How 'Let’s Go Brandon' became a code to insult Joe Biden

It may have seemed strange and cryptic to those who were listening when Florida's Republican Rep. Bill Posey ended his Oct.

How 'Let’s Go Brandon' became a code to insult Joe Biden

21 House speech with a fist pump. The phrase was popularized by right-wingers and is now a common expression of support for Joe Biden.

South Carolina Republican Jeff Duncan wore a face mask that said "Let's Go Brandon", at the Capitol last Wednesday. Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, posed with a "Let’s Go Brandon” sign at the World Series. The press secretary for Senator Mitch McConnell retweeted the photo of the phrase on a Virginia construction sign.

This line has been renamed conservative code for something much more vulgar: "F--- Joe Biden." It is a common phrase used by Republicans to show their conservative credentials. It is a handshake that indicates they are in tune with the party's base.

Americans have grown used to having their leaders publicly criticized. Former President Donald Trump's sarcastic language seems to have expanded the boundaries of normal political speech.

How did Republicans come to the Brandon expression as a G-rated replacement for its vulgar three-word counterpart?

It began at Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama's Oct. 2 NASCAR race. Brandon Brown, a 28 year-old driver, was interviewing by an NBC Sports reporter after he had won his first Xfinity Series race. It was difficult at first to understand what the crowd behind him was singing. To cheer on the driver, the reporter thought they were singing "Let's Go Brandon". It became clear that they were saying "F--- Joe Biden."

Although NASCAR and NBC took steps to reduce "ambient crowd noise" during interviews since then, it was too late. The phrase had already taken root.

Protesters used both three-word phrases when the president visited a Chicago construction site a few weeks back to promote his vaccine-or-test mandate. Biden's motorcade drove past a banner reading "Let's Go Brandon" as he passed Plainfield, New Jersey.

A group of protestors chanted "Let’s go, Brandon" in front of a Virginia park where Biden was making an appearance for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate to be governor. Two protesters held up signs made with profanity and hand-drawn signs, refusing to use the euphemism.

The pilot of a Southwest flight from Houston, Texas to Albuquerque signed his greetings over the public address system. Some passengers gasped as he used the phrase "To audible gasps" to get their salutations. Southwest stated in a statement that it takes pride in creating a friendly, comfortable, respectful environment and that any behavior that is offensive or divisive is not tolerated.

Jim Innocenzi, a veteran GOP ad maker, was not afraid of the coded crudity and called it "hilarious."

He said, "Unless you're living in a cave you don't know what it means." It's possible to do it with a little bit more class. If you object or take it too seriously, just go away."

America's presidents have been subject to meanness for centuries. Grover Cleveland was the victim of chants like "Ma Ma Where's My Pa?" in 1880s because of rumors that he had sex with an unborn child. Poems that lean into racism and allegation of bigamy focused on Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.

Cal Jillson, a political expert and professor at Southern Methodist University's political science department, said that "we have a sense about the dignity of office president that has been consistently violated to our horror throughout the course of American History." "We are always horrified by new outrages."

There were many old outrages.

The graffiti "F--- Trump", still marks many overpasses in Washington, D.C. George W. Bush was hit with a shoe. Bill Clinton was criticised with such passion that his most vocal critics were called the "Clinton freaks."

However, the most striking difference between the Grover Clevelands of old and current politicians is the amplifying they receive on social media.

Matthew Delmont, a Dartmouth College history professor, stated that "Before social media's expansion a few years back, there wasn’t an easily accessible forum for public opinion to voice your nastiest or darkest opinions."

Because Twitter was still relatively young, even the racism and vitriol to Barack Obama's treatment was temperate. TikTok was not available. Facebook was not TikTok. Recently, leaked company documents revealed that Facebook increasingly ignored hate speech or misinformation and permitted it to flourish.

Some Americans were already upset before the Brandon moment. They believed the 2020 election was rigged, despite the mountain of evidence that has been presented. This evidence has stood the test in court cases and recounts. Stanley Renshon of the City University of New York, a psychoanalyst and political scientist, stated that it is now more than that for Trump supporters.

He mentioned the Afghanistan withdrawal, the south border situation, and the fractious school board debates to illustrate how Biden critics believe that American institutions are not telling the American people what they see and understand.

Trump hasn’t missed the moment. The Save America PAC sells a $45 Tshirt with the slogan "Let's Go Brandon" over an American flag. One message for supporters is "#FJB" or "LET'S GO BRANDON?" Trump would like you to wear our ICONIC shirt.

T-shirts with the NASCAR logo and slogan are also appearing in stores.

Things haven't been easy for Brandon. His father owns a team that is short-staffed and underfunded. He drives for them. He was thrilled to win his first career victory, but the team is struggling for sponsorship. Existing partners have not promoted the driver since the slogan.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS