Tuesday, March 31, 2020

My New BUYcott

A few years ago, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I were at the Topsfield Fair rolling through the hucksters' building in an attempt to avoid a rain shower when Matt - taking in all the people selling massage chairs, housewares, homemade condiments, and various chindogus - said something quite profound: "This is the beauty of America right here -- people with dreams hanging up shingles to sell you something they believe in."

(That was a paraphrase, but it still captures the essence of his observation.)

Matt wasn't wrong. I mean, there is more to the idea of America than commerce, obviously. There is also our (perennially threatened) tradition of limited government and our commitment - as expressed in the Declaration of Independence - to uphold each man's natural rights. But an economic freedom that allows the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish is fundamentally American too; that freedom, in fact, is an embodiment of our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, it is eminently legitimate to point to a guy selling reusable hand-warmers at a country fair and declare him worthy of special celebration.

Unfortunately, we've been saddled with a media class that overwhelmingly fails to understand the quintessential American-ness of our yeoman businessmen. On the contrary, these Twitter Blue Checks would sneer at our hand-warmer salesman and proclaim him an inferior sort. "Ugh," they'd think. "How incredibly gauche to spend your life hustling. How unrefined." It would never cross their mind that surviving in the open marketplace takes skills -- skills we might need at a moment requiring a massive re-purposing of our manufacturing infrastructure.

That's one reason why so many journalists snickered at Mike Lindell yesterday. The other reason, of course, is that, like many recovering addicts, he talks about God a lot. (I recognized the NA/AA mindset as soon as I heard him speak.) But like our Topsfield hucksters, Lindell is a fantastic American exemplar. He pulled himself out of the gutter and into the upper class with a random brainwave he had in the middle of the night -- and when his country needed him, he stepped up without being coerced and started making masks. For that, he absolutely deserved his moment in the Rose Garden. For that, he deserves our business.

So I hereby announce a MyPillow BUYcott:

Because 'Murica.

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