Does President Joe Biden, or any member of his family, use a MyPillow? How about Vice-President Kamala Harris? Millions of Americans who bought a MyPillow have an intimate relationship with the product. We spend 8 hours a day with it, in our bedrooms, every night.
Forty-one million MyPillows have been sold by the company that bears the same name. The pillows are made in the USA, more specifically in Chaska, Minnesota, which employs 1,600 Americans with a good-paying job. Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow, has a personal story of overcoming drug abuse, turning to Christianity, and running a multi-million-dollar company is admirable and symbolic of the American dream.
It’s an inspirational story, but that is not why I am a consumer. I purchase his pillows because they are a good product. I bought the five or so MyPillows over the past decade because I wanted to get a good night’s sleep. That is all.
Lindell has been one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, but in recent weeks, he has entered the limelight for his role in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency. As members within the GOP have made efforts to distance themself from Trump, Lindell has stayed faithful. Even after the riots at the Capitol on January 6th, Lindell went on television to double down on conspiracy theories – saying that “Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years.” Then, after a brief meeting with then-President Trump in the Oval Office, Lindell was photographed carrying notes that suggested “imposing martial law” in seven battleground states won by President Biden.
Lindell’s support of Trump, and his disbelief in the election of 2020, sparked a call to boycott any store that sells MyPillows. Soon after this outrage emerged, several retailers stop selling MyPillows at their stores including Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney, and Wayfair.
I don’t look to Lindell for advice on politics or on any other matter involving my personal choices. I also don’t take political advice from the likes of Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. I like their products because they help improve my life in some way. While I may not agree with Mike Lindell’s views, and his role in Trump’s political decisions, I was saddened to see his products taken down by many prominent retailers.
Some of these companies have cited a slowdown in sales as a reason for removing his products. But in my opinion, if Lindell’s pillows were removed from a retailer recently, the reason is not based on sales alone.
Two questions about this boycott and future boycotts need to be considered before the next MyPillow incident comes around, and it will. Where do you draw the line between banning a product from the American consumer, and letting that same American consumer decide not to buy that product? And second, who will make that decision for all of us?
For the vast majority of Americans, we have established that fine line when it comes to hate. We don’t want products that support the KKK, the Nazi party, or joke about the Holocaust. We have no interest in permitting anything that does harm to someone else. But the MyPillow case lies somewhere in the middle, with supporters of Trump-supporting Mike Lindell, opponents of Trump don’t like Lindell so much, and the 30% of Americans in the middle for the most part like his pillows and don’t really care about his politics.
I fall into the last category. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, or 2020, nor did I vote for Hillary, or Biden. I’m a third party independent.
There is also the ‘backlash’ factor that should be considered. By giving Lindell and MyPillow so much attention, supporters of his product, and his politics, are more inclined to find and buy his products. Lindell has said as much, that so far, he’s not losing any market share. And if a company bans MyPillow from their shelves, how will they be able to say no to the next protest over the next product? It’s a slippery slope and could be a dangerous precedent.
Currently, Amazon and Costco continue to sell MyPillows, and that is good for a consumer like me who wants to have the freedom to buy one if I want to. When I buy my next MyPillow, I also have the right to ignore what he has to say about politics, or health, or anything else he wishes to opine on. He makes a good pillow that helps me sleep, and that’s all I care about.