselves and work independently. Or if you'd like to really start a conversation in the workplace, I do have a facilitator’s guide. And you could use this, say, as a lunch and learn. Just, you know, once a week, you have a conversation. It's a simple lesson, non-partisan.
It just brings about a conversation and thought regarding some basic constitutional issues, basic economic issues, and it opens up the door for you to speak freely in the workplace in a non-partisan manner. So, you don't have to fear using this. You don't have to fear talking about these issues in the workplace because we're not telling someone how to vote. We're helping them understand what they need to consider before they decide how to vote, you know, just their own information, education. That's all it is. So, if you are an employee, what would you recommend, Brett, to those employees, those young people who may be working in, well, corporations around America?
Yeah. Don't be afraid to have those conversations with your employers. I know that a lot of students, especially that fall on our side of the aisle are just used to authority figures. And especially on college campuses, just dismissing their views, and it happens so easily. But kind of having that understanding that when you do take that leap into the workplace and off of a college campus, that it is a more like-minded environment, no matter where you end up, and that conversations with your employer could open up, you know, all sorts of policy changes that could directly affect you in a positive way. So, don't be afraid to have those conversations with your employer. Just like how I would tell employers, don't be afraid to have those conversations with your employees.
Linda J. Hansen
Perfect. And for people who want to learn more about all of this, they can attend Turning Point events. They can follow a Turning Point. First of all, how would they get a hold of you if they want to reach you and then please give the website or websites for the initiatives a Turning Point offers?
Yeah. So, we have an awesome website. It's tpaction.com and there you can learn about how to get involved with our organization. Find out what kind of events we have going on, take a look at some of our endorsed candidates, and then sign up with us to be involved. If you're up in the Midwest anywhere and you'd like to get a hold of me directly, I'm very accessible via email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to have a conversation with anyone about getting involved in the grassroots and getting involved in positions of leadership and helping mold the future of our country.
Linda J. Hansen
Perfect. That is really helpful to be able for people to contact you. But also, I just want to remind people that there is a high school option for this, too. So, if you have a high school student or maybe you are the high school student, and you're interested in being a leader on your high school campus, please contact Brett. Please give the email again.
Yeah, it's email@example.com. I'd be happy to get anyone pointed in the right direction for just getting involved, period. Whether you're in high school, whether you're in college, whether you're a novice–the nicer way of saying not college age–I'd be happy to help in any way I can.
Linda J. Hansen
It's perfect. And Brett, you're doing a great job. And thank you to you and thank you to Turning Point. Do you have any closing comments before we close the interview for right now?
Yeah, I would just say, and this is something I will always talk about any chance I get. To those that are listening and that have those young people in their lives, and maybe during this time that we've talked to some of those people that are in your lives that come to mind, have those conversations with them. Find out what's happening on their college campuses. They might be staying silent because they don't feel that they have a voice. And then help them get involved in the grassroots.
It's up to you to be those voices to help those young people in your lives. Take that leap of faith and get on board. They're helping organizations like ours that can do it. But one of the best ways to get a young person involved is friends and family influence. So, if you're having a hard time though talking to that young person in your life and you're just not getting through to them, please contact me. I'd be happy to. You know, young person on young person, kind of in a one-on-one setting, help them get involved and understand what's at stake.
Linda J. Hansen
Well, like I said, iron sharpens iron. So, that's what we need to do. And we do need to unify our voices in the defense of our nation, and the preservation of our freedom. So, thank you, Brett. And thank you for everything that's happening with Turning Point Action and we're just really grateful that you took time for the interview. Thank you.
Well, thanks, Linda for having me. This was a lot of fun.
Linda J. Hansen
My pleasure. We'll have you back. Thank you.
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