The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 March 2005

Starbucks Ticks Off Real Americans

Seattle-Style Liberalism A Hard Sell



The oddest thing about Seattle is that the very same people who've had great success founding and building upstart brands into national powerhouses, are primarily moronic, when it comes to politics.

It isn't just that they espouse a so-called "progressive" ideology, which when fully implemented holds back the very type of prosperity they've enjoyed, it's that they're really naive enough to believe Americans are interested in failed, Seattle-style leftist politics.

It's a ditzy, sappy, form of liberalism hard to find elsewhere outside of Scandinavian countries. Socialism, combined with puritanism, without religion, combined with an unbelievable level of ignorance about the outside world is the best way to describe it.

In this twisted, alternate universe known as Seattle, jaywalking is the ultimate crime, while addicts deserve free needles and winos need "wet houses" where they get free apartments and can drink themselves silly.

Smokers, however, deserve to be stoned to death but murderers shouldn't get the death penalty. The concept of being part of America is very fuzzy. If a referendum were held tomorrow, it's possible Seattle would vote to join British Columbia. That's no joke.

What has this stubborn philosophy done for the city? Nothing, it fails Seattle every single day.

What has always confounded me is how these companies can spend so much time expanding all over the place and not soak up at least some worldly influences. You'd think they'd never left the Capitol Hill District.

Starbucks provides one example of this type of ignorance, they've demonstrated it thoroughly, with a major marketing misstep:

New coffee cups have been introduced, with various slogans from celebrities and activists, many with a political message.

The problem? Out of 31 contributors whose quotes are used on the cups, only one is conservative. The result? Complaints to the company from befuddled Americans not accustomed to Seattle-style one-sided mind control.

Even if the quotes aren't from Seattle locals, it's meant to fit in with that local philosophy, detailed above.

It probably wouldn't have occurred to company officials, had there not been objections from American Starbucks customers, that there was a problem with leftist propaganda on their coffee cups.

Interesting that it takes a newspaper from Florida to cover it. Perhaps nobody in the Seattle media ever imagined this could be controversial:


(St. Petersburg Times- Jay Cridlin)
(Photo Credit- St Petersburg Times)
(Tip From Orbusmax)

The problem, critics say, is the company's list of overwhelmingly liberal contributors, including Al Franken, Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Chuck D. Of the 31 contributors listed on Starbucks' Web site, only one, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, offers a conservative viewpoint.

Considering Starbucks sells millions of cups of coffee each day - some specialty drinks at $4 and up - it's no surprise some customers have complained to Starbucks' Web site, labeling the campaign "offensive" and the company a proponent of "the destruction of family values and virtues."

"I want to enjoy your product without having Earth Day Network propaganda thrust at me," wrote Malachi Salcido of East Wenatchee, Wash.




Yvette Nunez, a 27-year-old Republican from Tampa, said she hadn't noticed the quotes on her weekly caramel machiattos. On "tall" cups, the text is obscured by a cardboard sleeve.

"There are a lot of great conservative quotes, but oh well," she said. "I'm not surprised. I'm used to being under-represented."

Starbucks' founder and chairman, Howard Schultz, is a major Democratic campaign donor who last year gave $1,000 in Florida to Peter Deutsch's failed U.S. Senate campaign.

Seth Hoffman, president of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans and an occasional Starbucks drinker, said he tries to avoid buying some "liberal" products, like Ben & Jerry's ice cream. He said Starbucks should consider using more conservative voices, but if they don't, he's unlikely to stay away.


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