by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema is the new Howard Schultz. Stay with me here.
In one of the true afterthoughts of the 2020 presidential-election cycle, former Starbucks CEO Schultz explored a “centrist independent” bid for the presidency, for what seemed like ten minutes. It was always the longest of longshots. Unless you followed the coffee chain or the business world, Schultz was not a particularly well-known figure. He was amiable, but not particularly charismatic. His rags-to-riches life story and worldview were interesting, but hardly slam-dunk presidential material.
But something odd happened almost immediately after Schultz announced his interest in an independent bid. Lots of big cultural figures who had never had a second thought about Schultz suddenly had extremely strong opinions about him and concluded that he was terrible and that his company was terrible. …
… The only thing Howard Schultz had done wrong was to represent a minuscule potential threat to either complicate or derail the Democrats’ effort to defeat Donald Trump. And for that, he had to be metaphorically destroyed. Overnight, lots of big cultural figures sent the clear signal: You are not supposed to like Howard Schultz. He is bad. Not only are you a bad person if you even consider voting for him, you are a bad person for not instantly hating him the way we do.
The progressive Left — represented not just by Democratic politicians but by activists, aligned groups, institutions, cultural figures, and certain journalists — operates on the mentality that anyone who stands in the way of it getting what it wants must be destroyed.
And right now, Kyrsten Sinema — who has never voted against the Biden administration’s position in the Senate — is the target of the progressive Left’s wrath.