“Please feel free to BOMBARD them with calls and mail,” wrote the first tweet.
A snapshot of three cards followed, emblazoned with, “Trump is a Douchebag," “Trump is an Evil Motherf***er," (sans censorship) and another “Trump is a Douchebag,” though the cards are uncensored.
And viewers did bombard the store. In the last 24 hours, Mockingbird Paperie, an eclectic stationery store nestled in the Commons, has received nearly 100 calls and emails from people around the country.
The cards aren’t new—the paperie has sold them for more than two years, since just after President Donald Trump was elected. The greeting cards, which follow their Oval Office quip with a greeting, like “Happy Anniversary!” are just a new rendition of the ancient tradition of political satire, owner Suzanne Loesch said.
Before this week, the cards were a crowd favorite; they are Mockingbird’s best-selling card and are restocked more than any other, Loesch said. But she’s taking the cards down for now.
Loesch and her husband, Tim Horner, insisted that they weren’t responding this way because of the bombardment of calls and mail, but because of the “civil, thoughtful conversations” they had shared with some callers.
Rather than blocking all calls, the couple decided that when they picked up the phone, they would try to have a conversation with the concerned caller about their beliefs. And some conversations became nuanced and thoughtful, Loesch said, recalling a conversation she had with a veteran from Arizona.
The veteran had been concerned about the colorful language of the card and the level of political divisiveness in the country.
“We both thanked each other for being polite and courteous to one another and it made me feel really good,” Loesch said. It was reflective conversations like those, some of which went on for 15 minutes, that motivated Loesch to stop selling the cards for now, the couple said.
Not all the feedback has been so courteous, though.
People responded passionately after Facebook and Twitter posts went viral — some from behind unnamed accounts, like @AmericasPresidentDonaldJTrump — sharing pictures of the cards criticizing the President. At publication time, the post had collected more than a thousand shares and comments on Facebook. Commenters called the cards “disturbing” “disgusting,” and implored readers to post negative comments on the store’s Facebook page.
Loesch disabled the online page, saying that the flooding of comments was overwhelming. The couple has talked to local law enforcement, and while customers continued to stream into the store on Wednesday, they had locked the front door.
“There's a sense of vulnerability, because people are threatening terrible things,” Horner said. “Now, most of them are threatening it from 2,000 miles away, but you never know who's going to be inspired by [that].”
The couple had considered a range of responses, like plastering the cards over the door, which they deemed would be “unproductive," or starting a new line of Presidential cards featuring actual quotes from the President, which might still be featured in the future. For now, though, the cards won’t be sold.