“Consistency” is often an admirable quality because it means you have principles, but consistency doesn’t tell us anything about the ethics or efficacy of the principles you hold. People who spend 55 years rigidly clinging to the same set of ideas they held in their early 20s are often people unwilling to incorporate facts, empirical evidence, and historical lessons into their puerile, utopian thinking.
Regarding Bernie Sanders fans who are appalled at Joe Rogan’s endorsement of him, I agree with David French that they’re fated to be disappointed anyway, so they might as well continue acting like spoiled indie music snobs outraged about their favorite band contaminating their purity by signing for a major label. But regarding the larger point, why do we expect politicians to be paragons of virtue and integrity anyway? When, say, Marco Rubio starts making noises about “common-good capitalism” — which I agree sounds half-baked — why do so many people go flying past disagreement straight to outrage? Where does this sense of betrayal come from? Why don’t we see politics more like a business transaction, where the businessman responds to feedback from the marketplace and tailors his product and marketing accordingly? To the extent that I think about national political figures at all, I don’t want an inspirational figure to believe in, one who will lead me to the promised land; I want one I can do business with. Obviously, the metaphor will only stretch so far. Obviously, even “doing business” with someone requires a certain amount of trust that they won’t be a radically different person tomorrow in response to the latest polls. Surely there’s plenty of middle ground between “paladins” and “thieves, liars, hypocrites and bastards.”But to return to French’s point above, I do think people are expecting far too much from politics and politicians, and it probably doesn’t bode well for the health of the republic.