Anne Applebaum on Mike Lindell

I was disappointed by this Atlantic Magazine article by Anne Applebaum about Mike Lindell, the “My Pillow” guy.  The title says, “The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy,” and the subtitle says, “In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic – and a clear threat to the nation.” 

After reading the article, I failed to see the threat he presents. Presumably, this is the threat that Democrats see everywhere: Trump’s attempt to undo the last election and reinstate himself as President. I don’t see this a likely to happen and I am thus not alarmed by it.

Apparently, Lindell has something called “packet captures,” which are some kind of computer data proving that the Chinese stole the last election from Trump. But her article never makes clear what these packet captures are, or how the Chinese altered electoral results. I do not believe that there is anything to this. Perhaps, if you thought it would prove that Trump won the election, then it would throw the country into turmoil, but it would not be a threat to democracy. It would mean that Biden’s fake election was a threat to democracy, and that Trump was honestly re-elected and thus democracy would require that he be reinstated.

I do think Trump personally is a threat to democracy. The icing on the cake was the January 6 invasion of the Capitol, but in general Trump was a terrible President who surrounded himself with third-rate people, unable to carry out business of government. I don’t think Lindell is going to reinstate Trump.

The rest of Applebaum’s article supports her characterization of Lindell as a basically nice guy who is wacky on some subjects. I do not think her examples of other wacky businessmen who supported questionable causes are comparable to Lindell. I don’t really know anything about Aschberg, but I doubt that he was responsible for the success of Lenin’s Russian revolution. And Henry Ford is not single-handedly responsible for anti-Semitism, which is probably thousands of years old. Mike Lindell may stir up the waters a little, but he is not going to bring about a sea change in politics.

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