Is anyone else tired of the stranglehold the two major parties have over American politics?
I know I sure am – especially this election cycle when the Democratic National Committee is using their monopoly on debates to winnow the field prematurely before a single primary has been had.
Every month, there’s a new fundraising deadline with new polling requirements – which always seems to benefit the establishment moderates a little more than the handful of outsider candidates in the race. In fact, it was the recent treatment of Andrew Yang – who, according to his fourth-quarter fundraising numbers, should absolutely be in the January debate – that started me down the road of looking for alternative options.
That’s when I realized; there’s only one person who can save our democracy now: Joe Rogan. The most successful podcaster on the planet is the man with the tools and the voice to free us from this corrupt, political monopoly that continually leaves voters with nothing better to do but cast a ballot for the “lesser of the two evils.”
Yeah, yeah – I Know There Are Rules Against this Sort of Thing
Yes, I am fully aware that the Democratic Party has rules against candidates showing up together to the same events without the party’s approval. Just hear me out – I’m not sure the DNC’s rules are really going to matter. I’ll touch more on that later.
First, I’ve got some begging and pleading to do…
My Public Plea to Joe Rogan
“Life is short, break the rules.”
Joe Rogan (I can’t start a sentence that way without the voice of Joey Diaz echoing through my head), your country needs you!
Whether it was your intention or not – I’m betting not – you have become the voice of a generation. With your podcast — and the network of podcasts formed in its wake — you’ve disrupted the balance of power in mainstream media, and have proven there’s still a place for long-form conversation, in which participants are able to craft fully fleshed-out ideas, in today’s culture.
You’ve introduced us to the aforementioned Joey Diaz and his upsettingly large testicles; to Duncan Trussell — who is down to only one of his own since we first met; to Ari Shaffir, Tom Segura, Paul Stamets, toxoplasmosis, DMT, Elon Musk smoking weed on video, float tanks, some of the most insane Alex Jones moments ever recorded, and a million other comedians, ideas, and weird animal facts.
The vast majority of the internet thanks you for your contributions to the past decade; unfortunately, we have to ask for more.
Piggybacking off the momentum of Ricky Gervaise’s scathing Golden Globes opening, we need you to provide the final death blow to the greedy, corrupt, pompous, and uncaring corpse of the old media. Those rich bastards in their ivory towers, clinging onto “wokeness” as a kind of perverted weapon used to claim the moral high ground have it coming.
Now, I know you probably don’t desire the added attention and scrutiny that such a disruptive move would trigger, so, hopefully, I’ll be able to appeal to your sense of duty and simple right and wrong.
As you are probably aware, the Democratic National Committee has rules against this sort of thing.
From what I understand, any of the candidates who appear together in such an event – outside the sanctioned events, organized by party officials and their media chums – will be disqualified from the rest of the debates.
But here’s the thing: The debates, thus far, have been an unfair shit-show – with arbitrary and ridiculous qualification criteria, uneven speaking time, and manipulative lines of questioning – meant to deliver the nomination to the Democratic Party elite’s candidate of choice at the end. So, what would anyone really be missing?
“Carving your own path gets you to greatness quicker than following someone else’s trail.”
The American people desperately need the opportunity to see their candidates sit down, communicate, and work through complicated subject matter like real human beings do. The current debate format serves as nothing more than a chance for overly polished politicians to fire off short, rehearsed, soundbites with no real discussion or fact-checking to be had.
Joe Biden tells a quick lie about his voting record for the war with Iraq and Rachel Maddow – or some other limousine liberal – steps in to play defense and moves the show along to the next topic before anyone can retort. As a country, we’d be exponentially better off letting our politicians speak, at length, about a wide variety of ideas.
Even if they make the occasional mistake, it’d be better than this fake, plastic “I believe that the American people…” horseshit they’re feeding us now. Don’t let them continue to obscure the truth and shade the conversations in a way that fits the MSNBC / CNN narrative.
Arbitrary Qualification Nonsense
And don’t let them continue to use these BS debate qualification criteria to keep voices like Andrew Yang down! These bozos use poll numbers to decide who gets to participate but then haven’t collected new data for some of the early state polls since mid-November.
If we’re trying to put the most popular candidates on stage before the American electorate, how does that make any sense? Oh, and they’ve refused the Yang campaign’s request to conduct more polling, which would give us a real up-to-date picture of the race and likely result in their candidate qualifying.
You’re the only person with a platform large enough to offset what the candidates would lose by being disqualified from future debates while giving your country a better alternative for getting to know their options.
Everything in society is moving towards authenticity and reality over the plastic facades and sugarcoated “PR” of yesteryear – it’s why podcasts have replaced late-night talk shows in the first place.
It’s time to take the next step, which is cutting the corrupt political parties out of as much of the process as possible until we force them back to the table in a fair and transparent way.
What is the DNC REALLY Going to Do About It?
Now, assuming Joe Rogan agrees to serve his country this way – the first thing we must address is the penalty for participating in an unsanctioned debate. When Tulsi Gabbard was asked about the very possibility I’m writing this article about, she explained that the DNC would ban any candidate who attends such an event from all future Democratic debates (this election cycle).
