Why do people like Joe Rogan?

This is a question I’ve been grappling with for about three years now. For those of you who are somehow unaware of who Joe Rogan is, allow me to give you a short background. Joe Rogan first came into the public eye as a comedian who hosted the popular television game show Fear Factor back in the early-to-mid-2000s. Since then, he has become a commentator for UFC, and developed the most-listened-to podcast in the world. Rogan’s daily listenership is well over 10 million. For reference, the next closest daily podcast belongs to the New York Times, whose The Daily podcast brings in about 4 million listeners per episode.

Do you know that name? You should. If there was any decency in this world, the name Kristal Bayron-Nieves would be more famous than the names Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, Rayshard Brooks, or even George Floyd. Like the others, Kristal Bayron-Nieves was killed. However, unlike the others, the reason you don’t know her name is because she was not killed by a white man or a police officer.

Apparently, if you want to make your political or social point stick, a sure-fire way to get a win in your favor is to have major organizations, or even the dictionary itself, change the definition of a word or a term to fit your narrative. In recent years, we have seen the definitions of a variety of pronouns change, as well as “woman,” “court-packing,” and most recently, “racism.”

Frequent readers of this column are well-aware of my animosity of victim culture. Somehow, we have arrived in a time where one’s victimhood status is celebrated, and the more victimized groups one can associate with, the higher status that person has in society, even – and this is the key – if that person has not personally been victimized. This is as if to say that if one person belonging to a community has been victimized, the whole community can claim victimization.

Most of you reading this will know my name because of the articles you read on a somewhat regular basis. But I actually have another job. I run special projects for a company that services nursing homes and home-bound patients. For the last few months, my primary project has been the acquisition and distribution of monoclonal antibodies (mAB). Without getting into too much clinical detail, mAB are a treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions, and they have come to the attention of the general public recently for their effectiveness in handling COVID-19.

If you tend to find yourself on the Right side of the political aisle, you have undoubtedly been beaten over the head over the past few years about the importance of free speech. The freedom to express yourself is at the very heart of a functional society, and anyone who looks for ways to skirt this fundamental principle is not only attacking a basic concept in American thought, but is also harming others in two major ways. First, when an unpopular opinion is silenced, people who find themselves agreeing with that opinion are galvanized to play the victim. “See!” they shout from their proverbial soap boxes, “the other side cannot argue with us so they try to silence us.” While this is a strong reason to not silence dissenting opinions, it is not entirely relevant to this week’s conversation.

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