The Hollywood scene used to be filled with Joe Rogans — free spirits who spoke their minds. Sure, liberals dominated the world of entertainment, but non-liberals, at least those who had already made it or who possessed a certain level of moral courage, could, and did, speak out.
The era of free speech has come to a close in the stultifying conformity of wokeness. Wrong think is punishable by cancellation. Bigger celebrities can fight it, for a time, but most eventually bend. It’s simply too exhausting a struggle. A paycheck is more enticing than trying to dialogue with a mob. The mob isn’t interested in reason, or even democracy. They want… something, and they want it now.
“I’m outta here, I’m gonna go to Texas.”, “I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country, somewhere it’s easier to travel to both places, and somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom.” “economic despair” and a “homelessness problem has accelerated radically over the last six, seven, 10 years…”Joe Rogan
Rogan isn’t just griping. His comments are fundamentally a political critique of California’s one-party governance by the increasingly far left.
On the surface, a casual observer would think Rogan should be perfectly at home in California. His eclectic views include support of recreational drug use and two progressive staples: universal basic income and universal health care. But Rogan also favors Second Amendment gun rights. He endorsed Ron Paul for president in 2012, Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2016, and said he’d “probably” vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary. But after Sanders dropped out, Rogan committed the apostacy of saying he’d “rather vote for Trump than Biden.”
This sort of statement — really, anything short of total denunciation of Pres. Trump — is likely to get you uninvited from a lot of parties in Hollywood, even if you did just sign a $100 million-plus contract with Spotify for a wildly popular podcast.
And Joe Rogan isn’t alone. According to a poll in late 2019 from U.C. Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, 74 percent of California’s very conservative voters say they’re looking into moving, with 84 percent of those citing California’s increasingly hostile political mono culture as their rationale. Which makes sense. Rogan is wealthy, well-known and powerful, while the average California small business owner or employee is subject to being canceled at a moment’s notice, losing both livelihood and “friends.”
As Rogan and other creatives look to move out, exchanging good weather for “more freedom,” what are the other factors that might turn a trickle into a flood?
The most salient one is taxes. California has the highest individual state income tax rate in the nation, 13.3 percent. Moving to Texas could save Rogan more than $13 million on his recently inked Spotify agreement.
The second reason is artistic license. California is fast becoming what it claims to hate: conformist. And, if everything is subject to the same ideologically approved groupthink, there can be no creativity.
Lastly, the surging metro violence, including the looting and the arson, unsettles many longtime residents of leftist-ruled cities. Unlike past periods of urban upheaval, this one has an unusual pattern — it’s overtly political.