Make America Suck Again

The toxic politics behind Trump’s straw campaign.

More cities and international food chains have opted to ban plastic straws this past year, and that’s good news.

But the Trump campaign hates progress. They want America to suck again, through cheap plastic straws.

That’s what they think Americans deserve — a fast food meal hurled at them through a drive-thru window.

That and polluted beaches. A diabetes epidemic. An opioid crisis created by the healthcare industry, but blamed on immigrants.

No more, no less.

We were dealing with these problems until 2016. Now we’re walking backwards, at least at the federal level. Make America suck again. That’s what the red straw campaign really says.

Most of the world has started to head in the right direction. We’re getting rid of things we don’t really need, in order to save the one big thing we really do. You know, Earth. That thing that gives us air and water.

That thing we’ve trashed like reckless teenagers for the last century. The party’s over, and it’s time to clean up.

Yet Trump’s America won’t have it. They’ve found ways to express righteous anger and ridicule at almost everything. They’ve excelled at turning first world problems into major campaign issues.

So you might feel sad — not really surprised — that their latest call to arms highlights the most trivial of twentieth-century conveniences.

Behold Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale’s attitude toward serious problems like pollution. Marvel at his struggle to see past the slight inconvenience of foregoing a little hollow strip of plastic.

Everyone from Seattle to McDonald’s is phasing out plastic straws and stir sticks. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is doing what it does best — undoing progress. They’ve already sold about $500 million worth of special red straws with Trump’s name printed on them.

They’re calling it the “Make Straws Great Again” campaign. Thanks to Parscale, deplorables no longer need suffer the indignity of having to place their chapped lips on the actual edge of a cup.

Fortunately, not everyone’s buying the straws. Responsible adults actually understand the consequences of their actions.

Plus, we know how to consume beverages without the use of disposable plastics. I know. I know. Unthinkable.

Plastic straws may need to remain in hospitals. If you’re injured or disabled, you might have a legitimate need for them. We don’t need to reduce plastic use to zero. But we can do way better than we are now.

Of course, we know how hard it is for certain individuals to drink out of a bottle, or a glass. Poor guy.

Never mind that plastic is ruining the planet, and that Americans alone use 500 million straws per day. Never mind that 8 million tons of plastic flow into the oceans every year. Or that literally billions of plastic straws bristle the world’s beaches.

You might dispute these numbers. Even so, the larger reasoning holds up. We have to reduce our use of plastics. We might as well include straws. It’d be great if Starbucks could also do something about those cups. Meanwhile, my family and I just hand the baristas our own tumblers.

Or you know, we brew coffee at home.

If nothing else, the logic behind “Make Straws Great Again” is nothing short of juvenile. More straws isn’t a solution, just the politicized version of sticking your tongue out, and your fingers in your ears.

Americans like Parscale worry about their little drink, and how liberals have taken away all their favorite things. They want containers made perfectly to fit inside the cup holders of their oversized trucks, so they can sip ice lattes on their way to work every morning — without spilling a single drop on the upholstery. This matters above everything.

They want to suck down 60 oz. carbonated sodas sweetened with corn syrup, while watching Michael Bay movies.

They want straws that last for the entire two hours.

And why not? In their mind, it’s their right as Americans to do whatever they want, without a single thought to the future they’re crafting for their children. Meanwhile, many of us worry more about this:

Looks fun, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, rich climate change deniers won’t ever have to endure a summer vacation like this one.

They can afford private beaches. Can we?

It’s not all bad. A rising majority of Americans can see through the Trump mirage now. They know he and his campaign managers and elite donors are out for themselves. All they care about is getting Americans riled up about their personal pet peeves.

They’ll stoke fear about immigrants and terrorists in order to get elected. But they won’t do anything to actually solve the problems they’ve complained about. They’ll whine on Twitter about plastic straws, so they can market cheap merchandise made in China.

They want the poor working class to shell out $15 for a pack of ten crappy straws. They want to reverse progress and rub it in everyone’s face, at the cost of our oceans and beaches.

This is the logic of a 10-year-old girl whose parents never told her no. “I’m so over straws.” Well, we’re over the myopic greed of entitled, cisgender white dudes who can’t deal with not getting their way.

We’re over anyone who remains complicit in this nonsense.

The straw campaign has accidentally revealed the truth about the Trump platform. They want America to suck again. The rest of us know better, and we actually care about this country. So let’s continue the good work of reducing plastic consumption, and occasionally putting others ahead of our own personal convenience.

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