This presidential election could decide the fate of abortion, immigration, race relations, and nuclear proliferation. What our nation needs now is a patronizing letter from an egomaniac corporate CEO.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz endorsed Hillary Clinton in September—one year after he publicly declined to run for president himself despite “the encouragement of others,” who remain nameless to this day. Schultz represents the most insipid form of corporate pseudo-politics: the idea that “civility” and decorum are preferable to public fights over issues on which there is genuine disagreement. It is the sort of political philosophy that might cause a man to believe that America’s racial problems could be solved by ordering baristas to scrawl vague slogans on coffee cups.
The most meaningful thing that Howard Schultz could do to solve our nation’s problems would be to give all of his money to worthy causes immediately. He is not doing that. What he is doing is sending another insipid letter to all of his unfortunate employees. Here, via Eater, is that letter. We have added in some suggested edits in bold for the sake of clarity.
Dear partners [MEANING EMPLOYEES],
It’s a rainy Sunday morning in Seattle, we’ve turned the clocks back an hour, and I’m enjoying a French Press of my favorite coffee, Aged Sumatra. [WHAT ARE YOU UP TO? WORKING? LMAO.] I woke up this morning feeling a bit anxious about Tuesday’s election. Regardless of the outcome, our nation will feel divided[, AND I WILL STILL BE A BILLIONAIRE]. Many Americans have allowed the vitriolic nature of the presidential campaign to ignite our differences and strip away our civility and dignity. In the process, we’ve lost faith in what we all know has always been true, the promise of America.
But you are the true promise of America. [A LARGE POOL OF LOW-WAGE LABOR.]
My faith in you has me more optimistic than ever. Today, I’m not talking about our business or the Starbucks brand. I’m talking about you as a person. As a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, a neighbor, a citizen. I also am talking about we as people. We as Americans. And, I am talking [IN A TRULY PATRONIZING MANNER] about the people who have come before us, those who sacrificed so much to give us a better life than the lives they had. Each of us has a great responsibility to those who preceded us, as well as to “pay it forward” for the next generation. So what can we do? What will we do? [GIVE MY $2.8 BILLION NET WORTH TO THE POOR? NO.]
In the face of this epic, unseemly election and the concern we all share about the direction of our country and the lack of truth and void of leadership, we can still make a difference in the lives of the people we touch and influence every day. Kindness, compassion, empathy, and yes love [AND HIGHER WAGES] is what we need. It is what we must display and share [PRIMARILY WITH OUR INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS]. We are all longing for a deeper sense of human connection and humanity because, when we are touched by it, it fills us up.
Start today by recognizing the power we have to walk in someone else’s shoes, to demonstrate understanding, and to strip away the differences that divide us. [NOT ECONOMIC DIFFERENCES, OBVIOUSLY. BE REALISTIC.] Let’s each embrace the universal virtues of respect and dignity, refusing to allow the hatred on cable news, the ugliness of our politics, and the lack of political role models for our kids to define us and to dictate how we treat each other. [TREAT ME NICELY, FOR EXAMPLE, DESPITE MY OBNOXIOUS VAST WEALTH AND AGGRESSIVE PEDDLING OF TREACLE.] Rise above this moment to be the person that makes a positive difference in your neighborhood and community. Be the person who makes your family proud. Be the person who embodies the promise of America [A JOB AT STARBUCKS] so others may see and feel the possibilities that come with being an American—today, tomorrow, and long after this Tuesday.
Like the drawing of so many faces with a single, unbroken line on this season’s green unity cup, we are all connected.
[PLEASE DON’T PEE IN THE UNITY CUPS NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO RIGHT NOW.]
On this Sunday, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, know that I send you my love and respect. [BUT NOT MY MONEY.]
Proud, as always, to be your partner [MEANING BOSS],