Democrats attacking Joe Rogan are missing the point

Austin Distel / Unsplash

Joe Rogan, perhaps the most prolific podcast host on the planet, said he would rather vote for President Trump than former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday.

The mixed martial arts commentator and comedian has been critical of Biden’s apparent cognitive state ever since the former Vice President has emerged as the Democratic front-runner back in early March. In Friday’s edition of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan rehashed these concerns with guest Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital.

“I want a choice of an actual president that’s viable. I don’t have one,” said Weinstein. “Now you’re going to ask me ‘which of the non-viable people do you like best?’ I can’t vote for [Biden]. I can’t vote for Trump.”

“I can’t vote for [Biden],” Rogan replied. “I’d rather vote for Trump than him. I don’t think he can handle anything.”

The conversation bears disturbing similarities to those had by many 2016 voters when deciding between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s gone viral, too. Even President Trump himself Retweeted the sound bite on Saturday afternoon.

The clip has prompted a slew of backlash against Rogan, a Bernie Sanders supporter, for his refusal to support the party’s front-runner. Many Democrats are even calling for Sanders to denounce Rogan’s statement, citing that he is responsible for the “harmful” rhetoric of his supporters voicing concerns over Joe Biden as the nominee.

These Democrats seem to be missing the point, however.

Rogan is less concerned with Biden’s political stances as much as his apparent speech and memory problems. The podcast host believes that these issues are going to help solidify President Trump’s reelection in November.

“You can’t let this slide because everyone else sees it,” said Rogan about Biden’s mental state in a conversation with fellow comedian Joey Diaz. “Trump is going to eat him alive. He’s going to eat that guy alive. [Biden] can barely remember what he’s talking about while he’s talking.”

Rogan’s criticism of Joe Biden is being echoed by progressives throughout the country, who are concerned that another lesser-of-two-evils primary could result in Trump’s victory. His opinion illustrates that of a non-partisan American swing voter, which proved to be a crucial demographic in the 2016 general election.

Several progressive pundits have come out in defense of Rogan’s statements, citing similar concerns over Biden’s status as the potential Democratic nominee. Founder and host of The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, had this to say on Saturday via Twitter:

“We need to win over independents not push them away. Establishment strategy of insulting actual independents while trying to win over 7 rich Republicans in the suburbs is proven disaster. That’s how we already lost to Trump once. We need the Rogans of the world on our side.”

Progressive think tank and nonprofit The Gravel Institute issued a similar statement on Twitter that day:

“The fact that Joe Rogan would rather vote for Donald Trump than Joe Biden is not an indictment of Bernie Sanders. It’s an indictment of Joe Biden.”

Rogan’s words should raise questions about the candidates that are continuously pushed by establishment Democrats. Why can’t progressives get behind Joe Biden? Why isn’t our candidate appealing to more Independents and Republicans? These are the questions that the DNC and centrist Democratic leaders should be asking themselves.

Instead, Rogan’s so-called “Trump endorsement” is being used as ammunition to place blame on progressives if Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign ultimately fails and Donald Trump is elected yet again. It will again be the fault of Sanders supporters for not uniting the Democratic party strongly enough to defeat the Republicans. Minimal blame will be thrown towards the DNC for backing another neoliberal candidate, this time with ongoing sexual assault allegations, and who many fear is in the midst of severe cognitive decline.

Ironically enough, Sanders has committed on multiple occasions to supporting Biden if he receives the nomination. Biden, when asked the same back in late January if the roles were reversed, was unable to do so.

“I’m not going to make judgments now,” Biden said just before the Iowa caucuses. “I just think that it depends upon how we treat one another between now and the time we have a nominee.”

Public policy nerd, basic income advocate, MMA fanatic

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