Last week, President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign began selling red plastic straws with his name on them.
The Trump campaign had originally ordered 200,000 straws but sold out of them quickly and had to order more. A campaign official told Real Clear that sales are expected to exceed $500,000 as early as next week. Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, told Real Clear that the “paper straw is universally hated.”
“People feel like they have been lectured to, and told they can’t use plastic straws, you know, the kind that actually work,” he added.
“Liberal paper straws don’t work,” a description for the straws read on the Trump campaign merchandise website. The straws are available for $15 for a pack of 10.
Murtaugh also told the outlet that the campaign intended to sell the straws as “a proxy” for conservatives’ annoyance with Big Government and political correctness.
“It is a great marketing stroke which coincides very much with the president’s disdain for political correctness and dictating how people live their daily lives,” he said. “These straws are a perfect marriage of the Trump approach to things and of Trump-marketing. It just works.”
The straws have become an apparent “phenomenon,” according to Murtaugh.
Because most plastic straws aren’t biodegradable, many find their way into landfills or oceans where they can pose a harm to fish and wildlife. According to a 2017 study in the peer-reviewed journal of Science Advances, 91% of plastic, including drinking straws, isn’t recycled.
That set environmentalists on a war path. Big coastal cities like Berkley, California and Seattle, Washington did their part to crack down, levying taxes or banning the use of plastic drinking straws outright. The city of Washington, D.C., where Parscale was dining, has even put together a vice squad of the culinary variety to police any restaurant or coffee shop flouting their straw ban.
These so-called straw cops, and the corporations voluntarily pulling plastic straws in favor of the paper variety, have not been well received outside the coasts.
“The paper straw is universally hated,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tells RealClearPolitics. “People feel like they have been lectured to, and told they can’t use plastic straws, you know, the kind that actually work.”
But the Trump campaign isn’t simply selling functional straws to make a buck. They are making a point, Murtaugh explains, by using the frustration with the paper straw as “a proxy” for the larger frustration with government and progressive busybodies.
“It is a great marketing stroke which coincides very much with the president’s disdain for political correctness and dictating how people live their daily lives. These straws are a perfect marriage of the Trump approach to things and of Trump-marketing. It just works.”