[Update 6-29-18: Looking back, it seems this was–unfortunately–only the beginning.)
We are on the eve of a primary to nominate the Democrat who will run against our governor [Scott Walker] in the state recall election. I intend to vote for the Democrat who has the best chance of winning, and then vote for the Democrat in the recall election.
I find the governor’s behavior to be disgusting, bullying, violating rights which had been held by public unions in this state for 50 years–human rights to prevent them from being bullied by Scrooge bosses.
He and his fellow Republicans ramrodded through their despicable elimination of these human rights, violating the rules of the state government procedures, not giving the Democrats a proper chance or say in the matter, ignoring the voices of thousands who protested for weeks outside and inside the state capitol building.
I saw the disgraceful way the governor and Republicans tried to malign the poor for needing help, and tried to remove various environmental regulations and social programs that had made our state such a wonderful place to live.
…These are views which would alienate Richard and Tracy, if we were still friends. If the Incident had never happened, or if nothing else had happened (though something must have eventually happened, given Tracy’s cycling back into frequent rages during that time)–this would have done it.
Considering the current political climate of our state during this recall process, and that Tracy backs the Republican governor and Richard is almost sure to back him as well (the TEA party backs him, and Richard, a Libertarian and TEA Partier, also hates unions with a passion)–Our friendship would have been chucked by them by now, whether we were still friends after the Incident of 7/1/10 or not.
The political climate is so volatile that close friends and family members are no longer speaking to each other. And since Richard, as early as spring 2010, told me that he considers his political opponents his hated enemies (which might explain why he grew so cold to me that year and stopped calling), he probably wouldn’t want to speak to me at all if he knew how I felt about the governor after spring 2011 (and the Republicans after his beloved TEA Party took them over).
I remember how Richard spoke to Jeff and me because we didn’t agree with his kooky Libertarian/Anarchist politics.
I’m staying friends with and still speaking to friends/family who back the governor, basically avoiding the subject with them, but there are many people who are letting politics divide close, loving relationships.
I have seen enough reason, from their past behavior and comments, to believe that Richard and Tracy are behaving the same, and that they would have ended our friendship in 2011 or 2012, even if we had not ended it in 2010–but over politics. Politics! So it’s just as well that that toxic friendship is over.
While no one is firing upon each other with muskets and cannons, neighbors are being pit against neighbors and relationships between family members are becoming strained over competing visions for the future of the state…..
“I’ve never seen a state torn apart in such a short time,” said Pat Nolan-Burger, another lifelong Badger State resident who attended the Clinton event. “This happened within months of Gov. Walker taking office.” –Amanda Terkel, Wisconsin Recall Divisiveness Affecting Personal Relationships