Conservatives agree: Wal-Mart stinks
It's often hard to find an issue that you and your conservative family can agree on. In fact, I'd say it's near impossible, having been the progressive sheep in my immediate family for over twelve years. Nonetheless, I keep trying, and I'm pleased to report to you all this morning, I have succeeded: my self-described 'ultra conservative' Sean-Hannity-and-G.-Gordon-Liddy loving dad and I both harbor severe disdain for Wal-Mart.
As a Thanksgiving treat, I brought my parents a copy of Robert Greenwald's Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. (Full disclosure: Greenwald is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization.) We all sat down in a post-turkey glow on Friday afternoon in upstate New York to watch the film. I nervously eyed Dad out of the corner of my eye throughout the film, and the man is the king of poker faces. He never let on one way or another how he felt as the film traipsed through Wal-Mart's disasters of small town destruction, subsidy abuse, violence in parking lots, employee exploitation, sexual and racial discrimination... Dad didn't blink.
Much to my delight at the end of the film, here's what my conservative patriarch laid out: "Y'know, I never liked Wal-Mart too much, what with the way they destroy the mom-and-pop businesses in a town... but that film really opened up my eyes. I've had my fair share of problems with the unions [he's been a union member for over 30 years], but you look at what them people are dealing with, and you say, 'That's why we have unions.' Those people need it."
Happily, the film is making the rounds in their circle of friends. Have you seen it yet?