When walking my dog the other day I ran into a neighbor of mine just returning home. I haven’t had any contact with “Joe” since the weather got cold, but we still waved as one of us drove by the other when we were briefly outside. Except for the fact he has a “Recall Walker” sign in his yard and I have a “Stand with Walker” sign in mine, not much else has changed.
As we chatted small talk, I thanked him for remaining neighborly even with our difference of opinions. He answered back that since I could not change his mind and he could not change mine, we might as well remain friendly toward one another. I agreed.
I then asked him if the union he belonged to was a private sector union. His answer was affirmative. I then asked him why he wanted to recall Gov. Walker. “Joe” told me he thought Walker “wanted to bust unions since he was Milwaukee County’s executive-all unions.”
I then replied that Walker’s reforms were only for the public sector union members since they were paid by the taxpayer. Since private sector union members such as himself were paid by the company they work for, Act 10 reforms had nothing to do with him. At this point, “Joe” uttered “we’re done” and proceeded to walk away.
When presented with facts, my neighbor chose not to listen instead of participating in civil dialogue and discourse. He believes what he is told by his union leaders even though there is no basis for it. How many more people are influenced in the same way? Even though he is misinformed, I will still wave to “Joe.” It will be interesting to see if he waves back.
Keith Best, Waukesha