alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Joe Rogan becomes new face of 'Bernie or bust' by saying he'd vote for Trump over Biden

Image via Shutterstock.

This is what white privilege looks like:


The podcast host Joe Rogan has said he will vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in the presidential election, should the former vice-president be the Democratic nominee.

The comic was speaking on Friday’s edition of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which regularly tops the iTunes chart for downloads. Rogan has nearly 6m Twitter followers, regularly appears on television as a commentator on mixed martial arts, and is seen as an influential voice with young and blue-collar male voters.

During a conversation with guest Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, talk turned to the election. Weinstein, who works for the Trump-supporting tech mogul Peter Thiel, said he would not vote for Trump or Biden, the probable challenger in November.

Rogan, who has endorsed Bernie Sanders, said the party had made “morons” out of voters by appearing to favour Biden.

“I’d rather vote for Trump than [Biden],” said Rogan. “I don’t think [Biden] can handle anything. You’re relying entirely on his cabinet. If you want to talk about an individual leader who can communicate, he can’t do that. And we don’t know what the fuck he’ll be like after a year in office.

“The pressure of being president of the United States is something that no one has ever prepared for. The only one who seems to be fine with it is Trump, oddly enough.”

The president is 73 but Rogan said: “He doesn’t seem to be aging at all or in any sort of decline. Obama, almost immediately, started looking older. George W [Bush], almost immediately, started looking older.”

Biden will be 78 in November. Describing the former US senator as “very old”, Rogan said Biden’s famous verbal slip-ups were “not a normal way to communicate unless he’s high”.

By the way, another comedian who backed Sanders thinks it’s time for him to drop out:

Asked in a new interview by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should leave the 2020 Democratic primary, Larry David replied, “I feel he should drop out. Because he’s too far behind. He can’t get the nomination. And I think, you know, it’s no time to fool around here. Everybody’s got to support Biden.” The Seinfeld creator and Curb Your Enthusiasm star, who both plays the Vermont senator on Saturday Night Live and is distantly related to him, previously told Stephen Colbert that a Sanders presidency would be “great for the country” but “terrible” for him because of how frequently he would have to fly back in forth between Los Angeles and New York for SNL.

I understand that it’s a hard scenario for Sanders and his supporters right now. There’s a lot of pressure on him to drop out so we can coalesce around Biden and get ready to take down Trump. We also have a number of primaries delayed until June because of the coronavirus. I can understand why his supporters would want him to stay in the race but at this point, Sanders has a very narrow path to the nomination and it looks like voters have made up their minds about him and Biden. But Sanders team does acknowledge that the end is near and he will be supportive of Biden’s campaign. Matt Taibbi points out that Sanders and Biden actually like each other:

The Sanders campaign earlier this year suggested Bernie was about to go after Biden on Social Security and other issues in an Iowa debate, but Sanders ended up in a dispute with Elizabeth Warren instead. As understandable as this was — Bernie had to respond to Warren’s charges that he’d told her a woman couldn’t win — it mirrored a year-long pattern of reluctance by Sanders to engage “Scranton Joe.”

Ask people in and around Bernie’s orbit why this is the case, and you’ll get some depressing answers.

“I think Bernie likes Joe Biden,” says Mark Longabaugh.

“I think Bernie has a really hard time going negative,” says Matt Stoller.

“So much of what informs his relationship with people like Biden,” says the longtime former staffer, “is that experience of being the lone independent and outsider. Back then, if any one of those people treated him with respect, as a colleague, that was enough to ingratiate them with Bernie.”

The former aide sighs. “He doesn’t like Rahm Emmanuel, he doesn’t like Hillary Clinton,” he says. “But he’s okay with Biden, because Biden is nice to him.”

As for Rogan, I was never into him or his podcast. I don’t give Sanders shit for being interviewed or even endorsed by Rogan. I’m still a big fan of Bill Maher and I know people who really don’t like him either due to his past stances. But I bring Rogan up because he’s exhibiting Bernie Or Bust mentality that’s completely drenched in white privilege. Rogan has also pushed the narrative that Biden has dementia:

The "Joe Rogan Experience" host predicted that President Trump would eat Joe Biden alive in a general election: "Trump is going to eat him alive. He’s going to eat that guy alive. The guy can barely remember what he’s talking about while he’s talking."

"You have to be able to call out shit that’s wrong on your side. That’s the problem the Democratic Party is having right now with that Joe Biden guy. You guys have to be able to call it out. You can’t let this slide, because everybody else sees it, and Trump is going to eat him alive," Rogan said. "He’s going to eat that guy alive."

"The guy can barely remember what he’s talking about while he’s talking," Rogan said. "I'm looking at this like a medical condition."

It’s shit like this that pisses me off. I have family that are nurses and work in the medical field and it infuriates them that jackasses like Rogan, who have no medical degree or concrete evidence, pushes these bull shit smears as desperate attempts to take down Biden. The big argument for Rogan’s endorsement was that he would bring in voters who hate the Democratic establishment and would elevate Sanders. The primaries have proven that Sanders campaign failed to do just that. Guys like Rogan aren’t intelligent or insightful, they are bitter white guys who are pissed about not getting their way so they are willing to put the whole country in harm’s way. I’m a white, straight male and Biden wasn’t my first choice either. Sanders wasn’t my first or second choice either. I wanted Elizabeth Warren but I was always going to vote blue no matter who because I understand how serious this election is. I would also be proud to call Biden my President. Bernie Or Bust has never helped the Sanders campaign. Idiots like Rogan are only making voters sour on Sanders more.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close