Ratings / Viewership
The most recent Democratic debate in Los Angeles, only drew an audience of 6.17 million viewers, down from the 6.5 million who watched in November. Ratings have been on a continual decline since the party’s first debate of the election cycle – a two-night affair in June, that was seen by 18.1 million people.
Meanwhile, the Joe Rogan Experience saw viewership totals exceeding 10 million for Bernie Sanders, back in August – and that was just on YouTube! Andrew Yang’s episode was watched 4.8 million times on the streaming video platform. Coupled with podcast downloads, and the JRE is being consumed by far more voters than the traditional debate broadcasters at this point!
Plus, with the amount of turmoil this change from the norm will cause – and attention it will bring — I think it’s reasonable to expect the Joe Rogan debate to see dramatically higher numbers than normal – even for him! The more accurate comparison is probably the Elon Musk interview, which was watched over 28 million times on YouTube alone.
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”
So, again, what does a candidate really lose by attending a Joe Rogan debate, at the expense of the remaining DNC-orchestrated clown shows? Especially if a group of the most interesting people in the race all decide to get banned together?
Assuming that Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and – maybe – Amy Klobuchar will all refuse to cross the Democratic Party; who is watching a debate with only them three on stage? Nobody!
Hell, I’m not even sure Joe Biden would show up to a debate with so few participants. His entire strategy in December was to minimize his speaking time. The Biden campaign finally learned that the longer they let their guy ramble, the more likely it was that he’d accidentally say something crazy – or even worse – tell the truth, which isn’t ideal with his voting history on Capitol Hill.
And while I can absolutely see a scenario in which Mayor Pete is thrilled to stand up on stage alone spouting various McKinseyisms, I’m not sure anybody else wants to watch it. Senator Klobuchar is entertaining when she’s verbally kicking Pete in the ribs here and there, but again, it’s not a show too many people will be scheduling their nights around.
Admittedly, Elizabeth Warren is a bit of a wild card. More on her in a bit.
A Plea to the Candidates
Joe Rogan won’t be able to do this alone.
He can provide the platform and the audience, but the candidates must be willing to take a chance as well. In this section, I’d like to make a case to each of them, to break the shackles of the Democratic Party’s corrupt practices.
But, surely, you know the Democratic Party isn’t going to give you a fair shot at winning the nomination, right? I’m not saying you can’t build the support or that you won’t deserve to win; I’m just saying they won’t let you – not within the confines of the rigged game the DNC has created. To upset the status quo, you’ll have to be aggressively disruptive.
Your struggles trying to qualify for the January debate is what made me start thinking about alternative options in the first place. This is an opportunity to make party officials pay for using old poll numbers and arbitrary metrics to limit debate participation, effectively winnowing the field without the input of the American people.
You’re an unconventional candidate preaching unconventional ideas. This sort of thing is entirely on-brand; you can’t say “no.”
To Bernie Sanders:
Senator Sanders, you’re the candidate with the power to make this plan work or not. Andrew and Tulsi are vital pieces, but it’s your involvement with the Joe Rogan Podcast debate that will act as the tipping point that brings us into a new era of pre-election discourse.
Come on, Bernie; you have got to still be pissed about what the Democratic Party did to you in 2016. The same people have an iron grip on the DNC now as they did then, and they’re still doing everything in their power to subtly undermine your campaign.
How many polls are MSNBC and CNN going to show where your higher point totals are “accidentally” switched with someone else’s on the graphic? How many times will one of your quotes be attributed to Elizabeth Warren? I believe you have the largest base of support – evidenced by your donor numbers and war chest – but, in the end, will any of it really make a difference?
According to a study done by a collection of Stanford and Berkley students, the odds that Hillary beat you in 2016 without widespread fraud are 1 in 77 billion. If they could pull that off, then they can certainly slide old Sleepy Joe Biden into the nomination after claiming he’s been leading in the polls all this time.
This is your chance to really shake things up and spit in the eye of the party elite who are never going to give you a fair shake. It’s one more step to removing their stranglehold on the overall process. Plus, you are one of the only candidates with a decades-long track record of consistent beliefs.
The long-form debate style benefits those who are honest and authentic and punishes the pols who rely on rehearsed statements and smoke and mirrors to score points. If you agree to this, people like Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete are more likely to get in line.
After the first JRE debate is watched by 30-million people, nobody is going to want to be stuck on MSNBC’s consolation stage. You’ve been going against the grain and introducing Americans to ideas that were once considered outlandish for years now; it’s time to push the envelope once again.
Not to criticize, but we both know that given the freedom of podcast conversation, it wouldn’t be long before you were talking about ol’ Corn Pop again, black kids petting your hairy legs in your lifeguarding days, and who knows what else.
The best thing you can do at this point is to minimize exposure to any kind of open forum over which your campaign managers and strategists can’t exercise strict control. You had the right idea last debate to just kinda coast after scoring some early points on foreign policy.
