On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hinted at boycotting Starbucks. He also added that if he is elected president, Americans are going to be saying “Merry Christmas” again. Trump made his remarks before a crowd of supporters in Springfield, Illinois.
I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care. That’s the end of that lease, but who cares?
If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.
By inserting himself into the absurd debate over whether Starbuck’s decision to go with a two-toned red cup, rather than a more explicitly Christmas-themed cup, was part of a war on Christmas, Trump was deliberately appealing to right-wing evangelicals.
Sadly, invoking the phony war on Christmas has become a popular way for conservative talk radio hosts and Fox News personalities to drum up outrage from the legions of self-righteous right-wing Christians who feel persecuted whenever they hear someone say “happy holidays.” In the minds of the evangelicals’ wildest imaginations the generic utterance “happy holidays” is a subtle gateway to something more sinister. Once you allow employees to say “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” what’s to stop them from dragging Christians out of the stores and feeding them to the lions? Its a slippery slope, seems to be the implicit reasoning behind the war metaphor.
The Starbuck’s coffee cup should be a non-issue for a Republican Party that says they want to discuss real issues. However, because GOP primary voters seem all too willing to embrace any candidate who attacks what they perceive as political correctness run amok, Trump’s rhetoric will probably gain him support in the Republican race. Donald Trump’s decree that he will have everybody saying “Merry Christmas” again, is an appeal to lowest common denominator voters in the GOP primaries who want to feel comfortable with their own bigotry. Sadly, there are probably enough of those bigoted voters, for Trump to gain ground by appealing to their aggrieved sense of persecution and their narrow religious prejudices.