Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump are furious at Starbucks.
For starters, the company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.
Then, Starbucks “declared war on Christmas” by issuing a “less-festive” holiday paper drinking cup.
Starbucks releases its traditional red holiday cup each November. Past designs have included imagery such as snowflakes, snowmen and Christmas trees.
But in 2015, the company issued a plain red cup minus imagery, triggering a backlash among image-obsessed Christians, who saw it as an “attack” on Christmas.
[The Bible doesn’t give even a generalized date for Jesus’ birth. Nor did Jesus command his followers to celebrate his birth. At the Last Supper, he did command them to honor his death by taking the sacrament.
[Most of the traditions now associated with Christmas can be traced directly to the ancient Roman festival, Saturnalia, which celebrated the deity Saturn. These included feasting, drinking, gift-giving, hanging wreaths and decorating trees–which were not brought indoors.]
When Trump–then running for President–learned of the change in Starbucks cups, he was outraged.
“Did you read about Starbucks?” Trump asked supporters during a rally in Springfield, Ill. “No more ‘Merry Christmas’ at Starbucks. No more. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks.
“If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” Trump told the crowd–as if, by becoming President, he could issue such an order. “That I can tell you. That I can tell you! Unbelievable.”
Now that Trump is about to become President, his legions of Trumpsters aren’t waiting for an official order.
On November 17, a Trumpster using the screen name Baked Alaska came up with a new idea to intimidate Starbucks.
Going on Twitter, he advised fellow Trumpsters to proceed with “Operation #TrumpCup.” All they had to do was:
- “Go to Starbucks & tell them your name is Trump
- “If they refuse take video
- “Pls share & spread the word”
One Trumpster subsequently posted on Twitter the following: “I got my Starbucks with Trump name. he yelled Trump get your drink #TrumpCup“
This may seem wonderful to Trumpsters, but there are five serious flaws with it:
- By taking on the name of the man they idolize, they are obliterating their own identities.
- They are trying to impose their idol’s name on others, whether they admire him or not.
- This is exactly what the fanatical followers of all tyrants do.
- If there’s more than one Trumpster in a Starbucks, how will each one know which “Trump” is being summoned to get his drink?
- This is actually the opposite of a boycott. They’re making a “statement”-–but they’re also putting money into Starbucks’ pocket while doing so.
Baked Alaska, however, intends to stick to his campaign. “We have a culture war to win,” he said in a Periscope video. He claimed that Twitter was suspending accounts of “alt-Right” [i.e., Fascist] users and that liberals were making whites–especially men–feel guilty.
Baked Alaska with his Trump cup
Starbucks reacted by emailing the following statement: “Over the years, writing customer names on cups and calling out their names has been a fun ritual in our stores. Rarely has it been abused or taken advantage of. We hope and trust that our customers will continue to honor that tradition. We don’t require our partners to write or call out names.”
What’s past often turns out to be prologue.
Throughout the 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump relied on threats and insults. He used them against Republicans in the primaries, and against Democrats in the general election.
On March 16, he warned his fellow Republicans that if he didn’t win the GOP nomination at the convention in July, his supporters would literally riot: “I think you’d have riots. I think you would see problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen.”
After Trump got the nomination, his surrogates continued to raise the specter of violence. Roger Stone, one of his advisers, told the Right-wing Breitbart News website:
“I think he’s [Trump] gotta put [Democrats] on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath….We will not stand for it.”
If Clinton had won, Trump’s followers would have remained–waiting for the next champion to voice their hatred and call on their votes. Meanwhile, they would have lost their energy as a social and political force.
But Trump did win, and now they feel emboldened. And they will continue to draw encouragement from a steady stream of attacks by Trump and his surrogates.
During the general election, many Trump supporters openly threatened to wage armed rebellion against the government if Clinton won.
What will they do after Trump becomes President–and starts blasting tweets at those who have offended his fragile ego?
Will they stand in front of Starbucks shops and refuse entry to customers–as Adolf Hitler’s brown-shirted Stormtroopers blocked customers from entering Jewish stores?
And will intimidated local police stand by and allow it–as they did in Hitler’s Germany?
“Operation TrumpCup” is only the beginning.