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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

August 27, 2006

It's been too long since I've been able to pen a column, because a bad work travel schedule, some health issues, and just the passage of time have been the major culprits.

Nevertheless, here we are back to face the reality, or perhaps the absurdity, of the world around us.

Politically, I have been a registered Republican all of my life because my late great Mother, a VERY staunch Democrat, once told me that Mexicans were not allowed to register in the GOP. That, of course, was a typical Democrat scare tactic, but I joined the GOP because I wanted to make a difference, as an American and especially as a Mexican-American.

All political parties have their problems and the Grand Old Party is no exception. That is what this column is about.

My youngest daughter is a Green Party-registered environmentalist and she knows that I despise no one more than our former Vice President, Albert Gore. I have many, many reasons for those feelings, but since none of you are shrinks, I won't lay on the couch for you just yet.

Anyway, my dear darling daughter asked me to accompany her to the movies to see Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. I tried every excuse on earth: "His voice just grates on me terribly" (which it does); "He's a liar because he said he invented the Internet" (which he did NOT); "he's a whiner because he lost the presidential election in the electoral college vote (as ALL elections have ever been decided) and he still claims he got took just because he won the popular vote." Someone PLEASE give him a civics lesson.

My daughter insisted I accompany her and because she was home from college for the summer, and daddies should spend quality time with their little girls, I gave in.

The first half hour was awful because I CANNOT stand Al Gore's whiney voice. But as I got used to it and I focused on the tropic of the film, global warming and all, and matched up his story to the reality of what6 is happening in our country, I stopped being the usual stubborn Republican.

Alas, my young college daughter had tricked me into watching a damn good flick and I began to see a side of Al Gore I had never been willing to explore. The facts and photos and scientists he presented were hard to ignore. Photos of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Kilimanjaro and others covered with snow 20 years ago and now looking a dry and faded brown were hard to ignore.

The more I watched the movie, the more I came to the realization that I have been as much a knee-jerk reactor as the next Republican in the room. The news is everywhere, from the front pages of the Los Angeles Times to cover stories in magazines like Business Week, and certainly all over the television.
We have a problem and I hate like the dickens to say this, but Gore has done one of the best jobs I have seen documenting it.

I tried to convince a couple of my GOP friends to see the flick and they flatly refused. I even offered to buy them tickets to the movie and again, they refused and accused me of being a political switch hitter. I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong, and on this ONE point ALONE on Gore, I was wrong. I am willing to give the man his due on this one.

Another area where I think Republicans are missing in the boat is in telling the world they'll stay home on Election Day if GOP candidates aren't more openly conservative. What a joke! Are they going to let their pettiness hand Congress and the U.S. Senate to Democrats by default?

One classic example of Republicans stupidly biting the hand that feeds them involves a recent dustup involving probably the most Republican company in America, Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart Stores is moving to attract gay shoppers as it expands its presence in urban centers. But by entering into a partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the company is alienating the far right. Wal-Mart spokespeople say the company is making a very sincere effort to reach out to people who are a significant part of their customer base.

Although Wal-Mart didn't issue a news release about the alliance, and left the chamber to announce it, as news trickles out, a backlash is taking shape among some conservatives.
The first volley was fired by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative public policy group in Washington, who said, "I don't think this is something that will sell on Main Street America, where most Wal-Mart stores are located. I don't think cheap prices on goods from China will be enough to stop a rollback in their customer base if they choose to go down this aisle."
Another conservative activist, Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute at Concerned Women for America, says Wal-Mart is "validating the idea that homosexual activists have the right to shake down corporations out of fear of being called bigots." Isn't it interesting that a guy is the head of an institute for "Concerned Women for America." The Democrats would probably never allow that.

Wal-Mart has made it clear it wants to expand to every nook and cranny of the U.S., and earlier this year, the retailer announced a strategy to increase its presence in urban areas. Over the next two years, it plans to build more than 50 stores in neighborhoods with high crime or unemployment rates, on sites that are environmentally contaminated, or in vacant buildings or malls in need of revitalization.

The company says the specific purpose of the partnership is to help Wal-Mart attract and hire a diverse array of suppliers, including gays and lesbians. Although it obtains much of its merchandise from overseas suppliers, the world's largest retailer also uses many local firms to provide services, such as landscaping, architectural designing and painting.
Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the four-year-old Gay Business Coalition, said he was certain that objections from conservatives would not cause Wal-Mart, headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., to back away from his organization. Nelson says Wal-Mart initiated the partnership and "it's a rock-solid relationship."
In recent months, as his group and Wal-Mart have discussed their possible relationship, "it was brought up that religious zealots would make these hateful comments," he said. Wal-Mart executives persuaded the chamber they would remain resolute. Nelson said that while Wal-Mart may start taking flak from the right, he expects he'll get attacked from the left. Many liberal groups say the company fails to provide its 1.3 million U.S. workers with adequate wages and benefits.

It looks like the world of politics these days has become more about proving whose ideology can be more easily jammed down the throats of the average American than trying to accept the fact that many Republicans can accept gays, and many Democrats can get along with big business.
We will continue our decline as a country and fail to reach consensus on too many issues if we can't be more honest and sincere in how we handle issues that we find politically uncomfortable.