The Joe Rogan experience: presidential debate

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Joe Biden (from left), Joe Rogan and Donald Trump

Recently, Joe Rogan, famous podcast host, comedian and MMA commentator, stated he would want to host a debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump agreed, but Biden has yet to comment. The statement comes from one of his most recent podcast episodes on The Joe Rogan Experience

The idea is a concrete one. Rogan says he’d want them alone in a room for around four hours. He’d have them discuss their policies and why they should be president without interruption from a live audience or political media commentators. 

In theory, this could work, but maybe just not with Joe Rogan as host. 

Though his platform has over millions of subscribers, Joe Rogan is too controversial of a guy. He’s already stated he’d vote for Trump over Biden which automatically creates a bias. 

However if the debate was hosted by someone with the same credentials as Rogan, someone  who has experience interviewing a multitude of successful individuals and getting them to talk, then the debate would be a fair fighting ground. 

Someone like this could flesh out what it is exactly that these men want to do with their presidency. 

We are in the modern era. A shift this big should be expected and embraced. How interesting would it be to see a political debate with only one commentator and no live audience? The candidates would have to find new ways of selling themselves. Both Biden and Trump feed off Americans’ emotions, whether positive or negative ones, so it would be interesting to see how they handle being locked in a room alone together. I think we deserve to see that. True colors will be revealed very quickly. 

The candidacy for president is crucial for where America is headed next. Picking the right leader will define this moment in history. We are on the cusp of separation. With protests and counter protests, it’s easy to get caught up in the political drama that has swamped our country for decades. 

Social media has become our source of connection. Many have sought to weaponize it and use it to divide us even further. If we use this idea Rogan is proposing as a platform to hear the cases of the candidates, without interference from the media or the different political sides, we could enter a new age of debate in democracy. 

Now, why is this hard to accept? Obvious reasons are how scary and out of hand it could get. Surely some voters will get offended, some won’t care enough to listen and others will care too much. That’s the way we operate, it’s natural. But it  would be interesting to see how we use the unnatural, artificial intelligence we created and use on a daily basis. 

Unfortunately, television has become about personality and look. It’s focused less on policy and more on who’s the better showman. Holding a one-on-one debate marks a shift in how they could be run going forward. It’s impossible for a politician to talk smack for three to four hours without repeating themselves or running out of ways to say the other candidate isn’t fit to serve — though I’m sure they’ll try their hardest to dodge questions, but even then it will prove a challenge. It will take a new level of skill set to win. 

And that’s what we need from our mediator for this debate: someone who will push the candidates. The broadcast should have a host that is unbiased and is solely there to set the tone for the debate. Done correctly, this could change the future of election years. Just as television reached a wider audience and pulled more personality and emotion-based skills into play, this new way of holding debates could increase viewership and give voters a better idea of who to support. 

If Americans were to accept the call to change instead of casting it aside — which I’m sure most will — we are creating an opportunity to control the way in which we choose our next candidate.

I am not saying Joe Rogan is the best fit to host, but we should find someone with his same credentials that has a more unbiased political opinion to carry out his idea. However, there will always be a divided opinion on politics between the American people, the problem is rooted much deeper than who should host this potential podcast debate. 

Follow Hunter on Twitter @HunterBerube .