Brandon Brown had just won his first NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, and the crowd were shouting something behind him. ‘You can hear the chants from the crowd’, said NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast, ‘”Let’s go Brandon!”‘.
Except the crowd wasn’t shouting ‘Let’s go Brandon’. It was shouting ‘Fuck Joe Biden’.
That was a month ago. Since then ‘Let’s go Brandon’ has become a viral joke, a seemingly anodyne few words of encouragement hiding an insult aimed squarely at the president.
Biden’s opponents are loving it. South Carolina Republican Jeff Duncan sported a ‘Let’s go Brandon’ face mask at the Capitol, while Texas senator Ted Cruz was caught posing with a ‘Let’s go Brandon’ sign at the World Series. When Biden paid a visit to a building site in Chicago to push his vaccinate-or-test mandate, he was greeted by the gently encouraging three-word phrase. The chant has even been set to music – Adele’s comeback single was finally booted off the top spot in the iTunes chart by rapper Bryson Gray’s ‘Let’s Go Brandon’.
It really is everywhere. Last week, a Southwest Airlines pilot even signed off his passenger address with a ‘Let’s go Brandon’. Which makes a change to being told to check if you’ve got all your belongings.
The popularity of the meme isn’t hard to understand, especially among long-demonised Trump supporters. Firstly, it provides a mockery of that endless, loud-hailed, celeb-mouthed ‘Fuck Trump’ that accompanied much of the previous president’s time in office. Secondly, it emerged from what looked like an all-too-typical mainstream media attempt to airbrush out any criticism of Our Saviour Joe Biden. And thirdly, liberals find it really, really annoying.