Carson’s Commentary: What both sides miss about ‘Let’s go Brandon’

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My apologies for the lack of content last week, as I was stuck in bed with a sinus infection. I can only hope that this week’s column will make it up to those I’ve kept waiting, but enough about me.  

In blue-leaning Connecticut, which ranks as America’s 11th-most urban state, there may not be many NASCAR fans. Certainly, I am not among them. 

NASCAR, officially known as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, was founded in 1948 and hosts annual races such as the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Despite relative obscurity outside of the working-class South and Midwest, these races can draw up to 300,000 spectators and greatly influence their cultural attitudes. 

This was made evident by a bizarre occurrence after the Xfinity Series on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Talladega, Alabama., where those spectators drove a meme directly into our national political discourse. 

I’ll back up. After crossing the Xfinity Series’ finish line first, driver Brandon Brown climbed out of his car to celebrate his first-ever victory. Brown, a 28-year-old Virginia native, was soon approached by NBC sportscaster Kelli Stavast, who’d been covering the race. Stavast asked him some variation of the classic “How’s it feel to win your first title?”, but Brown’s answer was interrupted by rowdy NASCAR fans chanting “f*** Joe Biden” during his big moment. 

This could have ended right there, but no. In this awkward position where fans clearly directed their obscenities at our 46th president , Stavast suggested that the crowd was actually chanting “let’s go Brandon” to congratulate the race’s winner. 

Whether this was a smooth save or a deliberate diversion depends on who you ask. The possibility that it was neither of these is where I’ll begin. 

To give Stavast the benefit of the doubt, it was loud on that race track. The “f*** Joe Biden” chants are clearly audible on any broadcast of Stavast’s interview with Brown, but this may not have been the case for anyone standing down on the track without access to TV microphones placed throughout the audience. Brown’s non-reaction to Stavast declaring she heard “let’s go Brandon” chants supports this idea, though I believe he’s probably had enough media training to know not to correct her and make a scene. 

Regardless of what she heard or thought she heard, the fact remains that Stavast misrepresented the chants coming from her audience. In the nearly two weeks since this incident, such misrepresentation has become unfortunately commonplace from both sides of the political aisle. 

The most clear manipulation comes from those who I will call the “Brandoners” — hardcore conservatives all the way from pro-Trump political action committees (PACs) to Twitter users. These are the people who have embraced the meme and incorrectly deduced that their new battle cry will woo over independents ahead of next year’s midterms. 

However, rhetoric from the camp of former President Donald Trump makes it clear that this Brandoner movement is more about one-upping political opponents than expanding on the Republican coalition Trump built in 2020. 

On Monday, Oct. 11, Trump’s “Save America” PAC sent a text alert to subscribers that included the lines “F*** Joe Biden” and “Let’s Go Brandon.” Through the conservative host site WinRed, Save America is now selling “FJB” T-shirts. The cost? Why of course, a donation of at least $45 to the Trump movement.  

It should be noted that the “f*** Joe Biden” chant is not new to Talladega Superspeedway. Plenty of college football fans have castigated our president this season, including those at the University of Iowa, the University of Utah and a slew of Southeastern Conference schools. 

However, you wouldn’t know this by watching most mainstream media outlets. The anti-Biden videos mostly permeated the likes of Instagram and TikTok. This means that these platforms’ disproportionately young users have encountered audiences showing open disdain for our president at these events. 

We saw a similar phenomenon in the leadup to last year’s presidential election, as pro-Trump music — particularly Bryson Gray’s “Trump is Your President,” and the hijacked MAGA anthem “Red Kingdom” by Tech N9ne — were staples of roadside Trump rallies and took over TikTok. 

This is not to say that the Brandoners will succeed in hijacking the technology institutions they claim to hate for censoring conservative voices. But, it is difficult to deny the soft power of any amusing chant. Just as I doubt every single person amused by “let’s go Brandon” is a Trump diehard, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few students getting in on the “f*** Joe Biden” fun actually voted for the guy. 

Ultimately, if Democrats want to stop young people from feeling energized by an ideology they deem dangerous, they cannot continue to ignore the cultural significance of this meme. 

