Sadly, all of this could have been avoided. While Walker may have shown guts with his cost-cutting initiative, he has not displayed the trait that all good leaders have — the ability to listen.
Walker could have started by discussing the need to cut compensation costs for union, non-union, administration and everyone else. No one would have disagreed. If he would have continued to discuss the need for employees to contribute more to the cost of health care and retirement —instead of targeting specific groups — the discussion would have been far more productive.
That would have honored this state’s collective bargaining tradition. If the unions dragged their feet or didn’t want to play ball, then Walker could have lowered the boom.
But instead of dialogue, Walker chose the nuclear option. That leaves him open to accusations he is using the budget as a smoke screen to cover his real intent of breaking the unions, suppressing Democratic voters and securing the future of his party.
Whatever Walker’s intentions, his actions have created a maelstrom of ill-will and bad feelings among thousands of Wisconsinites. Only time will tell if the damage was justified.
Editorial from the LaCrosse Tribune