Last week, President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign began selling red plastic straws with his name on them.
“Liberal paper straws don’t work,” a description for the straws read on the Trump campaign merchandise website. The straws are available for $15 for a pack of 10.
My former colleague Philip Wegmann reported at RealClearPolitics that the campaign had originally ordered 200,000 straws but sold out of them quickly and had to order more. A campaign official told Real Clear that sales are expected to exceed $500,000 as early as next week. Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, told Real Clear that the “paper straw is universally hated.”
“People feel like they have been lectured to, and told they can’t use plastic straws, you know, the kind that actually work,” he added.
Murtaugh also told the outlet that the campaign intended to sell the straws as “a proxy” for conservatives’ annoyance with Big Government and political correctness.
“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,” he said. “These straws are a perfect marriage of the Trump approach to things and of Trump-marketing. It just works.”
The straws have become an apparent “phenomenon,” according to Murtaugh.
Real Clear reported that the campaign has already sold $428,145 worth of straws, filling 28,543 orders. Murtaugh told the outlet that 40% of the purchases were from first-time donors.
“Our data shows us that someone who donates to the campaign, votes with us in the upcoming election 96% of the time,” he tells RCP, and this “is actually a way to get new people involved.”
The apparent success of the “Trump straws” has led to scalpers selling the straws on eBay for as much as $359, Real Clear reported.
“We think that is an indication of the phenomenon that is the Trump straw,” Murtaugh said. There are also apparently counterfeit straws out there, so Murtaugh suggested “people buy them from the source.”
The Daily Wire previously reported that the fear of plastic straws filling our oceans is based on a bogus study conducted by a 9-year-old who called straw manufacturers to ask how many they think are used. The “results” found that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. The results were repeated by legitimate sources who didn’t conduct their own research or dig into the “study.”
Now cities across the U.S. — including San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — are banning restaurants from providing plastic straws except to those with disabilities. The disabled exception wasn’t originally included in many of the bans, and only came about once several disabled writers began informing progressive scolds of the medical needs of the community. Many disabled people need plastic drinking straws due to lack of mobility. They need flexible straws and no material other than plastic works properly.
Last Friday, Trump commented on the straw bans, saying he thinks “we have bigger problems than plastic straws.”
“You know, it’s interesting about plastic straws: so, you have a little straw, but what about the plates, the wrappers, and everything else that are much bigger and they’re made of the same material?” he continued.