Now that things are escalating in Iran, you’ve got to avoid being called to the carpet on your voting record for the Iraq war.
MSNBC will gladly keep you away from those questions during their remaining debates, and nobody will know you’re senile (allegedly) until well after your campaign – or one presidential term – if you just stay the course.
To Elizabeth Warren:
From what I understand, you’ve got quite a few ex-Clinton staffers on your team these days – so, naturally, your first instinct will probably be to reject an idea like my podcast debate. But, here’s the thing: you might need this more than anybody in the race.
As I’m writing this, your campaign was the only one among top-tier candidates to have raised less money in the fourth quarter of 2019 than in the third. Your poll numbers across the nation are dropping, and for some reason, the people strategizing for you believe playing up how many selfies you’ve taken is a helpful response.
And, while you’ve generally performed extremely well in the televised debates, they don’t give you enough of an opportunity to carve out a lane for yourself between Biden/Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. But you’re fantastic at discussing the nuts and bolts of “policy.” Given some more time to layout and explain your policies and decisions could be the shot in the arm you need most right now!
If your team is smart, they’d probably have you walk back your slow rollout of Medicare for All too; that’s what lost you all the progressives and left you competing with Mayor Pete in the first place. You’ll score so many more points just saying you were wrong and having an in-depth discussion with the other candidates on Rogan’s show than following the path you’re currently on.
You’re a great candidate and should be one of the two favorites to win the nomination, but these Clinton strategists are leading you astray. Doing something as outrageous as defying the DNC’s orders to take a huge risk like this would immediately give you a boost in the standings; I guarantee it.
You know damn well they would never let you win the nomination — not unless you kissed Hillary Clinton’s ring first, went on MSNBC to beg forgiveness, and maybe even accused Bernie Sanders of working for Vladimir Putin.
I know that there’s a video in which you said that Joe Rogan couldn’t host a Democratic debate without breaking the rules, but I feel comfortable counting you as “in,” as long as we get a couple more candidates on board.
To Pete Buttigieg:
Nothing about your professional or political background suggests this idea would ever be an option for you, Mayor Pete – so, I won’t bother. I’m still fairly sure between your time with McKinsey and Naval Intelligence that you’re some kind of intelligence agency asset, and that alone makes me somewhat nervous about addressing you in this article at all.
That said, it’s a damn shame you’re such a goodie-two-shoes because you’d probably excel in a podcast debate. You’re probably the most vicious counter-puncher on stage – to the extent that I’m surprised the other candidates even try you anymore.
Last debate, it felt like you were cornered by three or four of the other candidates and just decided to bite down on your mouthguard, close your eyes, and start wailing haymakers – metaphorically speaking – which did give me a lot of respect for you.
I’m not crazy about your moderate Republican politics or campaign strategies, but you’re pretty damn formidable – especially for a guy running for a Democratic nomination with like 0% support from African Americans. Surviving this long, under those circumstances, is a feat in and of itself.
If Hillary Clinton could come across as a human being during a two-and-a-half interview with Howard Stern, you could do the same on the Joe Rogan Experience. I can’t imagine you’d consider it, but you should.
If you do agree to something this unconventional, it’ll have to be after people like Joe Biden and Mayor Pete agree first. No matter how far behind you fall, the debate moderators always treat you like one of the main presidential candidates and give you a disproportionately-long amount of speaking time, when compared to opponents raising far more money and performing much better in the polls.
So, while I think there’s a general likability there that would only be highlighted in a long-form podcast-style debate, you’re benefiting too much from the status quo to join in on the revolution, which is understandable.
To Tom Steyer:
I don’t know, Tom. We might not need any more screen time from you.
As someone living in a swing state, the sheer volume of your campaign commercials has become jarring. I’ve seen about as much Tom Steyer as I’m gonna need for this lifetime. That said, I like that crazy belt you’re always wearing in those videos. It kind of gives off that “not like other stuffy billionaires” vibe, which I do appreciate.
Actually, if given the opportunity, you probably should participate in a Joe Rogan Experience Democratic debate. It’ll provide you with a platform to show who you really are, other than the “rich climate change guy.” Plus, much like Michael Bloomberg, you don’t really need the debates; you can afford an unlimited number of advertisements regardless.
One Last Beg
“How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.”
Come on, Joe —
This will be a monumental gamechanger that’s ultimately better for everyone! Haven’t we all had enough of overly rehearsed empty suits lobbying to win the war of the one-liners up on the debate stage? Isn’t it time to inject some real substance back into our political process?
And, more than that, is there any other way to wrest back some control from the Democratic Party over who we nominate? If you watch closely, things are playing out in a way that feels eerily familiar to 2016; is that what anyone wants – a repeat of four years ago?
Rogan, you’ve already revolutionized a crucial aspect of the entertainment industry, and how comedians build an audience; now, we just need a little assistance in this other arena. Sure, some pissed off neoliberals will probably call you a “Russian asset” for a few weeks, as punishment for trying to deliver 1) the truth, and 2) an alternative to the current political power structure – but you have the audience size and reach to withstand it.