Much of yesterday was spent going back and forth with Joe Rogan and some of his Twitter followers about my piece calling him out for promoting anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories.
While I enjoyed the polite exchange with Rogan, his fans unwittingly proved virtually everything I had said about them in my article. I argued that Rogan’s promotion of the many baseless accusation Clinton faces along with the notion that she would be “just as bad” as Trump is extremely irresponsible, particularly given many of his conspiracy theory prone followers.
True to form, his fans laid into me (and continue to do so) with a level of venom usually confined to the Youtube comment section on World Star Hip Hop videos. I’ve been likened to a Nazi, called a Zionist asshole, told I’m a shit journalist, and so on. I’ve been writing online for many years so don’t take any of this personally, but I have to confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the onslaught.
The amount of nonsensical garbage his followers have been posting ‘proving’ Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, evil megalomaniac though, has been the most revealing part of the exchange. Here are some examples:
Ben you're delusional, name one good thing the Clinton foundation has done that has done good by people? #Haiti
— unikorn (@Shane_Lawless_) September 1, 2016
@BenCohenTDB Ben only 4℅ of the millions the Clinton Foundation received went to Charity. Shut it down put Killary in prison
— Charles Holbrook (@Boss0tn) September 2, 2016
— BOHICA (@BOHICA_2) September 2, 2016
Just look at Haiti. Clinton foundation is a scam. Want lots of evidence, listen to https://t.co/zJP49h5etb
— Richardbt (@Richardbt) September 2, 2016
Then there were comments like this on the article itself:
It is like deciding whether you wish to be eaten by a Lion Or a Shark , the result is the same.But Seriously they are both in the Boys Club , they are both establishment members so it does not matter which ones gets in.Anyway we have WW3 starting on the 26th November , all scripted in advance as usual , if you understand the Illuminati code then you would know this as fact , i can tell you when it ends and the date the Nukes go off.All revolves around Saturn as JOE ROGAN knows only to well.As Joe is in the Club also , FACT 100%
While Rogan himself tweeted out some more rationale, substantive pieces pointing to Clinton’s potential corruption and cronyism (although nothing I read found anything illegal), the vast majority was utter nonsense.
It would be unfair to blame Rogan for any of this — we’ve had our share of lunatic readers injecting their own special brand of stupid into our comments section. But I do think he needs to recognize that a good portion of his audience are particularly vulnerable to and hang on to his every word. When this is the case, you have to be extremely careful with statements you make, especially when it comes to an election as important as this one.
During my exchange with Rogan, he appeared to think I was saying we shouldn’t talk about any of the Hillary Clinton scandals. This wasn’t actually my point at all, and I fear my main argument was lost in all of this.
The major conspiracy I am accusing Rogan of spreading is not any particular scandal Clinton has allegedly been involved in, but the notion that she is some “just as bad” as Donald Trump.
I have written a fair amount about why I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton in the past, and I don’t believe she is the best candidate for president. While I believe much of the evidence of her wrong doings are either baseless or over exaggerated, this isn’t to say she is completely innocent and should not be scrutinized. Hillary Clinton is a politician and she has risen to power the same way every other American politician has — through cutthroat maneuvering, being connected to the right people, and knowing what to say and to whom.
However, Clinton has also been subjected to a degree of scrutiny virtually no other politician in history has had to go through — almost certainly due to her being a woman — so it is inevitable that some transgressions will show up.
When compared to Donald Trump and his extraordinary history of lying, bullying and cheating, Hillary Clinton looks like the second coming of Gandhi. While Clinton is not always forthcoming with the truth and has a history of political triangulation, Donald Trump lies so often he literally can’t keep track of what he has said from one moment to another. Not only that, but Trump is so woefully unqualified to be anywhere near the White House that it would take an army of highly experienced career politicians to ensure he didn’t wreck the economy and start a nuclear war with China during his first week in office. And as we know, the people he is surrounding himself with are equally as stupid as he is, so there’s little hope he’d make any changes should he win in November. I mean, does Rogan really think that Sean Hannity would be a good addition to the the US government?
Clinton on the other hand, has always surrounded herself with extremely smart and competent people who will disagree with her when necessary, and will provide sane, intelligent advice on how to run the country effectively. I don’t generally hang around with the political crowd in DC, but I am familiar with several people who have and still do work for her, and I have always been incredibly impressed by them. I didn’t agree with them on many issues, but their competence and intelligence was never, ever in question.
The fact remains that a Donald Trump presidency would be an absolute catastrophe, while a Hillary Clinton presidency would not. We know for certain that Clinton wouldn’t attempt to nuke America’s enemies because “we can”. We know for a fact Hillary Clinton would not dismantle social security as Trump may well do. We know for a fact that Clinton would take global warming very, very seriously as opposed to writing it off as a Chinese hoax, and we know for a fact she wouldn’t take 5 different positions on women’s reproductive rights and would remain steadfastly pro choice.
The truth is, Joe Rogan wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of a Trump presidency. If shit hit the fan, he has enough money to get up and leave. He won’t be subjected to effects of severe cuts to public education, anti poverty programs, and the looming threat of deportation. Poor people, minorities and women are going to lose under a Trump presidency, and lose very, very badly.
I am not suggesting Rogan or anyone else stops discussing Hillary Clinton scandals — but I am suggesting they be put in perspective, particularly given how unbelievably bad the alternative is. I would also suggest looking at the actual allegations against her without the lens of dedicated anti-Hillary crusaders and matching them with reality.
If you do, it becomes impossible to say that both sides are “just as bad”, because the evidence clearly shows they just aren’t.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.