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Dear Howard Schultz, I know you don’t know me. I know you are never going to read these words. I know that, even if you did read them, they wouldn’t even amount to a hill of coffee beans in your eyes.

Nonetheless, I’m writing this open letter to you in order to enhance my self-importance and add my voice to the chorus of those demanding that you abandon your presidential aspirations.

I’m not going to join the others in telling you what’s going on in your head. Hey, they may have a crystal ball into the Schultz cerebrum, but I do not. I figure that you know what you’re thinking better than I do. I do apologize for omitting this essential feature of the Never Schultz genre.

Maybe you can supply this deficiency on my part by consulting other proponents of the form. They definitely know what you’re thinking. They’ve told the world so.

What I can say is that you lack the essential qualifications to run for president in 2020.

Just compare yourself to the other candidates:

* Have you dated Willie Brown in order to advance in San Francisco politics – like Kamala Harris? You haven’t, have you? I got you there.

* Have you promoted your academic and professional careers by pretending to be the distinguished member of an indigenous North American nation – like Elizabeth Warren? You haven’t. Got you again.

* Have you run a major Northeastern city, plagued by unemployment and high crime rates, and left it plagued by unemployment and high crime rates – like Cory Booker? You haven’t. Three strikes and you’re out, Mr. Schultz.

I could, of course, go on here.

You lack the qualifications of Pete Buttigieg (whose father was one of my grad school professors, by the way), Julian Castro, and Kirsten Gillibrand. What are those qualifications? Hard to say – but it’s clear that you lack them. And what if Joe Biden gets into the race? Have you delivered yourself of as many choice gaffes as that luminary? Ha -- I thought not. I’m on the verge of resting my case.

But I’ll append one little addendum. More important than the qualifications you lack are the impediments you labor under. You actually created a super-successful business in private life. You actually gave people jobs instead of welfare.

Sure, you were just selling cups of joe, and that’s not offensive in itself, if you keep it on a small and humble scale. But you succeeded big time in the private sector.

You didn’t have to fold. You didn’t have to whine about the absence of a government bailout for your enterprise. How dare you succeed, Howard Schultz? And, having succeeded, how dare you run for president?

Please leave the upcoming election to state-approved professional politician candidates. If billionaires like you continue to attempt this sort of thing, you could ruin decades of public conditioning. Americans might actually start expecting this to be a free country again.

Tom Riley


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