Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term “Brandon” used lately in U.S. politics.
More to the point, you’ve likely heard, “Let’s go Brandon” and if you haven’t heard it, you’ve seen it on signs, shirts, and just about anything else you can think of.
But what does it mean? Simply put, it means “F*ck Joe Biden”. Childish? Sure, but it’s not the first time that a sitting U.S. President has faced insults and it certainly won’t be the last time either, regardless of who holds the office.
But why has this term taken off in a way that we’ve never seen other insults take off before? In this article, we’ll explore where the term came from, how it’s evolved, and where it could go from here.
How did Let’s Go Brandon come about?
On October, 2,2021, a young Nascar driver by the name of Brandon Brown had just won a race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
A big victory in his budding career as a driver, as he was being interviewed after the race, a chant was heard coming from the crowd.
At first, according to reports, the chant was inaudible and hard to make out but soon after it became clear to everyone from producers to listeners at home that the chant was “F– Joe Biden”.
With headsets on, reporter Kelli Stavast, a seasoned NBC reporter for Nascar races and related sports was heard saying, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, let’s go, Brandon!”
This is where things get confusing and tough to pinpoint. Did she really hear that? Was it difficult to make out what the crowd was saying?
After all, she had on a headset, if you’ve ever had one on, it muffles sounds around you, that’s the point of them, or was she trying to distract from the vulgar chants on live t.v.?
Whatever the reasoning or the truth of that instant, she coined the term and it took off like wildfire.
Why say “Let’s Go Brandon” in the first place?
That’s a great question, actually. Thinking of the term, “Let’s go Brandon“, I roll my eyes. It’s just so silly for lack of a better way to put it. If you want to say F— you, then just say it.
As a matter of fact, that’s what was happening already anyway. Reports came in from all over the country of people saying that in group settings like college football games and other venues.
However, when this phrase unleashed itself on the world, it instantly became “clever” or perhaps coy.
Those who say it get to snicker after they say it, much like a child after he or she says something “bad”, like damn or whatever “bad word” comes up in their mischievous little minds.
Arguably as an adult who has a job, professional or otherwise, you’re more likely to not get in trouble for saying “Brandon” compared to its vulgar actual meaning.
It’s also certainly more “acceptable” to put that on merchandise like shirts or caps, and flags and wear it proudly around town.
Ultimately, it’s a not-so-secret “handshake” that conservatives get to wear or yell as a way to laugh and no doubt feel like they’re “owning the libs” but for most rational adults, all it seems to do is cause an eye roll and a reminder to turn away.
However, for others, it allowed pro-Biden supporters to turn the phrase on its head and create a term that takes the insult and turns “Old Joe” into a straight-up, ruthless killing machine. Politically speaking of course; enter Dark Brandon.
Who is Dark Brandon?
Much like the saying “Let’s go Brandon”, Dark Brandon is an equally ironic term that Biden fans have recently coined to show the current sitting President as a tough-as-nails, kick-ass, and take names-type of leader.
While this is potentially equally silly, President Biden has seen a spate of recent wins, which have no doubt made Republicans worry with the mid-terms looming and obviously only added fuel to the Dark Brandon fire.
It’s picked up so much steam lately that it’s made some conservatives whine about how the “libs ruined Brandon” and even seen White House staffers refer to the nickname and various memes.
Well, you know what they say, turnabout is fair play, right?
Why have these terms become so popular?
This again is a great question. It’s always a little hard to pinpoint why one thing takes off, and others fall flat. As I said earlier, this isn’t the first time a U.S. President or politician has been insulted or mocked in some way.
All you have to do is thumb through old newspapers or history books to see sneers and jeers going all the way back to Jefferson! But why this term now?
It’s likely due to multiple factors, like the way the internet is now synonymous with American and worldwide daily lives.
We have these powerful mini-computers in our pockets and purses that literally hold the world’s knowledge in the palm of our hands.
News and information travel much faster now today than even when President Obama was in office and it’ll only become faster and more pervasive.
For example, Twitter had only been founded a couple of years before he took office and certainly wasn’t what it is today.
Simply put, Social Media and the internet as a whole is most likely the reason for the reach that this term has had in comparison to anything ever said about President Obama.
Sites that only seem to be growing in popularity like Tik Tok and Instagram, make it easier than before for a person to jump on a preferred platform and spread a meme or idea with just a few clicks.
Furthermore, unlike a reporter at a local paper, there’s no oversight on what he or she says in that post.
The other reason is also relatively easy to understand. Polarization or Polarization Politics to be exact. Basically, it means attitudes that move further away from the center, to extreme ideologies.
Think far-right and far-left extremes. Regardless of what camp it is, it’s never good to be far left or right, it’s extremism, and that never leads to anything good.
This has become a real problem in America as of late and has caused deep divisions in the country, which likely helped this term and its offshoots spread the way that it did.
Finally, “The Big Lie“, if you don’t know what it means, it refers directly to the lie spread by Donald Trump and his followers that the election was stolen by Biden and the democratic party.
With this information in mind, it’s easy to see how all of this hatred and anger could combine and put a target, so to say, on Biden’s back. All that was needed was a “clever” phrase to pop up that allowed them to rally together for better or worse and then it did.
Are there any positive things that have come from “Let’s Go Brandon”?
After reading this article and understanding where that term originated and what it means, you would think that it be impossible to find a silver lining in the phrase but thankfully, you’d be wrong.
In 2022, an 8-year-old autistic boy spotted the sign “Let’s go Brandon” and not realizing what it meant politically, thought that people were cheering for him, it inspired him to try things like swimming and riding his bike without training wheels.
It was so heartwarming, that it prompted his mother, to write a book, “Brandon Spots His Sign” She even sent a copy to President Biden!
While I find the phrase silly and grotesque, thinking of young Brandon finding courage in the signs, makes me want to yell it from the rooftops for this kid.
Rounding this out
What does Brandon mean in politics? It’s short for the phrase Let’s Go Brandon, which is meant to be a veiled way to say F– Joe Biden. It’s led to other terms like Dark Brandon, which is short for Joe Biden being a badass, politically speaking.
Both are rather silly and while both produce laughs and eye-rolls, regardless of the side of the aisle they’re said on, they both serve as a way to further divide and distract from the very real problems that we have going on in this country and believe me, there’s plenty.
Picture of Joe Biden – Provided via download from Wikimedia Commons. The photo was cropped to fit the featured image section. No other alterations were made.