In a recent 60 Minutes interview, former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz announced that he is "seriously thinking of running for president." He went on to say that he "will run as a centrist independent, outside of the two-party system."
In the same interview, Schultz confessed that he's "been a lifelong Democrat." And he isn't lying. Schultz supports Obamacare and the Paris Climate Accords. He endorsed Hilary Clinton in 2016 and has donated to various Democratic politicians. In a June 2018 interview with NBC, he expressed his disappointment with the recent GOP tax cut bill.
"I was disappointed [in the GOP's tax cut bill]. Corporate America did not need a tax cut to 21 percent when we could have done so much more for the people of the country. Forty-five percent of the people in America don't have $500 in the bank for a crisis."
Howard Schultz was also the CEO of Starbucks, a company not only known for their overpriced coffee, but also for their left-wing policies.
Surprisingly, Schultz has been hit with more back-lash by liberals, rather than conservatives, over his recent presidential announcement. This reaction is out of the fear that he may take away votes from the 2020 Democratic candidate, and, as a result, re-elect Trump. In New York City, a protester heckled at him, "Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire a------." A former Clinton campaign employee started the website ProtestHoward.com, which serves as an organizer for demonstrations against Schultz's book tour.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Mika Brzezinski asked Schultz how much a box of Cheerios costs. "I don't know," Schultz responded, "I don't eat Cheerios." This was supposed to be a grilling question, showing that he's out of touch with everyday Americans. To me, the real story isn't that he's out of touch (it's already common knowledge that the rich and politicians are out of touch with everyday people) but Mika and Joe's reaction to his consideration of running.
So why do Democrats have such vitriol for Howard Schultz? Is it solely because they are worried he will snag votes from their candidate? A case could be made that he may also snag votes from Donald Trump. Or is it other reasons?
Schultz was raised in Brooklyn projects, and with his athletic skill, was able to get a scholarship to Northern Michigan University in 1970. He eventually became the director of marketing for Starbucks in 1982. He took Starbucks, a small company only in Seattle at the time, and transformed it into the billion-dollar franchise it is today.
Schultz's life is a "rags to riches" American success story. In some regards, it's inspirational and would be a perfect pitch for a presidential candidacy. Democrats could have run him as the "hard-working" wealthy progressive liberal who, unlike Trump, didn't take a "small loan of one million dollars." But instead, they mock his wealth and attack him personally.
The Democratic party is radically shifting. Politicians like Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) are wrapped up in identity-politics and intersectionality. The new representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) are entrenched in expensive socialist policies and high taxes.
Democratic party members' association with Louis Farrakhan has brought a rise in questions regarding anti-Semitism within the party, as highlighted in this CNN article.
Howard Schultz does not fit in with his party's change. He's a straight white male who has earned a considerable amount of wealth. He doesn't support the 70% income tax rate proposed by many of his counterparts. If Democrats want a chance at the 2020 presidential election, they are going to have rear back on the radicalism within their party.