Source: The Washington Post
Everyone has, at some point, been fooled into thinking something fake was real. Maybe it was a post on social media that you shared before realizing it was a spoof or satire. Maybe it was a bargain you saw that turned out not to be a bargain or that left you with some broken or falsely advertised product. Or maybe it was a grand conspiracy about rampant election fraud that spurred you to spend millions of dollars declaring that you alone knew the truth about what had happened — only to be told, over and over, that you were entirely and obviously wrong.
That is the unfortunate position in which MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell appears to find himself. He has, by his own admission, spent vast sums of money trying to prove what can’t be proved: that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, which it wasn’t. He has promoted theories about how that alleged theft occurred that have repeatedly proved meritless. But by now he is so far into his bet and has earned so much celebrity by making it that he keeps pressing forward, using his money to convince himself that he is right and to buy attention from people who tell him the same thing.
A few weeks ago, Dartmouth University sociology professor Brooke Harrington wrote about the psychology of being conned. The context was vaccine skepticism, but the lessons she identifies very much apply to those who deny the actual results of the election, and to Lindell in particular.
Lindell has dug himself a hole so deep he can’t even see the rim anymore. It is the price of faith and overconfidence. One might even call it hubris.