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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Cults of personality shouldn’t be condemned


In a Bloomberg Interview last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom used the phrase “micro cults” to describe the ever-growing fanbases of some pop culture figures. 

Referencing Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate, the progressive politician warned his listeners to be aware of their children getting involved in these micro cults. 

While he may have a point about the obsessive nature of some podcast fans, the bandwagon behind Newsom isn’t much different than the “cults” he speaks of. These public figures have just as much right as a politician to voice their opinions and gain a fanbase.

Starting with Joe Rogan, the podcast superstar tends to speak out in favor of traditional masculinity and invites a wide variety of guests on his show to discuss different topics. 

I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Rogan says; however, I do appreciate how he respectfully listens to other people’s opinions and encourages free speech.

Similarly, Jordan Peterson speaks on topics such as pushing back against liberal ideology and the importance of traditional family roles. His ideas are often considered controversial because of his conservative mindset. 

Peterson and Rogan have both established a large fanbase of groups from slightly different spectrums.

On the more extreme side of controversial ideals, Andrew Tate often spews misinformed and offensive language about women, politics and wealth. 

Despite his outlandish views on masculinity and gender roles, Tate has garnered a following of young men considering him a role model. I can’t say that I am a fan of the man, but again I don’t see a problem with him existing.

Altogether, it doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with the topics that these public figures discuss. They all have a right to speak about the thing they want to despite who agrees with them. 

It’s an individual’s decision to pick who they want to be a fan of, and which “cult” they want to join. The reason that many are concerned about these speakers specifically is because of their largely differential and often considered controversial ideals. 

However, more liberal speakers like Newsom himself discuss many points outside of political settings that are widely considered controversial as well, such as climate control and gender ideology. 

He has contracted a large following on his social media platforms, with nearly 800,000 followers on Instagram and over 2 million on X, formerly known as Twitter. He even has followers dedicated enough to buy t-shirts that say “Newsom Fan Club”.

I am not saying that any of this is wrong though. If you are a big Gavin Newsom fan, then by all means buy a t-shirt, keep up with his content, and be loud and proud. 

But on the same note, fans of rowdy podcasters have the same right to obsess in their own way over their favorite celebrities. With free speech, there will always be loud opinions that people disagree with, but you always have the choice of who to believe and who affects you.

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