When Republican Bill Posey of Florida finished his speech at the House of Representatives on Oct. 21 with a fist and the phrase “Let’s go, Brandon!” to many who listened, it may have seemed mysterious and strange. But that phrase has already grown in right-wing circles, and now a seemingly optimistic mood – actually a deputy for cursing Joe Biden – is everywhere.
Representative Jeff Duncan (RS.C.) wore a “Let’s Go Brandon” face mask at the Capitol last week. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) posed for the World Series with the caption “Let’s Go Brandon”. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s spokesman retweeted a photo of the phrase on a building sign in Virginia.
The line became a conservative code for something much more vulgar: “F— Joe Biden.” Among Republicans looking to prove their conservative credibility, there is a wild, not-so-secret handshake signaling that they are aligned with the party base.
Americans are accustomed to their leaders being ridiculed in public, and it seems that former President Trump’s rude language has often expanded the boundaries of what he considers normal political speech.
But how did Republicans choose Brandon’s phrase as a substitute for a G grade for a more vulgar three-word cousin?
It began at the NASCAR race on Oct. 2 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old driver, won his first Xfinity series and was interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. The crowd behind him sang something that was hard to fathom at first. The reporter suggested they chanted “Let’s go Brandon” to cheer up the driver. But it was becoming increasingly clear that they were saying, “F— Joe Biden.”
NASCAR and NBC have since taken steps to limit “crowd noise from the surrounding area” during interviews, but it was too late – this sentence has already been enforced.
When the president visited a construction site in a Chicago suburb a few weeks ago to promote his vaccination or testing mandate, protesters used both three-word phrases. Last week, Biden’s procession drove past the “Let’s Go Brandon” banner as the president walked through Plainfield, NJ.
The group shouted “Let’s go Brandon” in front of a park in Virginia on Monday. Biden showed up on behalf of the Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliff. Two protesters completely abandoned euphemism and picked up hand-drawn swear words.
On Friday morning on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque, the pilot signed his salute through a public information system with the phrase that some passengers were questioned.
Veteran GOP ad maker Jim Innocenzi had no concerns about the coded raw material and called it “ridiculous”.
“Unless you live in a cave, you know what that means,” he said. “But it’s done with a little class. And if you object and take it too seriously, go away. ”
American presidents have endured evil for centuries; Grover Cleveland was faced with singing “Ma, Ma, where’s my dad?” in the 1880s due to rumors that he had given birth to an illegitimate child. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were the theme of the song, which relied on racist tropes and accusations of bigamy.
“We have a sense of dignity as president, which to our horror has been consistently violated over the course of American history,” said Cal Jillson, a policy expert and professor in the Department of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. “We never miss to be horrified by any new outrage.”
There was a lot of old abuse.
The graffiti “F-Trump” still marks many overpasses in Washington, DC George W. Bush had shoe thrown in the face. Bill Clinton was criticized with such zeal that his loudest criticisms were labeled “Clinton’s crazy.”
The biggest difference between the feelings overwhelmed by former Grover Clevelands and modern politicians is the reinforcement they get on social media.
“Before the spread of social media a few years ago, there was no easily accessible public forum to shout your most disgusting and darkest public opinions,” said Matthew Delmont, a history professor at Dartmouth College.
Also, the racism and edibleness that former President Obama was subjected to was partly subdued because Twitter was relatively new. There was no TikTok. As for Facebook, leaked company documents they recently revealed how the platform increasingly ignored hate speech and misinformation and allowed it to spread.
Part of the U.S. was angry even before Brandon’s moment, believing that the 2020 presidential election was rigged despite a mountain of counter-evidence that stood the test of recounting and litigation. But now it’s more than just stubborn Trump supporters, said Stanley Renshon, a political scientist and psychoanalyst at New York City University.
He cited the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the situation on the southern border, and outraged discussions by school boards as situations in which Biden’s critics believe that “the way American institutions communicate to the American public what they clearly see and understand is true is not really true. “
Trump did not miss a moment. His Save America PAC now sells a $ 45 T-shirt that says “Let’s go Brandon” above the American flag. One message to the fans reads: “#FJB or LET’S GO BRANDON? Anyway, President Trump wants YOU to have our ICONOMY new t-shirt.
T-shirts with the NASCAR slogan and logo appear in stores separately.
As for the real Brandon, the thing wasn’t that good. He drives for a team with a shortage of staff owned by his father. And while that win – his first win of his career – was huge for him, the team has long fought for sponsorship and the driver’s existing partners haven’t marketed since the slogan.