With Donald Trump preparing to take office, the culture war seems to be hitting a fever pitch. It appears Starbucks finds itself in the midst of another tug-of-war contest between Trump supporters and detractors.
Tim Treadstone, a political strategist, started the social media campaign, #TrumpCup. After Starbucks customer William Scott gave “Trump” as the name to be written on his ordered drink and later shouted out when ready, the employees refused and even called the cops. This sparked Treadstone, who goes by @bakedalaska on Twitter, to rally the troops.
“Starbucks called the cops on this guy for wanting Trump on his cup, everyone go get a #TrumpCup now! This a movement,” he tweeted.
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Scott told LifeZette the act of having “Trump” written on his cup was, “just for fun. It was the night before the presidential election.” He said the employees “refused. Absolutely refused” and said writing the name was bigoted.
Scott said he was banned from the store despite hearing from Starbucks that he was completely within his rights to ask for “Trump” to be written on his cup. He was informed store policy demanded employees write any name, as long as it is not derogatory. Since the story has gone viral, Scott says he has not heard from Starbucks despite making numerous attempts to call them. “Starbucks has been avoiding me and refuses to return my calls,” said Scott.
Countless tweets followed with the hashtag as Trump supporters around the country asked that “Trump” be scrawled on their cups, too, so they could post the pictures on social media.
#TrumpCup has gotten people on both sides of the aisle fired up. “I work at the Starbucks in Lexington, Kentucky, and if anybody asks me to write Trump on their cup I will spit in it #TrumpCup,” tweeted @sammontgomery.
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“Very telling how liberals are responding to #TrumpCup we’re just trying to make a statement. It’s not okay for cops to be called over a cup,” tweeted @latinaafortrump.
While many on the Left have laughed off #TrumpCup, saying it is a contradictory boycott, Treadstone clarified that a boycott was never the point.
“This was never meant to be a boycott. I love Starbucks. I have no intention to stray any business from Starbucks at all,” he told The Washington Post.
For him and other Trump supporters, it is more about the culture war that is firing up as polarization is hitting the masses harder than before.
“We have a culture war to win. I’m a Trump supporter. I thought when Trump won, I might just wake up and America would be great again. Guess what? It wasn’t. We have a lot of work to do. We have hearts and minds to win. Obviously, a lot of people aren’t happy with us, and we need to stand up for our freedom and our First Amendment,” Treadstone told The Post.
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Treadstone’s initial tweet came out on Friday — and already Starbucks has released a statement in response. It calls the writing of customers’ names on cups a “fun ritual” and not something required. “We don’t require our partners to write or call out names,” the coffee giant said. It continued, “Rarely has it been abused or taken advantage of. We hope and trust that our customers will continue to honor that tradition.”
The #TrumpCup phenomenon is not entirely without merit or history. Last year, when Starbucks introduced its winter cups, some were upset at the simple red design lacking anything resembling Christmas. It was seen as yet another company fearing to step on the toes of the politically correct.
Customers then would go in and say their names were “Merry Christmas” to get the phrase written on the cup and said out loud in the coffee shops. Like #TrumpCup, supporters of the movement posted pictures of their “Merry Christmas” cups onlineand got the movement trending on social media.
Even Donald Trump commented on the phenomenon at the time, suggesting a boycott of Starbucks and saying if he won the presidency, “We’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
For Treadstone, #TrumpCup boils down to a much simpler issue. “If you’re so afraid to write your president’s name on a coffee cup, that is sad — that’s insane.”