While delusional conservatives embark on a ridiculous boycott campaign against Starbucks over the coffeemaker’s decision to produce minimalist red “holiday” coffee cups instead of adorning them with traditional Christmas symbols, the company just turned the tables on them in a brilliant way. Not only does their response help America’s working veterans, it teaches outraged conservative “Christians” a powerful and meaningful lesson about the true meaning of Christmas.
Starbucks has just announced they will “now extend a 100% tuition-free four-year college benefit to the spouse or child of every U.S. veteran or active military reservist employed 20 or more hours a week.” It’s an amazing show of substantial support for our veterans, coming on the heels of news that the progressive coffee maker has made it halfway to their goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and spouses by 2018 – they’re up to 5,500 vets and their spouses hired so far. They will also be paying for up to 80 hours per year for service obligations of employees who are active duty or reservists in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.
While religious Republicans voraciously proclaim their support for our veterans on the campaign trail, their actions in Washington tell a very different tale. For instance, the devout Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wants to make veterans choose between their healthcare and social security benefits. Republicans voted en masse to deny veterans benefits to LGBT servicepeople, rescinded laws protecting them from predatory pay-day lenders, and regularly block bills that would provide more for our veterans. If these self-declared Christians truly espoused the values of charity and caring that they proclaim they do so loudly, we wouldn’t have to rely on the private sector to take these kinds of initiatives. Kudos to Starbucks for responding to the contrived outrage in such a generous and positive way.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.