Rep. Steve King is known for many things—flirting with white nationalism, overt and unapologetic racism, fawning all over Donald Trump despite him being an unmitigated catastrophe for America and the world—but being in possession of a towering intellect is an allegation rarely leveled at him. Those familiar with his ignorance and the manner in which he frequently struggles to string a coherent thought together will not be surprised to learn that King or one of the amoral hacks who work in his office has fallen for an incredibly obviously fake tweet.
King (or whoever posts on his official Facebook page) shared a screenshot of a viral tweet from a Twitter user named @MuellerDad69. The user joked that he is a manager at a Starbucks in Charlotte, North Carolina and that he has threatened to fire his employees if they say “Merry Christmas” to customers because he personally dislikes conservative Christians.
Frequent Twitter users will recognize this meme format as a popular one used to troll Republicans. Users will often make absurd claims about working anywhere from coffee shops to urgent care clinics and then say that they intentionally give conservatives poor service or target them in some other fashion. Without fail, conservatives will come out of the Twitter digital woodwork and fall for the joke every time. Sometime users will get so angry that they’ll call the business in question to complain, other particularly credulous conservatives will even threaten to contact authorities.
Those who use this format of tweet joke are intentionally poking fun at the victimhood mentality that grips the GOP. Despite all the institutional and cultural power Republicans wield, they really believe there is a grand insidious conspiracy arrayed against them because Trump and conservative media tell them there is. So when they see a tweet like this they immediately take it at face value.
One glance at the @MuellerDad69 account with its silly username and monkey avatar should have clued anyone into the fact that this is a troll. But again, conservatives want to believe these tweets are real because it confirms their paranoid worldview. The account has since been suspended, presumably because conservatives mass-reported it in a frothing rage.
King shared the tweet on Facebook and caption it “Wow” with a facepalm emoji. He also shared an image in the comment section which sarcastically reads “liberals are so tolerant and compassionate.” This is a man who wields tremendous power and yet he doesn’t even have the common sense to recognize a blatant online fabrication as such.
Republicans fell so hard for this tweet and spread it so far and wide that the official Starbucks account was forced to tweet out that @MuellerDad69 does not in fact work for their company.
Hello. Chris (@muellerdad69) is not an employee of Starbucks and his account has been suspended due to impersonation. Our baristas are offered the autonomy to choose how to greet each person, which can be anything from “the usual?” to “Merry Christmas.” No script is provided. https://t.co/gOy521Fj9l
— Starbucks Help (@starbuckshelp) December 17, 2019
So as a reminder: don’t believe everything you read online.
Well, you can believe this online observation: Steve King is an incompetent public servant, a fool, and a proud racist who shouldn’t be working in government in any capacity whatsoever. For that matter, he shouldn’t even be working at Starbucks.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.