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Mike Lindell’s Pillow Talk With Trump Ends in a Bad Dream

Mike Lindell’s Pillow Talk With Trump Ends in a Bad Dream

Mike Lindell

When cuddling up next to Trump, you always end up kicked out of bed.

It boggles the mind to think about how many people — mostly middle-aged/older white men — have been burned because they got too close to Donald Trump. Michael Cohen, Rudy Giuliani, Allen Weisselberg, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, and on and on and on. No you can add a new name, albeit a bizarre one, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Lindell's ubiquitous face and grima (it’s my new word that describes the feeling you get when nails are scratched on a chalkboard) vocals once roared in commercials during late night cable TV. That's where he made his name, and initially his money. Ironically, it would be his visage and voice that would lead to his downfall.

Last week, the news broke that Lindell is auctioning off nearly 800 pieces of his industrial equipment because of slumping sales at MyPillow. Lindell, of course, blames “cancel culture” for order terminations of his products by big box retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, and Walmart, as well as online giant Wayfair.

These large retailers, with massive distribution channels, are the backbone of sales for a vendor company like Lindell’s. During my retail years with Toys “R” Us, Sears, Kmart, and Macy’s, vendors bent over backwards to avoid causing any disruption to the retailers that sold their products.

The minute Lindell started to face backlash, first for his full-throated endorsement of Trump, and then going way, way over the top to help sell the big lie (Instead of pillows) and crazy conspiracy theories, retailers who sold his cushions and bedding started to sweat. Then, as if he wasn’t already playing with fire, he defended the insurrectionists of January 6, and that’s when the Walmarts of the world shut their doors.

The very last thing these retail behemoths want is something in their stores that causes a controversy and puts off most of their customers. So, you might be asking yourself, then how is this different from Target moving and removing its Pride merchandise last month?

The only commonality here is extremists. They only represent a small, small fraction of a big box retailer's customer base. That’s why it was the right decision for brands like Kohl's and Wayfair to remove My Pillow products. Why keep something on the shelves that appeases only about 20 percent of your customer base at the risk of offending the other 80 percent?

That’s where Target messed up big time by fiddling around with Pride merch. They were trying to appease a mere sliver of their customers — those very extremists — while risking alienating a vast majority of its shoppers. It’s all about the money. And in this case, Lindell ran out of cash, and Target lost $9 billion in market value after it flailed on Pride products.

Lindell is a lot like Trump in the way he lost all his money. After Trump became president, in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, the Trump brand lost its value because of his extremism. Lindell sought to mimic that for reasons unknown.

Even here in New York City, Trump’s name was removed from buildings that were once adorned with it. Similarly, in large numbers, people were boycotting — or burning — MyPillow products. The brand came apart at the seams.

Lindell now is forced to reckon with the fact that he is a failure, with debts piling up to his ears. Likewise, the failure that is Trump has his only source of income from grifting his supporters with urgent pleas for donations to his “defense fund.”

Lindell poured millions of his own money into supporting Trump, including helping pay for his defense team that failed to prove that the 2020 presidential election was a fraud. That alone shows you the stupidity of Lindell. Yes, you are rich like Trump, so why would you help another rich guy — at least one who claims he’s rich — pay for his legal team?

In addition to opening his wallet for a scam, Lindell also opened his big mouth about paying $5 million to anyone that could prove that some election data he “discovered” was fake, which some guy and his company did without much work. Lindell then balked about ponying up, until an arbitration panel said, pay up.

Cameras caught Lindell lurking around the West Wing in January 2021. According to Axios, he was peddling some conspiracy theories to Trump, and gave him pages and pages of notes claiming, among other things, that China and other countries were responsible for “stealing” the election from Trump. A Washington Post photographer, Jabin Botsford,captured some images of Lindell’s papers, which apparently showed Trump thinking about enacting the Insurrection Act, which could justify the use of martial law.

Do you think any legitimate company is going to business with someone like that?

Is Lindell a lesson in why CEOs shouldn’t involve themselves in controversial issues or extreme candidates? Not really, because there’s no other person as moronic as Lindell when it comes to bloviating about Trump. It was glaringly apparent that this train wreck would eventually crash his business. The only question was when it would happen.

Let’s explain when it is correct for a CEO to speak up. The CEO of my previous employer, which was a publicly traded company at the time, sent a letter to all the tens of thousands of employees the day after the Supreme Court struck down Roe. In it, he offered support to the women — and men — devastated by the decision. Ten years ago, you would have never seen something like this, but times have changed.

That letter was a smart move and forward-thinking. If you are going to retain or try to attract young talent, you’re going to have to speak up on social causes, with the caveat that the causes have overwhelming public support. A vast majority of Americans don’t think Roe should have been overturned, and an overwhelming majority of those under 30 are strongly against the SCOTUS decision.

That CEO wasn’t the only one to speak out. There were others. Just as there were some CEOs who have come out supporting employees in same-sex marriages. Again, an easy call given much of the public supports those marriages, particularly among those 30 and under. In other words, all decisions done with an eye toward the future.

Just like everything else with the Republican Party, what Lindell did was just ass-backwards. It takes someone either extremely obtuse, detached, or indifferent to put his company on the line for extremism and lies and to endorse a twice-impeached, twice-indicted (at this juncture), avowed racist, insurrectionist, and grifter.

In many ways, Lindell acts just like the U.S. House Republicans, and they too are headed for an epic fall.

Lindell was just digging his own grave with his abominable behavior. If he thought that Trump’s base would sustain his company, perhaps he was partly right, because the MAGA crowd can only help sustain a small fraction of MyPillow. Corporate America, along with your average, everyday consumer, decided to keep a far distance. And Lindell was foolhardy if he thought he could survive.

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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