The Corner

Elections

Joe Rogan’s Endorsement of Bernie Makes Zero Sense

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Council Bluffs, Iowa, November 8, 2019. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Though I’m not a regular listener to Joe Rogan’s podcast, when I do tune in I find him to be refreshingly open-minded, smart, and engaging. But Rogan’s stated justification for voting for Bernie Sanders makes no sense:

I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie . . . He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from.

“Consistency” is often an admirable quality because it means you have principles, but consistency doesn’t tell us anything about the ethics or efficacy of the principles you hold. People who spend 55 years rigidly clinging to the same set of ideas they held in their early 20s are often people unwilling to incorporate facts, empirical evidence, and historical lessons into their puerile, utopian thinking. Rogan, an autodidact, it seems to me, is not that kind of person.

Sanders, though, certainly qualifies. He’s held the same antiquated collectivist positions — there isn’t a single policy proposal I can think of that he supports that doesn’t in some way entail compelling Americans to do things — from the days of radical writing in college through his defense of the Iranian hostage-takers to his Soviet Union honeymoon with fellow travelers to watching Venezuelans eat their pets — because he’s an ideologue. Rogan is a liberal — from what I can gather more of genuine old-school liberal than most Democrats these days — so maybe he legitimately admires Bernie’s underlying economic positions. But empowering ideologues with “powerful structures” is not a healthy combination. It’s also not a very good reason to support a politician.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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