Randy Suessmetz Yorktimes As political rhetoric goes, the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” has had an interesting journey in recent years. It started as a seemingly innocuous chant at a sporting event but quickly took on a life of its own, becoming a rallying cry for some and a source of confusion for others. In this article, we’ll examine the origins of the phrase, its meaning, and what it says about our current political climate.
Origins of “Let’s Go Brandon”
The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” first gained attention during a NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2021. NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing driver Brandon Brown after he won his first-ever Xfinity Series race. In the background, fans could be heard chanting “F*** Joe Biden.” Stavast, attempting to provide family-friendly coverage, told viewers that the crowd was actually saying “Let’s Go Brandon.”
The interview went viral, and soon “Let’s Go Brandon” became a meme. People started using the phrase to mock the media’s attempt to downplay negative sentiment towards President Biden. It also became a way for conservatives to express their displeasure with the administration without using profanity.
What Does “Let’s Go Brandon” Mean?
On its surface, “Let’s Go Brandon” is a harmless cheer. It’s something you might say to encourage a friend or a sports team. However, in the context of the political moment, it has taken on a more sinister connotation.
To many on the right, “Let’s Go Brandon” is a way to express frustration with Biden’s policies and leadership style. They see him as out of touch with ordinary Americans, and they believe that his policies are driving the country in the wrong direction. By chanting “Let’s Go Brandon,” they’re signaling their desire for change and their support for leaders who share their values.
To many on the left, “Let’s Go Brandon” is a dog-whistle for something more sinister. They see it as a thinly veiled way of saying “F*** Joe Biden,” without actually using profanity. They argue that the phrase is meant to be offensive and disrespectful, and that it’s part of a larger pattern of toxic political rhetoric that’s dividing the country.
What Does “897” Mean?
The “897” in “Let’s Go Brandon 897” refers to the number on Brandon Brown’s car during the Talladega race where the phrase originated. It’s a way of tying the chant back to its roots and paying homage to Brown’s victory.
However, some people have tried to assign deeper meaning to the number. Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that it’s a reference to electoral fraud, pointing out that if you add up the digits (8+9+7), you get 24, which they claim is a significant number in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
There is no evidence to support this theory, and it’s likely that the number has no deeper significance beyond its connection to Brown’s win.
What Does “Let’s Go Brandon” Say About Our Political Climate?
The fact that a seemingly innocuous cheer at a sporting event could become a potent political slogan says a lot about the state of our politics in 2023. It speaks to the deep divisions and polarization that have taken root in our society, and the way that political messaging can easily spread through social media and other online channels.
It also highlights the growing rift between the media and ordinary Americans. The fact that Kelli Stavast tried to downplay the crowd’s chants by claiming they were saying something else speaks to a larger trend of media bias and mistrust. Many conservatives feel that the mainstream media is actively working against them, and they see “Let’s Go Brandon” as a way to push back against that narrative.
At the same time, the phrase has been criticized for its potential to incite violence and further inflame already tense political debates. Some argue that it’s part of a larger trend of toxic political rhetoric that’s making it harder for people to have civil conversations and find common ground.
“Let’s Go Brandon” is a phrase with a complex history and multiple meanings. To some, it’s a harmless cheer; to others, it’s a powerful political statement. As our political climate continues to be marked by division and polarization, it’s likely that phrases like this will continue to emerge, reflecting the deep-seated frustrations and anxieties of many Americans. Whether it’s a force for good or ill remains to be seen.