In Washington DC, a sustainable-lifestyle rallying point—plastic straws—has morphed into a political issue as President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign announces it is about to hit $500,000 in sales for its “Trump Straws.”
The drinking straws—which are red, allegedly reusable plastic drinking straws that sell in a pack of 10 for $15—are the brainchild of Brad Parscale, a campaign manager who suffered the indignity of not being able to consume his sweet tea because of a soggy, paper straw. A tweet about being “so over paper straws,” coupled with the hashtag #LiberalProgress, soon went mildly viral, and the “Trump Straw” stunt was born. Every purchase includes an unspecified campaign donation to Trump.
“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,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tells RealClearPolitics. “These straws are a perfect marriage of the Trump approach to things and of Trump-marketing. It just works.”
Plastic straw bans have proliferated in the wake of growing awareness over the large amounts of plastic waste that are ending up in the environment, especially oceans. Murtaugh adds that frustration with ineffective plastic straw replacements is a microcosm for the larger frustration with big government and progressives.