Former coffee mogul Howard Schultz wants to take a stab at the presidency. The announcement triggered a wave of immediate criticism that has not let up since. And as the former CEO of Starbucks, Schultz found himself the butt of many coffee-based insults as well.
Dude you're getting EVERYBODY'S order wrong. https://t.co/r2EeOg2dlZ
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) January 28, 2019
Unfortunately for Schultz, every single thing he counts as an asset is actually … not. Here are five ways he’s embarrassing himself right now.
1. Schultz is a Billionaire
Schultz seems to think that being a billionaire is an asset, but if two years have taught us anything, it’s that Americans share a belief in equality. Even if many do not practice the belief identically, it still rubs most Americans the wrong way to have silver-spoon oligarchs shout at them about the way the country should be. Furthermore, America already has an (allegedly) billionaire president, and his approval numbers have been sub-optimal since day one.
2. He’s a Centrist
Schultz’s big idea is that in the age of political polarization, of which Donald Trump is an extreme manifestation, the American people desperately crave the center. They want the reasonable option that is not too extreme on either side.
However, when neo-Nazis killed a woman in Charlottesville, President Trump gave this example of a centrist position:
“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
In the face of hate groups murdering citizens, would that be the kind of response to expect from centrist President Schultz? Schultz is flat-out wrong if he thinks Americans pine for the middle, because the Trump presidency has drawn starker lines than ever before. Either you believe locking children in cages is ok, or you don’t. Either you excuse virulent, neo-Nazi violence, or you don’t. The middle isn’t there.
3. Starbucks Discrimination
Does Howard Schultz think that Americans, particularly non-white Americans, have forgotten about discrimination at his establishments? If he really wants to be president and is not just bored, he will need to prepare an answer, not just for discrimination, but for various types of it.
In fairness, either did Joe. Let’s begin the conversation on Starbucks discrimination against hiring anyone over 40 years of age. They practice ageism and have practiced this for years. His narrative is slanted and after Trump, we all could run for President. https://t.co/fjxmUtAuSj
— Kasey (@euniebelle) January 30, 2019
Against transgender people:
Former Starbucks employee suing company for 'discrimination' after telling boss about transition.https://t.co/Ct1CvVaSjq
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 3, 2018
Against black people:
A woman shared vid & witnessed the random, petty discrimination & fear that hold blk people hostage every day. It takes a village. @RunVotelead e. Woman Who Shared Philadelphia Starbucks Arrest Video Tells Her Story – Philadelphia Magazine https://t.co/Gy3vnQPfAG via @phillymag
— Erika Alexander (@EAlexTheGreat) April 16, 2018
Schultz is going to have to have compelling reasons that Americans should trust that he would or could fight against that kind of discrimination when in control of the country if he couldn’t do it in control of his own company, a smaller and inherently more manageable structure.
4. Climate Change
As the deleterious effects of climate change become more readily apparent, it is gaining steam as a hot-button issue. Contrary to previous years, where mentioning and believing in climate change was enough, voters worried about the planet’s future want specific plans now as well.
This is not good terrain for Schultz, as 90.9 WBUR points out:
“As climate change and environmental pollution take center stage, Starbucks produces 1 percent of the world’s 6 billion disposable cups each year. The company only recently committed to sustainable and ethical sourcing for its coffee, and it does it through a $500 million bond that is backed by Morgan Stanley, one of the main companies caught up in the 2008 financial crisis.”
5. Having Literally No Support
As for who will be supporting Schultz in 2020, we don’t have clear answers. What we do know is that his campaign has resorted to polling without Schutz’s name, angling for higher numbers based on an individual’s conception of what “generic-indy” means to them.
ha. they’re already reduced to internal polling numbers that don’t even use Schultz’s name https://t.co/y4z8BAeEzs
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) January 30, 2019
Some poked fun at Schultz for continuing despite this glaring handicap.
Howard Schultz- I’m running for President!
Millions of people- NO!
Howard Schultz- Thank you for your support!
Millions of people- DON’T RUN!
Howard Schultz- I cant believe the support I have!
Millions of people- PLEASE GOD DONT RUN!
Howard Schultz- I’m doing this for you!
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) January 29, 2019
In short, America needs someone to challenge the president in 2020, but it is collectively unsure about why a “centrist” billionaire coffee mogul with a questionable history on workers’ rights and discrimination, and actually no support would think they were that person.