Joe Rogan, the former actor, stand-up comedian, and host of
one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the world (I think the Heck Podcast is
up there too), shocked a lot of people last week by endorsing Bernie Sanders
for president. At first blush it is a bit surprising. Rogan has carved out a
reputation for being anti-establishment, anti-PC, and pro-individual liberty.
That’s not exactly Bernie Sanders.
Oh, it’s certainly true that for much of his political
career, Bernie’s socialism has made him an outsider. But that isn’t the same
thing as anti-establishment. Sanders’ ideology wouldn’t dismantle the
establishment, it would expand it. And when it comes to drinking from the cup
of political correctness, when it comes to trampling individual rights (save
the “right” for women to have their offspring killed with impunity), Sanders
takes a backseat to no one.
But Rogan said that what attracts him to Bernie is his
Obviously this isn’t an overly thoughtful approach to
political endorsements. A person can be consistently wrong his entire life.
What should matter to us isn’t the consistency, it’s the wrongness. But let’s
be fair, Rogan’s reputation is not that of a serious, critical thinker in the
first place. Still, his endorsement was enough to draw the ire of leading
I sympathize with Levin’s frustration. But as someone who
wants to see the ultimate failure of progressive ideology, I actually think
this Rogan endorsement is going to end up being a great thing. Why? Because as
Bernie embraces it, the left is eating itself. Behold:
To be clear, there are plenty of others on the left who are
pushing back against those so angry about the endorsement. They are logically
recognizing that the infighting only helps Trump. Pushing for ideological
purity, demonizing as an unwanted enemy any otherwise supportive voice that
doesn’t match your own perspective perfectly is a recipe for four more years.
And that’s why I think Levin and other conservatives
bewildered by a libertarian like Rogan endorsing a socialist like Sanders,
should just let it be. Far more than discouraging Trump’s base, the Rogan
endorsement (and Bernie’s celebration of it) has intensified a conflict on the
left that extends far beyond mere rivalry. The knives are out as progressives
turn on other progressives and the fallout from it all could easily be enough
to make a difference in what will likely be a very close election.