Gimme a Double Mocha Latte With Room for Liberalism

Some conservatives are angered by opinionated quotes that Starbucks puts on its cups.

StarbucksMoments after picking up a venti vanilla latte from a St. Petersburg Starbucks, Sam Maston removed his cup’s cardboard sleeve to inspect a message printed beneath.

“America’s national debt is now $7.5-trillion, and it’s skyrocketing, even as America’s population ages,” the cup read. “There will never be a better time to start paying off this crippling debt than today.”

The quote, from environmentalist Denis Hayes, didn’t faze the 29-year-old Maston.

“I’m a pretty hardcore Democrat,” said Maston, who wore a black rubber wristband bearing the words I DID NOT VOTE 4 BUSH. “I think they should put that stuff on there.”

Not everyone agrees.

The Seattle coffee chain has raised some eyebrows over its “The Way I See It” campaign, which prints quotes from thinkers, authors, athletes and entertainers on the side of your morning machiatto. The goal, according to the company, is to foster philosophical debate in its 9,000-plus coffeehouses.

The quotes aren’t all that inflammatory, though several mirror Starbucks’ hallmark tall-grande-venti pretentiousness. Take this one from film critic Roger Ebert: “A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it.”

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.

If anyone going to Starbucks is the least bit like me, they’re not looking at the cup or the writing on the cup or even that cardboard sleeve. We’re drinking the coffee! That’s it. I don’t even hang out in Starbucks. The place is too yuppie centric for me. Am I surprised that the place is run by socialistic tree huggers? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand being bombarded by leftist speak – I get enough as it is, in the newspaper, on the television, and on the signs waving in my face as I’m walking down the street to go to the local post office. I don’t need more of it from Costco, 7-Eleven, Denny’s or Burger King.

But getting angry about what’s printed on a cup and hidden by a cardboard sleeve is just plain silly.

To my fellow java loving conservative brothers and sisters – get a grip, relax, and have cup of coffee.


  1. merrymaven says:

    As I’m sure you know, the silly people running Starbucks are all in Seattle where they really think diversity of opinion lies between a democrat like John Kerry and the RCPUSA (which used to operate a coffee shop on Roosevelt Ave near the U District). It simply never occurs to 90% of the people here that not everyone thinks exactly the way they do. Any conversation with strangers about anything remotely political begins and ends with the assumption that “we are the chorus and we agree, we agree, we agree, we agree.” I’d bet it’s one of the most un-diverse, intellectually stultifying city anywhere.

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