The Ripples of Beer


I make history. That’s not an egotistical statement. I literally make history–I write stories about the past. As some of you know, I talk about history being a partial reconstruction of the total past. So, in that use of phrasing, I make history.

Let me give you a brief look into how I would make part of the history of the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.

In my work, I often look for the small details that have large meaning. I’m not referring to polls or debates or such things. They’re important but everyone examines them. I’m referring to significant, out-of-the-way stuff that suggests great trends or tendencies.

And in that spirit I point you to the ripples of beer. Anheuser Busch (A-B InBev, to be more accurate) just announced its summer and fall marketing campaign and I think it has enormous meaning for who will be the next American president. To capitalize on what they believe will be a spirit of American patriotism and national fervor, a spirit coming from the November election, A-B InBev will substitute “America” on the front of the can that normally reads “Budweiser.”

Now, laying aside party and/or personal affiliations and their opposite, which of the three remaining presidential candidates do you think of first when you see and hear such nationalistic-oriented phrasing? More importantly–much more importantly, in fact–who do you think other people think of first when they see and hear it?

My answer: Donald Trump.

Major corporations that sell consumer products must stay abreast of where public attitudes are going. Billions of dollars go into advertising campaigns that are designed from meticulous field research. They’re certainly not always effective but I’ll bet that over time their track record is pretty good. Like it or not, they tend to know what they’re doing. A-B InBev is betting a lot of money that this campaign will sell more beer. They are investing substantial sums on this outcome. Hence, I maintain that these are the ripples of beer in the presidential election campaign of 2016.

Polls are important. So are speeches and debates and interviews and articles. But don’t forget, if you ever have the need to do what I do and “make history” as I’ve defined it, be sure to look for the little things with vast meaning.

Now, go savor the ripples of beer.