Tensions within the Democratic Party reached a new level this week. The popular icon of the podcast world, Joe Rogan – who regularly attracts millions of views (his recent interview of Sanders has 11 million views on YouTube) – recently said that he would probably vote for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming primary. Sander’s campaign then made a short clip of the video as a kind of endorsement and released it on their site. This then sparked significant outrage among the LGBTQ community, citing that Rogan is a misogynist for comments he has made in the past — particularly his resistance to trans women fighting in women’s Mixed Martial Arts fights without disclosing that they used to be men. Rogan’s show, the Joe Rogan Experience, is known for being edgy and not sticking to norms of political correctness.
Rogan is a progressive democrat but his audience draws from the whole political spectrum as he is known for being willing to talk with anyone about anything. This has made him one of the more bipartisan voices in our culture today able to reach many different times of people, on the left and the right. Rogan noted Sander’s lifelong consistency of stance on numerous ideological and policy positions as a reason for his support. An endorsement from him is helpful for Sander’s battle to show he is electable to young swing voters. The tumult around Rogan’s endorsement has furthered the rifts in the Democratic Party, which is still reeling from the split between Warren and Sanders at the last debate.
This dispute has fractured the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Moveon.org asked Sanders to rescind their acceptance of the endorsement many others on twitter claimed that the endorsement puts members of the LGBTQ community at risk, per CNN and Slate published a piece which paints Rogan’s show as a platform for those who hate the ideas of the left. The very progressive comedian turned political commentator, Jimmy Dore took the other side of the argument on his show this week, stating that this is about the fact that Bernie is surging in the polls and the democratic establishment is terrified of him and will sacrifice anyone to stop him. Vox perhaps summed up the feud best with an article detailing what the split might mean for democrats.
“This is one of the most revealing spats in the 2020 primary so far. It touches on a core moral question about politics: What views should render someone unacceptable in polite discourse? It’s also a dispute about how to win in 2020. Should Democrats water down some of their commitments to win over potential Trump voters and, if so, which views?”– Zack Beauchamp, Vox
The political right has mostly stayed silent on what looks to be an internal struggle. Ben Shapiro, did, however, defended Rogan saying that the left is attempting to cancel him. Shapiro noted that he couldn’t disagree with Sander’s platform more yet he feels that the attempt to cancel Rogan was not something we should allow. Shapiro pointed out the hypocrisy of the left for accepting endorsements from some questionable people and not others.
“For the Woke Police, it is far more disqualifying for Bernie that he just touted the endorsement of [Joe Rogan], a person who says biological sex exists, than that Bernie has endorsed every communist regime of the last several decades and campaigns with anti-Semites.”– Ben Shapiro