And thus, in the midst of the greatest American election in recorded history, Donald Trump and Starbucks have a huge problem.
“I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower—maybe we should boycott Starbucks?” Trump said on Monday. “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.”
Trump was reacting to news of the latest War on Christmas non-troversy, which began with an ex-pastor’s absurd claim that Starbucks “hates Jesus” and therefore went with a minimalist, solid-red, insufficiently Christmas-inspired set of holiday coffee cups.
Yeah, this is stupid and worth very little of the time or attention it is receiving. And yet Trump who was at a campaign event, felt the need to capitalize on something that was in the news to burnish his culture-warrior cred.
But on the same day that the two-time SNL host decided to condemn liberal atheist Starbucks, the coffee company announced—“just in time for Veterans Day”—that it will now offer free college education to the child or spouse of any American vet or active military reservist, provided they work at least 20 hours a week.
“Starbucks also announced a variety of other benefits, support, and milestones related to the employment of U.S. veterans, active military reservists and military spouses,” Forbes reported on Monday.
These are just the latest in a long line of perks Starbucks has afforded to the vets it employs. Other than offering free Veterans Day coffee, the company often brags about hiring more than 5,000 vets and military spouses; and about their goal to hire 10,000 by 2018. Furthermore, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has worked closely with Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a former Washington Post editor and war correspondent, on veterans issues. This has played an important role in the company’s new image and public-relations charm offensive.
“More often than not, the government does…a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home,” Schultz told CBS News last year, after introducing a $30 million gift for U.S. troops.
“These young men and women who are coming home from multiple deployments are not coming home to a parade. They're not coming home to a celebration,” he added. “They're coming home to an American public that really doesn't understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.”
So the question is: Why would Donald Trump—who so frequently insists on how spectacular his presidency would be for vets who aren’t named John McCain—want the American people to boycott, and possibly bankrupt, a company that exists, in large part, to give support, livelihood, tens of millions of dollars, and free coffee to veterans and the brave members of the U.S. armed forces?
“Our vets are treated horribly, our vets are treated like third-class citizens,” Trump often emphasizes on the campaign trail. “Our vets will be treated properly with [President] Donald Trump… We have to take care of them.”
Trump’s campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment regarding whether or not The Donald would reconsider his call to effectively take jobs away from American veterans of foreign wars.