The creeping politicization of every aspect of American life is causing more than a few people to want to bury their faces in a pillow and scream out their frustrations. Soon enough, even that might not be an option for aspiring apoliticos.
On Thursday, gun control activist and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg announced that he would be starting his very own pillow company to combat the influence and reach of rabidly pro-Trump MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell.
Hogg, via Twitter, said that he would be teaming up with software developer William LeGate to prove to the world that "progressives can make a better pillow, run a better business and help make the world a better place while doing it."
.@williamlegate and I are going to prove that progressives can make a better pillow, run a better business and help make the world a better place while doing it.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 4, 2021
These progressive pillows are intended as a counter to Lindell, a longtime acolyte of former President Donald Trump who has gained notoriety in recent months for spreading the theory that the 2020 election was stolen for President Joe Biden via Chinese hacks of Dominion voting machines.
That conspiracy theorizing has cost his cushion company both customers and a Twitter account. It even got Lindell censored during an all-too-hilarious Newsmax interview.
Into this opening comes Hogg, who wants to free liberal America from having to choose between its values and a good night's sleep.
Hogg's plan is to launch his pillow company within six months and sell one million units within the first year of operation, according to Axios. The name of the company is being kept under wraps until all the necessary copyright issues are resolved, says Hogg.
The teen activist has said that he wants his pillow product to be sustainable, domestically manufactured, and union-made, although that last goal appears to be causing him some trouble.
Even before Hogg's announcement, partisan pillow fights were already getting out of control, with conservative firebrand Dinesh D'Souza hawking MyPillow products, and right-wing activists holding in-person demonstrations at Bed Bath & Beyond to protest the retailer's decision to remove the company's product from its shelves.
It's understandable then that people would greet Hogg's announcement for more political pillows with a mix of exasperation and depression. Yet for all their transparent ridiculousness, his business plans may come with a silver lining: the potential for softer, gentler politics.
This might seem counterintuitive given that Hogg has shown himself to be little more than a shallow, partisan demagogue during his brief career in public life. Yet it's for that very reason that we should be thankful for his new dream of starting a line of liberal linens.
Prior to this, Hogg has used his minor celebrity to push a number of dubious gun control policies—from banning large-capacity magazines to creating a national director of gun violence prevention—that will likely have little impact on gun violence while eroding the liberty and privacy of gun owners. Those who disagree with those policy proposals are liable to be accused by Hogg of being paid shills of the gun lobby willfully abetting mass murder.
Anyone who cares about a robust Second Amendment or the fate of civil discourse can only find his brand of activism to be a net negative on the world.
Hogg's pillow company need not be so toxic. Indeed, there's every reason to think it won't be. While certainly politicized, Hogg's plan is to start a company that will, hopefully, sell people a product they enjoy at a price they can afford. Rather than pushing for zero-sum, liberty-crushing gun control policies—where Hogg's success can only come at the expense of gun owners and those who disagree with him—he will instead be devoting his energies to making profitable, mutually beneficial exchanges.
Should he make a good enough product, he might even win over a few conservative customers who would never be reached by polarizing activism.
Even if Hogg fails in that, he has nevertheless stumbled upon a productive outlet for his political passions that forgoes the raw pursuit of power, and instead focuses on the creation of consumer convenience and brand loyalty.
Already our politics seem to have become much less about policy, and more about crushing the other side by whatever means necessary. So long as that remains to be the case, wouldn't it be better if more partisans spent their energies providing creature comforts for their comrades in lieu of vandalizing businesses or storming the Capitol?
Lindell's decision to become politically active saw him go from being a successful entrepreneur to a discredited hack. His activism has made our politics, and his company, worse off as a result. Hogg is, interestingly enough, looking to make the opposite transition. Hopefully, that will create the opposite effect.
So roll your eyes at Hogg's pillow dreams if you must, but recognize that with that progressive padding comes the possibility of more peaceful politics.