Joe Rogan’s Voice is Changing the Country

How does celebrity podcaster Joe Rogan’s impact on popular culture affect young people?


Photo Courtesy: Rolling Stone

The Joe Rogan Experience, a highly popular podcast with almost 20 million downloads every month, seems to have been woven into the very fabric of our media-consuming, internet-driven culture. People and perhaps specifically young men ages 16-35, of all political persuasions and economic backgrounds seem drawn to this strange man. Why does a retired UFC commentator and stand up comedian have such a deep influence on our society?

While preparing for this article I read many different accounts of Joe Rogan’s daily routine. It seems to me that the only person who has their day to day activities observed and recorded by journalists more than Joe Rogan is the President of The United States. That might be because Joe Rogan devotes himself to the hobbies and interests that he finds most rewarding. Exercise is very important to him, he usually spends his mornings working out with the intensity of somebody who is either highly motivated or clinically insane. Later, he usually records one or two of his three-hour, conversation style podcasts. After a couple of hours of other hobbies like archery or jiu-jitsu, he unwinds at the end of the day by smoking either marijuana or a healthy amount of the psychedelic drug, DMT. Joe Rogan’s lifestyle and philosophy are so attractive to young men because, including time spent being a good husband and father, he seems to center his life around the things that he is most passionate about. An unfulfilled dream for many, many people in this country. There are millions who feel stuck, and unable to make the changes necessary to start living the lives they want to lead. The kind of release from mundanity that people feel listening to him is very real. 

Like a Walter Cronkite for the information age, Joe Rogan has become a figure that is trusted by people on all sides of the political spectrum. With guests that range from voices like Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders to Ben Shapiro and even Alex Jones, he sits down and listens to everyone, regardless of whether or not he agrees with them. Joe Rogan is very difficult to put into a political box. He has described his views as being mostly liberal, with the obvious exception being his feelings about gun rights. However, I believe that it is more complex than that. When he sits down with somebody that doesn’t walk his political line, he first tries to find everything that they agree on. As he focuses on that, we find that he and his guests usually share a lot of ideas in common. It’s not that he is afraid of confrontation. In fact, he welcomes it and some of his podcasts take a turn for the uncomfortable every once and a while for the sake of ideological integrity. It seems to me that he believes that if people in this country tried to understand each other’s views rather than attack them, national political discussions would become much more effective. In a world of reactionary politics and toxic discourse, he composes himself as a sane, rational adult.

Joe Rogan’s values are American values. He believes in freedom of speech and expression, so much so that he has become an enemy of the politically correct, “woke” mindset that has plagued the political left in recent years. He has become a crusader against those who strive to silence those that disagree with them, and he protects voices that are different from his. He also has many conversations with folks who hold similar classical-liberal attitudes in order to start a cultural conversation about protecting the first amendment in the internet age. He also strongly believes in hard work and individualism. According to him, people should strive to think of themselves as heroes in their own stories. The mastery over their lives that he is encouraging young people to have is already making a considerable impact on Generation Z. It will be interesting to see the fruits of his labors as more people in our generation start gaining a political voice. Let’s use that voice to steer ourselves towards intellectual liberty and self-determination. Let’s make Joe proud.