Thursday, June 26, 2008

Target Assumes Customers are Liberal with McCain-bashing Greeting Cards

Last night I happened to drop in to my local Target store with my 19-year-old daughter, to buy a few toiletries. On the way to the checkstand, we passed the greeting cards, and a large section caught my eye, because it was separated and framed by a bright, oversized red-white-and-blue starred border shouting "Election 2008 cards!"

The first one I noticed, prominently displayed, showed the torso of a buxom young woman wearing a t-shirt (with wind blowing it enough to show her middle).
Across the buxom part was written "Obama" in a trail of stars and stripes.

Next I noticed a card with a caricature of John McCain, wrinkled and prune-y. The word balloon over his head said "I'm for CHANGE!" "Hmm," I thought, wondering why they'd scream Obama's entire platform on a McCain card. When I opened it I knew--this was a big dis: "Change my bifocals to trifocals! Change from blood pressure medication to Viagra! Change from a cane to a walker!"

So, I perused the fronts of the remaining two dozen cards, and opened most of them, growing more and more irate--ALL of them were pro-Obama and anti-McCain! Just about every card about McCain had some insult about his age, or called him "McSame." Every card about Obama, on the other hand, implied his physical strength and vigor. As I stood expressing my shock and outrage to my daughter, another
shopper, a man I'd guess was around 40, overheard and, eyeing the selection, agreed with me, saying to my daughter, "Listen to your mom! Your mom's right! Listen to your mom!"

If we weren't in a rush, I would have sought out the manager and lodged a complaint. As it was, we headed to the cash registers to pay. After placing our few items on the counter, the young, clearly bored checker asked, "Did you find everything OK?"

I'm sure he regretted the question, as I shot back, "I found a lot MORE than I wanted to! I was highly offended by the political greeting cards that insulted John McCain and praised Obama!" The checker shrugged and said, "Well, I don't have anything to do with that."

And of course he doesn't. I did tell the president of our local conservative w
omen's group, who put out an email alert to the 500 members on the list, and I plan to return to Target (tomorrow, I hope) and talk to the manager. I'll also try to write down the content of a few more of the cards, so you can share my angst at the one-sidedly mean-spirited attitude Target has embraced. I'm not going to lamely declare a boycott (I love their dollar bins too much) but I do think that even a handful of disgruntled comments will let the management see that even in liberal Seattle, McCain bashing just won't fly.
(Cards displayed here are from a site called Zazzle, not from Target.)


  1. Yay for you! I recall Target ousting some Salvation Army Santas a couple years back and feeling some heat and not making that same mistake again.

    I admire your courage to voice your outrage. I have become far too complacent in my little bubble, partly out of an ambivalence with the GOP nominee on any given day [it vascillates depending upon what he said that particular day.] I'm simply fatigued by the politics-as-blood-sport and just wish to withdraw to the voting booth.

  2. I might add: if racism and sexism have been on display in this political season, so, too, has ageism. Although McCain's too much of a man to whine about it.

  3. I must be becoming jaded. This doesn't surprise me, though it does irritate me a great deal. I live in New Hampshire, so the election has been going on waaayy too long for us, which is probably what makes me so jaded.

    It continually amazes me how the world at large still thinks that the vast majority of Americans are liberal. They obviously cannot remember that the last two elections were very distinctly divided, and that a Republican won both times. Why do they still think America is full of liberals and that you are a fish out of water if you aren't?

    I agree with Ruth Anne, that I'm a bit ambivalent about McCain, but I will vote for him.

  4. Ruth Anne & Lynne, I think the crux of the issue is that liberal cards sell (and conservative ones don't) because for many, if not most ardent liberals, their politics is their religion. They're passionate enough to buy cards.

    BTW, ageism is a HUGE tool of the left, and just watch, it will get even more prominent. Ironic, isn't it, that liberals claim to be so embracing and tolerant? If you're young...and a sexual or racial minority, that is.

    And Lynne, the world at large doesn't think everyone's liberal--just the noisemakers (ie media) do. The actual world at large is divided, as you say, with a third conservative, a third liberal, and a third swing voters not passionate about either.

  5. Wow. I will say that at the Target here, which we frequent, I have seen nothing of the sort, and this IS liberal NYC. Your area is notoriously crazy, so it could be a local rather than a Target "thing".

    Crazy, though...