A Sheboygan gas station owner is baffled after a mystery caller tells a clerk it's a bad idea to do business with a Sheboygan-area state senator.
It started Tuesday when a woman called Dick Hiers's Northeast Standard gas station after she thought she saw Senator Joe Leibham there. Her call was caught on the answering machine.
"I think that this whole thing has to end. It has to stop," said Hiers. "This type of stuff is totally uncalled for."
Hiers never thought his little gas station in the heart of Sheboygan would be the stage of political controversy. Then again, his week has been full of surprises.
"I was working back here and the answering machine went off, and I was a little surprised by that, and when I heard the message here, I was even a little more surprised."
The answering machine here in the back of the store was left on from the night before and was recording the entire conversation.
Caller: "Can you verify that was Senator Leibham at the gas station this morning?"
Gas station clerk: "Senator Leibham?"
Caller: "Yes. Do you guys support him?"
Clerk: "I have nothing to say about that, I am not politically involved."
Caller: "Alright, well you can tell Dick he's not good for business, I'll tell you that."
Shocked over the 26-second conversation, Hiers quickly traced the call -- only to get surprise number two.
"And it turned out to be coming from the Sheboygan area district school office," he said.
Turns out the school employee was not yet on the clock, but some undisclosed disciplinary action is said to be occurring.
I have to ask, is this really the kind of society we want, one wherein everything is political? Do we want to live in a society in which we hate people who think differently than we do? Hey, I have an idea, what if we hated people who look differently than we do? Perhaps we could post signs that say "no coloreds allowed" or "Irish need not apply" or "soldiers and dogs, stay off the grass". Is that what we want in this country?
If so--and that would be sad--you may as well quit reading, because I'm not going to change your mind. But if it's not what you want, then don't sit quietly by while someone says "we've got to fight because it's personal now". It's always personal for someone, buddy, but decency dictates certain levels of decorum, and certain lines that shouldn't be crossed in a civil society. Have so many forgotten the old adage about disagreeing without being disagreeable?
This isn't really a left/right issue, because going too far is wrong no matter which side does it. It's no big secret, though, which side wins the Super Bowl of going too far, too often.