The Joe Rogan Voter
This demographic could make an impact in 2024
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now running as an independent. Commentators wonder whether this will hurt Donald Trump or Joe Biden more. RFK Jr. was a life-long Democrat but most of his positions appeal to Republicans. Some bitter supporters of Ron DeSantis threaten to vote for Kennedy if Trump is the nominee again.
It’s unclear how many Republicans or Democrats RFK would attract in an independent bid. But there is one demographic he can rely on. That’s the Joe Rogan voter. This is a new constituency that doesn’t quite fit into the traditional parties, and it may determine the next election if it turns out at the ballot box.
Joe Rogan voters are fans of the popular podcaster and share his politics. Rogan is no one’s idea of liberal, but he’s also far from a typical conservative. He pretty much accepts modern America as it is. He supports gay marriage and drug legalization. He boasts several tattoos and uses “vulgar” language on his podcast. He fails every tenet of the Greerhead Pledge and no one would mistake him as a social conservative.
However, Rogan has emerged as a popular figure among right-leaning people, thanks to his skepticism of the COVID vaccine, hostility towards lockdowns, and aversion to wokeness. Rogan still opposes any label for himself and likes to differentiate himself from conservatives. He claimed last year that he was a “bleeding heart liberal and complained that Republicans target “abortion rights” and gay marriage.
But few believe he’s actually a bleeding heart liberal. He’s something else, and many of his listeners are in the same category. RFK Jr. found a very receptive audience to his message when Rogan had him on his show. The one interview kickstarted the then-Democrat’s campaign. RFK Jr.’s message resonated with Rogan’s audience.
Rogan has nearly 15 million subscribers. The Joe Rogan Voter may not be every single subscriber, but it is a mentality prevalent in modern America–and it lends to support for RFK and other candidates that don’t fit the traditional Democratic or Republican mold. It is truly neither left nor right.
For years, the Dissident Right wished for a movement that was “neither left nor right.” They imagined something along the lines of National Bolshevism. Instead, we got Roganism, which is far more libertarian than the collectivst fantasies of the internet right.
But what exactly is Roganism? Let’s look at its distinctive elements.
The Roganists do not like woke. Their favorite personalities rail against the excesses of the Left all the time. They can’t believe companies now require gender pronouns and comedians have to censor their jokes. They think drag queen story hour goes too far. They want the America of the 1990s back, the time when Saturday Night Live could make fun of protected classes without cancellation. The Roganists want a multicultural America where everyone can rap to their favorite lyrics without losing their jobs. Their hostility towards wokeness is mostly concerned with the superficial aspects of it they see on TV. The average Rogan voter could not give you a solid definition of wokeness. They know it’s some form of super political correctness, but that’s it. If you handed them a copy of Richard Hanania’s The Origins of Woke, they might not get it. The anti-wokeness position still makes them hate censorship and the Left’s insanity. But it doesn’t lead them to wanting to dismantle the Civil Rights regime.
Skeptical of Authority
The libertarian aspect of Roganism makes them skeptical, and even outright hostile to authority. They hated the vax mandates imposed on them by the likes of Anthony Fauci. They hated the lockdowns that limited their lives. They’re very open to “conspiracy theories” that prove the malevolence of our rulers. They really don’t like being told what to do. This sentiment can lead to good things, such as not believing everything the mainstream media spouts. It can also lead to stupidity, such as support for criminal justice reform and hostility toward police. They also get a little bit too worked up about unserious matters, such as JFK theories and UFOs. But if it sticks it to the man–and isn’t too “extreme”--Roganists want to hear about it.
The Rogan voter hates foreign interventions. The podcaster supported Tulsi Gabbard in the 2020 Democratic primary because of her anti-interventionist views. Rogan and RFK have both been critical of America’s funding of the Ukraine war. They believe America should work to enact peace in Eastern Europe. Their audience prefers America return home and leave the world be. Foreign policy is an important part of RFK’s campaign, and he’s more non-interventionist than nearly all presidential candidates. The Rogan audience digs this. They gravitated to Gabbard in 2019 for the same reasons.
Rogan’s economic views are ambiguous, to say the least. This is a man who, in the past, supported Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders. Paul and Sanders are at the exact opposite ends on the economic spectrum. Rogan supported the two candidates for non-economic reasons. Rogan claims he’s different from Republicans in that he cares about “income inequality.” He also says he supports universal healthcare. RFK is in the same boat. This issue distinguishes Roganists from typical libertarians. Rogan will never deliver a soliloquy on the glories of the free market. His focus is on other things.
Accepts Modern America
The biggest difference between Roganists and the Right is the acceptance of modern America. The “New Right,” Dissident Right, and many normiecons see contemporary America as a dystopia threatened by demographic replacement and cultural degeneracy. Rogan and his audience see problems in America, but they’re ultimately fine with many of the social changes that upset right-wingers. After all, Rogan is pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-immigration, pro-weed, and pro-diversity. This is not a culture warrior. He and his audience just think wokeness has gone too far and they don’t like liberals telling them how to live their lives. Unlike Trump, Rogan doesn’t think America is going to hell. The country just needs to let politically incorrect comedies be produced again.
How many people constitute this demographic isn’t clear. But the popularity of his show and similar ones (such as Russell Brand’s and Tim Dillon’s) show that this is a big market. People have noticed this before. A few years ago, the media went crazy over the “Intellectual Dark Web.” That term is only used mockingly now and doesn’t really describe the Rogan phenomenon. IDW evokes an off-brand neo-reaction. Rogan is not that at all. He’s much more populist in his style.
RFK would certainly be a favorite among this demographic. But this demographic could also become a Republican constituency. There’s no place in the Democrats for those who oppose wokeness and mask mandates. It’s getting even harder for those who oppose war to stay within the Democratic fold. If Roganists wanted to vote against the “man,” their best option is with the GOP.
This is a real phenomenon. People are tuning out of the mainstream media and turning to Rogan and his ilk. These people aren’t really “red-pilled,” but they’re aware enough of the problems to be taken on the right path. Millions of people listen to a man who tells them to question the regime and open their mind to dangerous ideas. Rogan’s ideas on what that means differs from that of nationalists, but he plants the seed for future growth.
The Joe Rogan Voter presents an opportunity. The proper pitch can win them over to the Right.