Likewise, if Brandoners want to bring young people into their movement, their messaging must go beyond this clever chant and include some real policy reform. Perhaps President Biden’s visit to UConn tomorrow will give them that chance. 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Its not just hard core Trump supporters Swick, you idiot!!!! Its every freedom lover sick of their bank accounts about to be monitored, to Biden’s support of a tax for the UN, to vax mandates to mask mandates. Your still the leftist ostrich with your head in the sand if you think this is just about Trump. Even the mass protestors around the world are chanting Eff Joe Biden and Lets Go Brandon!!! Repubs have flipped two historically dimocrat seats in the house recently because of brainded Joe. You clowns have no clue as to the tsumami you’re about to be washed over with. The capital “riots” were just a warm up. If only we can hang on until next years midterms…..then we’ll have some breathing room. Then its on to ’24 and getting Trump back in….this time in a landslide. And watch Loza Alexanders song on YT. Its quite catchy!!!! So Lets Go Brandon!!!!!

    • Sad that so many of you mis-guided losers are so against Biden, a guy that is by far the better of the two candidates for supporting the middle class. But go ahead and keep your blind faith for the fasciast want-to-be dictator–orange-faced con man–diaper wearing feces smelling loser. He was rejected by his home town and had to move to FLA to escape the embarrassment, lol! Started an insurrection against the USA and is actively trying to turn our election system into Russian elections (completeley fake, where he or his retarded sons or slut, imbred daughter will miraculously win in a landslide perpetually). It’s extremely discusting to see you losers support this loser at all cost and common sense and pretend that the republicans wet dream is not to end unions, social security, Medicare, abortions, free speech and to privatize the post office so you can over-pay for stamps as much as we already do for our shitty health cares system! Wake up people b4 it stoo late….you are in a cult. It snot normal to have a giant Trump flag in your truck or home, it’s just not! Your allegiance should be to grand old USA and not to a lying, cheating buffoon!

  2. I had high hopes for this piece. But it reads very incoherently, as though the author doesn’t really know what point he’s trying to make. He wants to stop short of formally decrying Trump supporters, NASCAR Fans, College Football Fans, or anyone else who finds our 46th President to be inadequate for his job description. But only just. The undertone of this article is clearly combative. I would have more respect for the writer if he just came out and said that he was a fanboy of our addle-brained friend in the White House. Instead, he just comes off as dishonest.

  3. You can’t be serious with this little bit of naked projection, completely leaving in foundation or attribution: “These are the people who have embraced the meme and incorrectly deduced that their new battle cry will woo over independents ahead of next year’s midterms.” Name three.

  4. Your ignorance is glaring, only to be outshone by your bias. Apparently, you are not paying attention to the train wreck in front of your face.

  5. This isn’t the right’s chant..it’s America’s..have you looked at his approval rating? He’s not anyone’s President..much less “our President”..NOBODY likes him.

  6. Let’s see – immigration disaster on southern border, pushing neo-racism with crt mandate, Afghanistan disaster, fueling inflation while simultaneously promoting CO2 emitting Russian and middle-east oil over USA energy independence – anything Biden and the left touch gets messed up – that is why America chants “Let’s Go Brandon”!

  7. Biden’s visit to UCONN…..yeah, Mr. iCan’tReadAtEleprompter is reeeeeally going to listen to any policy discussion an inch to the right of Karl Marx……..C’mon UCONN let’s hear it loud and clear so the MSM can keep trying to sweep it under the rug, L E T ‘ S G O B R A N D O N ! ! ! C’mon Man!

    • Trumptard idiots are everywhere….. Go ahead and be Republican, that’s fine. But I will never understand the morons who like Trump. He wouldn’t feed you a shitwich unless there was something in it for him. Trump cares only about one thing, himself.

      • If you believe that Biden has done a better job for this country than Trump name the policy you admire. Dont confuse personality with ability. Like him or hate him, you would have to have a completely empty head to not see how the policies Trump championed moved this country forward. Biden is a shell of a person. And KH was the worst candidate in the herd. You voted for both. Well done. Well done.

  8. I had a question. Is this a chant for conservative Trump supporters or is it for everyone who hates Biden? I didnt vote in the last election cuz I hate both Biden and Trump. I was gon vote for Biden but cuz I hate him so much that at the last minute I said “Eff it! I hate Biden so I dont care who gets in. My life still wont be any better.”
    When I heard the chant, I felt good.that Im not alone cuz all these people hate Biden and they chant it right to Bidens face.
    Even if someone tells me its a conservative chant, I may chant it anyway. All these years I support Democrats and theyve done nothing to help me or anyone else. Im a disabled older woman and I live at the poverty level. Its been that way my whole life. And I have a difficult time getting medical care because theres no universal health care. This country is for the wealthy only because money is the only thing that matters in tthis country. Money before people. Profits before people. So, Lets Go Brandon!

  9. Ignorance proves reporters bias. NASCAR does not host the Indianapolis 500. And of course no recognition of the DiNiro exclamation, Some people can not put on the other shoe!

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