My thesis was, and is, that capitalism has smoothed the way for corporatocracy to take over the asylum. Indeed, it's even rolled out the red carpet.

I wrote about the fact that the world appears to be fast turning away from traditional voting, and why it's an itch many don't want to scratch any longer. Rightly or wrongly.

Little did I know that my mere musings would hit so many raw, jangly nerves. Noticeably, a certain demographic's nerves.

I promised a while ago to never again use the term "old, white men". Or "pale, male and stale". At the time, it felt wrong to use such labels.


Especially given the decent and fair-minded senior, light-skinned males out on the hustings, who were speaking of a more caring and compassionate world. Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders looked like kindly grandfather types. Comparatively speaking.

So, because secretly I'm a gentle soul, I've taken to referring to this particular demographic as "elderly Caucasian gents" - or ECGs for short.

As a columnist, I find ECGs to be the pesky, slow autumnal fly that just won't quit. They're just kind of there, slow and hanging around, but seemingly with plenty of time on their hands to annoy people like me. For a hobby.

And they're entitled to. That's what democracy is. A place where all voices should be heard. But there was something about the way these ECGs took exception to my views that left me feeling uneasy.

Let's pick three of them from the pack.

One is a local government politician, and loyal National Party stalwart. We drink coffee at the same cafe. We speak to each other in passing and he laughingly groans about my latest column, which he clearly reads avidly. We're affable towards each other.
Despite that personal connection, he wrote a letter to my editor last week. In it he expressed his exception to me calling Bill English "lack-lustre" by calling me "one-eyed" and "anti-male". Very mature for an over 70-year-old.

ECG number two proves that I can upset the left and the right alike. I am nothing if not an equal opportunity annoyance.

Chris Trotter, columnist, unionist, left-wing commentator, took to his comrade's blog and started out by saying he's a "BIG FAN" of my writing. He likes the way I take on Big Dairy, and considers my column a "must-read".


Then ominously, his mood turns dark, clouds gather and the thunder rolls. His voice booms down like God, and he is not happy.

Long story short, he basically takes each one of my observations and heartily attempts to reduce them to dust using sheer technicalities and red herrings; all while hair splitting his way to some sort of pompous pro-democracy glory.

Attachment to fixed ideas means trouble when change inevitably comes.

Let me give you the subtext. "Rach, stick to taking on Big Dairy because democracy & politics is for the big, grown-up boys".

The next ECG off the rank is an elderly academic from Victoria University. He is a Professor of comparative politics, and a brief Google search tells me he has spent a lifetime espousing the virtues of voting and democracy. Good on him.

Such was his deep disgust at my thoughts, he took to a brand spanking news site and essentially mansplained his way across the entire page. Apparently, my column was "emotional", and, "in many countries, writing such a column could have put her life at risk".

I got the distinct sense that he wished it was the same here. In fact, considering my "death threats per column" ratio I'd say I'm probably safer in those "many countries".

The professor likely knows his stuff, but when I'm told my own reality, my motives, and everything I've said he rewrote to suit his own world view, I tend to turn dog and bite back.

So, why bother reacting to these three ECGs? I'll tell you why.

It's not their opinions about the subject at hand - democracy - that worries me. It's their utter disregard for fair play. Obviously, my column upset them on a subterranean level. They played the woman first, then a half-flat, wonky-shaped ball.

Their knee-jerk response was to talk about me like I was a little girl lost in the woods. My world view, my take, my experiences counted for nothing.

But I also understand that spending one's whole life wedded to a belief in democracy means that my observation - that it's in deep doo-doo - must totally baffle them.

To entertain that thought, for even a second, could risk rendering their life's work meaningless. Yet, attachment to fixed ideas means trouble when change inevitably comes. And it's coming.

If I were them, I'd try harder to age well. Even if democracy hasn't.