On Wednesday, the phrase “Brandon administration” was trending on social media after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis used it to describe the Biden administration.
Ron DeSantis just called the Biden Administration the "Brandon Administration" pic.twitter.com/L4sov8rtLQ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 3, 2021
Before that, it was a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque on Friday morning that propelled the “Let’s go, Brandon” meme to new heights.
After an AP reporter on the aircraft tweeted the next day her article reporting the pilot using the phrase “Let’s go, Brandon,” over the speaker system, an avalanche of outrage quickly followed from the left, only to meet merriment and mirth from conservatives.
TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loud speaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane. https://t.co/xZI5FtLzJB
— Colleen Long (@ctlong1) October 30, 2021
While a simple story, the incident has five fascinating takeaways.
1. The Left Created a Media Bubble
Just as the Southwest story was taking off, NPR’s Saturday Weekend Edition provided its audience a primer on the “Let’s go, Brandon” meme. The publicly funded news organization opened its explainer, “If you’ve heard people chanting ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ or seen someone with a shirt or hat sporting the seemingly jovial message lately, you might be wondering who Brandon is and why so many people are rooting for him.”
By the way… who’s Brandon?
— Malik Obama (@ObamaMalik) October 6, 2021
Now, that might be a fair question — a month ago. But surely between October 2, 2021, and this weekend, news-savvy Americans, such as NPR listeners, would have heard of reporter Kelli Stavast informing her NBC audience that the NASCAR fans in the background chanting “F-ck Joe Biden” were really cheering “Let’s go, Brandon!” for driver Brandon Brown, whom she was interviewing.
That NPR needed to explain “the phrase isn’t actually supporting a guy named Brandon” tells us everything we need to know about the prevalence of self-censorship in the corporate media and the listening (or reading) habits of much of America.
Conservative Americans who get their news from both right-leaning outlets and the corporate media have been enjoying the “Let’s go, Brandon!” meme for nearly a month. Everyone else apparently needs a primer, making the meme even more powerful.
2. The Left Not Only Can’t Meme, They Don’t Even Understand Memes
The right has long quipped that the left can’t meme, but “Let’s GoGate” proves they don’t even know a good meme when they hear it.
After the weekend tutorial on the history of the chant, which has made its way on to everything from hand-painted placards to hats in the halls of Congress, coverage framed the issue as one of a vulgar saying that is circling in conservative circles.
But as I tweeted at the time, with G-rated jargon to make the point, “what these @npr dummies don’t get – and what they will never get – is that ‘Let’s go Brandon.’ is an indictment of the cowing media which has refused to report honestly about anything regarding this administration.”
What these @npr dummies don’t get – and what they will never get- is that “Let’s go Brandon.” is an indictment of the cowing media which has refused to report honestly about anything regarding this administration. https://t.co/KhGQytjvDo
— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) October 31, 2021
“Let’s go, Brandon” works because, in three short words, conservatives can convey their displeasure with Biden while also making fun of a sycophantic media that’s trying to protect him from criticism. That’s part of its brilliance. Best yet, the fawning media provided the punch.
If only conservatives could craft a pithy chant that similarly conveyed the in-the-tank media’s burying of the Joe Biden pay-to-play scandal revealed from Hunter’s abandoned porno-filled laptop.
3. ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Is Not Profane, But the Left Is
Equally entertaining was this weekend’s episode of “Let’s Invent a Scandal,” as the left attempted to turn “Let’s go, Brandon” into an indictment of the party of family values by framing the phrase as a vulgarity. It’s not.
It’s the equivalent of “Gosh, darn” or “h.e. double hockey sticks,” or as my dear dad would bark out during my childhood “Oh, sugar,” or if he was really mad, “Oh, ship.”
“Let’s go, Brandon” isn’t a vulgarity — it is a substitute for a vulgarity that still expresses the sentiment of dissatisfaction with President Biden.
In any event, it’s awfully rich that the same folks complaining about the vulgarity substitute, were ALL CAPS SCREAMING an actual vulgarity one year ago when Trump was president.
A Southwest Airline pilot said “Let’s go Brandon” on the airplane’s public speaker. Very unsettling to have a MAGA lunatic flying an aircraft with people’s lives at stake. A pilot cursing the President of the United States is borderline terrorism. Southwest, please fire this man.
— Uncovering The Truth (@UncvrngTheTruth) October 30, 2021
— Uncovering The Truth (@UncvrngTheTruth) October 23, 2020
Equally delicious is watching the same Hollywood folks bemoan “Let’s go, Brandon” as offensive, when they found “F-ck Trump” worthy of a tinsel-town standing ovation.
Somehow “Let’s Go Brandon” is offensive and “F*ck Trump” is worth a standing ovation by Hollywood elites. pic.twitter.com/pjr14UEQbY
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 31, 2021
The real icing on the cake, of course, would be if the pilot had actually said, “Let’s go, Braves,” as some think, thereby making “Let’s go, Braves” a new meme that, like its predecessor, both expresses disdain for Biden and mocks the press, while also ridiculing the liberal outrage over “Let’s go, Brandon.”
plot twist: a distinct possibility that the pilot was just an Atlanta baseball fan saying “let’s go Braves” (audio at link)https://t.co/doeHzPbvvI
— Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) November 1, 2021
4. The Left Doesn’t Get Evil
Hypocrisy is one thing; delusion is an entirely different matter. And “Let’s go, Brandon” has turned into a veritable, verbal Rorschach test for the left.
Do they hear a profanity substitute? Sane.
Do they hear “F-ck Joe Biden”? Borderline.
Do they hear Hitler? ISIS? Putin? Certifiable.
The weekend prognostics were not good for several public figures.
“Let’s Go Brandon” has become the MAGA version of “Sieg Heil.”
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) October 31, 2021
Fun Fact: When MAGA Traitors say “Let’s Go Brandon”, what they really mean is “Let’s Go Putin”.
Many of them are just too stupid to realize it.
— Mark Judson For Congress – Scorched Earth Dem 2022 (@Judson4Congress) November 1, 2021
5. Welcome to Our World
Returning now to reality, the left’s reaction to the Southwest pilot’s claimed use of the “Let’s go, Brandon” chant reveals a final truth: The left couldn’t handle the conservative equivalent of what the woke corporate culture hammers the right with every day.
If a single pilot sharing a political opinion you don’t agree with on a flight that you aren’t on sends you into a tizzy, you should imagine what it must be like when the entire corporate universe does this for months on end on countless issues.
Some of us don’t have to imagine.
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) November 1, 2021
From corporate training sessions to mandated pronoun usage, speech codes, commercials, and sponsorships, Big Business in America forces liberal identity politics and causes on customers and employees alike.
When Democrats decried the faux “new Jim Crow,” Major League Baseball bent the knee to flee Atlanta. When conservatives seek escape in sports, movies, or music, they are whacked back to reality with divisive politicization, disdain, and condescension. And when we fly, we’re expected to ignore the company-sponsored pins employees don supporting the racist and Marxist organization Black Lives Matters.
But three simple words send the left to the fainting couches.
American Airlines made a Black Lives Matter pin for their crew.
Not a peep. @SouthwestAir pilot says let’s go Brandon and the world has to come to a complete stop
The fascists have won because so many in opposition chose to do nothing for so many years.
— Will Ricciardella (@WillRicci) November 1, 2021
Welcome to our world.
It isn’t as crass, though. It is also definitely not as constant as the one we confront on a daily basis. It is also, however, much more fun because we see the humor in the situation, whereas the left’s just a bunch of self-deceiving scolds.