"Trumping for boycott" pertains to following Donald Trump's suggestion to shun Starbucks for replacing traditional Christmas-themed cups with plain red ones that only feature the company logo. The real estate mogul joined a chorus of coffee drinkers voicing indignation, including Arizona evangelist Joshua Feuerstein, whose anti-Starbucks video captured by Tech Insider received over 15 million hits by Wednesday, November 11.
Known for trumping anti-Christmas tendencies with quick countermeasures, Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump held up the Starbucks situation as food for thought, suggesting a possible boycott. He shared his sentiments with a capacity crowd of over 10,000 at a convention center in downtown Springfield, Illinois, on Monday, November 9, according to People Magazine.
"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?"
Trump's Springfield campaign rally came in the wake of his highly successful Saturday Night Live appearance, which gave the show its largest viewership since 2012. Trumping the Starbucks attempt to downplay Christmas seemed natural for Donald Trump, who was confident enough in his winning hand to suggest the boycott.
USA Today reported that the GOP candidate was echoing the message Feuerstein posted on Facebook, charging that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off their brand-new cups. As a way of trumping the politically-correct move by Starbucks, Feuerstein proposed, rather than a boycott, an innovative way of getting "Merry Christmas" on the plain red cup. What he did during a Starbucks visit was to tell the barista his name was "Merry Christmas" to get that written on the cup. In his Facebook message, he urged other customers to do likewise, also to take selfies with the cups and post them online.
According to the Charlotte Observer, other religious conservatives have expressed their displeasure over Starbucks' trumping the holiday spirit with watered-down symbolism involving a minimalist all-red design for which Christmas tradition seems to be the target of a boycott. Snowflakes, winter scenes, and ornaments for Christmas celebration were portrayed on the Starbucks cups of previous years. The perceived move away from more Christmas-specific displays to acknowledge the Christian holiday is causing the furor.
In a trumping move against more Christian backlash, Starbucks insists that the red cup provides customers a blank space on which to create their own drawings and messages. Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of design and content, released a statement seen as nullifying any need for a boycott.
"Starbucks has become a place of sanctuary during the holidays. We're embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It's more open way to usher in the holiday."
Started in Seattle, Washington, in 1971, the American coffeehouse chain has achieved the distinction of being the largest of its kind in the world. Starbucks boasts of 23,132 stores in 65 countries, with 12,937 in the United States, 2,004 in China, 1,416 in Canada, 1,135 in Japan, and 849 in the United Kingdom.
While phenomenal, the growth was anything but smooth, meeting with opposition from different quarters along the way. In its early stages, Starbucks had to fight rejection trumping its move into the Williamsburg neighborhood of New York City. In Napa, California, people staged rallies against Starbucks' intrusion that could threaten a local coffee business they patronized. At Elon University in North Carolina, students petitioned against Starbucks' commercialization of their campus life. In Little Italy of Montreal, Canada, residents called for resistance to Starbucks, the American chain being incompatible with local heritage. In the United Kingdom, a massive 2012 boycott was staged against Starbucks outlets for a tax avoidance scheme the coffee company belatedly admitted to residents.
Trumping companies caught in the act of shunting Christmas aside, the Donald has demonstrated a willingness to call for a boycott of those he objects to in other ways. In his hit list are Univision, Macy's, Fox News, and even Mexico, according to the Washington Post. He shared this promise regarding what he would do about the war on Christmas.
"If I become president, we're all going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again. That I can tell you."[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]