Outrage! Anger! Profound disappointment. These are some of the sentiments we have felt in recent weeks as our fellow citizens—neighbors!—have yelled obscenities and stolen and vandalized personal property…all in the name of politics. Between our two families, three “Recall Walker” yard signs have been stolen. In order to demonstrate that we are not intimidated, we put up larger signs that could not be as easily removed. Folks driving by our yards have yelled mean and nasty things, including one child who shouted profanities. What are we teaching our kids about tolerance and democracy?
Then came the vandalism. Twice in the past week, in the dead of night, a coward poured waste oil over our (McLaughlin’s) gardens, flowers, yard and even a small tree. Imagine…destroying plants because of political differences! This has become VERY personal. Isn’t democracy about exercising our First Amendment rights, the right to free speech, without harassment?
It is frustrating that politics have become so divisive. Scott Walker has demonstrated over and over again that he is a divider, not a unifier. The once cordial politics of Wisconsin have become so extreme in the last 17 months that even neighbors can’t be civil and respectful to one another, and now deliberate acts of hate and violence have been spawned. It is truly appalling- reminiscent of something that is more associated with a non-democratic society.
As people may have surmised, our resolve is not daunted, but bolstered by these inappropriate and irresponsible behaviors. We have put up more and bigger signs, made more donations to the recall campaign of our choice and we will be fully engaged in the recall election up to the day of voting on June 5th. It’s time to stop this absurdity! Let’s bring civility back to Wisconsin by electing a reasonable and respectful individual. We owe it to ourselves, our children and to our neighbors.
Charlie Luthin & Nancy Piraino Meg & Brendan McLaughlin