October 4, 2022
An anti-Biden meme for the whole family: ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ catches on with conservatives
LANSING, Mich. — Janice Daniels, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was speaking at a rally protesting the 2020 election results early last month when chants of "Let's Go Brandon" began to move through the crowd."I'll be honest with you, I'm not really sure what that means," Daniels, the former mayor of Troy,…

LANSING, Mich. — Janice Daniels, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, was speaking at a rally protesting the 2020 election results early last month when chants of “Let’s Go Brandon” began to move through the crowd.

” “I’ll be open with you, I don’t really know what that means,” Daniels, a former mayor of Troy, explained to the crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Capitol. It took her no time to figure it out and sign on.

“I have two text messages that tell me what “Let’s go Brandon” means,” she stated when she returned to her mic. “Now I understand. Let’s go Brandon! Let’s go Brandon! Let’s go Brandon! “

The right-wing meme is a euphemism of “f— Joe Biden”. After some NASCAR fans began to shout the expletive at President Joe Biden at Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama in October, it took root. Kelli Stavast (NBC Sports reporter) interviewed Brandon Brown, a NASCAR driver, after Brown’s victory at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. (A spokesperson for NBC Sports declined to give Stavast an interview or comment. Brown didn’t respond to a request. )

The exchange quickly became viral with conservatives claiming that it was evidence of major media outlets intentionally censoring anti Biden views. The phrase has been heard at rallies and sporting events, and even on bumper stickers. Ebay, Etsy, and Amazon are now overflowing with merchandise that features the phrase.

The phrase made it to Congress when Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) shouted it last month on the House floor. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) wore a “Let’s Go Brandon” mask to the Capitol last week. The phrase has been used by other Republican leaders, including senators and governors.

It has also been used outside of politics. The iTunes chart topped with a “Let’s Go Brandon ” track. Tweets containing “Let’s Go Brandon” were posted nearly 1,800 times in just one hour on Tuesday afternoon, Twitter showed. And a Southwest Airlines pilot was placed under investigation after he reportedly said “Let’s Go Brandon” over a flight’s intercom.

Making obscene remarks about the president is practically an American political pastime. Experts say that “Let’s Go Brandon”, is more about what’s being said than it is what’s being said.

The slogan is “a way of stating this ought to be perfectly allright to say, but they’ won’t allow us to,” Robin Lakoff of the University of California, Berkeley said to NBC News. Noting that it fits in with broader right-wing themes of cancellation and silencing, she added, “Whoever “they” are. It’s a group-identification thing. “

Vulgarity was the norm during Trump’s tenure, both from his critics and from him. The same profanity was used against his closest predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Some Trump supporters found that Trump’s crude language appealed a lot to them. They liked the fact that he made it seem “politically incorrect”. In an attempt to anger political opponents, these supporters resort to the latest profanity or cleaner euphemisms. Others may find the expressions offensive, but Trump’s enemies have said worse things about him, and this is the next round of tit-fortat.

“At its core, it’s a hilarious viral moment of broadcast television, filtered through meme culture that showed an affinity for Trump, the MAGA sensibility and embraced by party whose highest aim at this point is the to trigger the libs,” Liam Donovan (lobbyist, former Republican operative) wrote in an email.

Lori Galloway, 57, of Purcellville, Virginia, said in an interview at a recent event headlined by former Vice President Mike Pence that she was a fan of the “Let’s Go Brandon” meme because she felt it was being driven by younger, engaged voters.

“As an evangelical Christian, I won’t blurt it out [Let’s Go Brandon], because I know what it stands up for.” She said that while it may not be something she’d say, it is better than anti-Biden attacks. It’s not something that is reducing Biden’s character, or maybe the fact that he may not have all his faculties anymore. Some of the catchphrases have been criticized for not being flattering. This however points to [the issues], and not necessarily to the man. “

Justin Gross, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, echoed Galloway in explaining why the meme has caught on.

“It’s a way to say the thing that people want to say and that people will actually say, but we can get grandma and the 11-year-old involved, because they’re not saying a naughty word,” he said, adding the ability to place “Let’s Go Brandon” signs in places or businesses where the actual vulgarity would not be allowed has boosted its staying power too. The meme coincides with an increase in vulgarity directed at the president. Biden was welcomed by a handmade “F— Joe Biden” sign last month on a trip to Scranton. However, Biden’s detractors had similar signs at a Hartford child development center earlier in the month.

“The demonstrators outside the child care center today had an enormous ‘F— k Joe Biden’ sign and were shouting the same thing loudly enough to ensure that all children heard it,” tweeted Senator Chris Murphy ,, D-Conn. after Biden’s visit to Connecticut. It is heartbreaking for children to see the crudeness and inhumanity of our discourse. “

While the increased vulgarity has coincided with Biden’s approval rating sinking to 42 percent in the latest NBC News poll, Republicans say they don’t see “Let’s Go Brandon” being a major part of the 2022 campaign, in which they want to focus on inflation, increased border crossings and the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

A GOP aide described “Let’s go Brandon” as an “annoying boomer cliché” that has reached its due date. He added, “I cringe whenever I hear elected officials using it.” “

” Although I don’t find it particularly offensive, it’s like a bumper sticker joke,” the aide stated. It will likely continue for far too long, but I don’t think it will be in any campaign or similar. “

As Lakoff stated, “Let’s Go Brandon” is a signal for like-minded people who are already in the loop.

“Usually, when people choose a euphemism, it becomes universalized,” she said. This is kind of “we conservatives, who hate Joe Biden. We got this.” It’s kind of a poke in the eye for people who don’t wear my hat. “

Speaking on another topic at the Lansing rally, Daniels made clear how important having shared knowledge of phenomena happening outside of the country’s mainstream is in some conservative circles.

“You know how it is when you get in a crowd and you don’t know anybody else but you’re all talking the same stuff?” She asked. I like that. “I love being in groups like this, where we can all discuss the same topics that concern each of us. “

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