What's the difference, Brandon?
Coarseness and Godless invective is objectively bad. Plus: Today's races.
We know what the crowd was chanting and it wasn’t “Let’s go Brandon.” Now, anyone who publicly utters these euphemistic meme words is guilty of some kind of evil incantation, which brings down the full weight of the cancel crowd like the elders of Salem chasing witches.
How is what the NASCAR crowd did different than Robert De Niro standing up at the 2018 Tony Awards and saying exactly the same thing, substituting Biden’s name for Trump? The crowd cheered and applauded De Niro’s coarse cussing, and no announcer tried to paper it over—of course it bleeped on television but everyone knew what he said.
Byron York’s opinion piece today cited example after example of the double standard applied to vulgar insults against the sitting President, depending on who is in office. Suddenly, the media’s sensibilities became deeply offended at insults and taunts against the office of the President, including the Washington Post, which changed its own masthead, adding the vaguely scary “Democracy dies in darkness” phrase, aimed squarely at Trump.
Now it’s true, Trump could easily be described with a seven-letter word where the first three are another word for “donkey” and the last four are what you dig with a shovel. Joe Biden might best be described as “avuncular,” and by that I don’t mean your crazy uncle who gets drunk every Thanksgiving and tells bawdry stories to the children. But that doesn’t mean anyone is justified publicly hurling F-bombs at the sitting President.
Politically, insulting the sitting President is a pastime as old as our republic. We can go back to Thomas Jefferson, who called John Adams a “blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Lyndon Johnson cursed so much that if he had a Nixonesque recording system, most of it would be “expletive deleted.” I’m certain that many times, an “F —— [insert POTUS here]” has issued from the storied halls of Congress. But we’re talking about public chants and celebrities on camera here, not political sausage-making.
And let’s not forget how Barack Obama, three years into his first term, used the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (aka “nerd prom”) to excoriate Donald Trump, birther-in-chief, who was sitting in the audience. Many, including journalist Roxanne Roberts, who sat next to Trump at the 2011 dinner, think that humiliating event was one of the chief catalysts that drove Trump to seek Obama’s office.
Before Trump even announced his candidacy, the Washington elite were chanting “Let’s go Brandon,” led by SNL star Seth Meyers. Crowds gathered at Trump Tower during his campaign, and certainly after his win, daily, to shout “F— Trump,” scream at the sky and all other manner of trash talk. For four years after, we heard daily screeds.
Did anyone think there would not be a cultural reaction to this when Joe Biden took office? You can blame Trump for inciting a Godless chant of invective against himself, but if you do that, you can’t suddenly also become all virgin-eared when others chant against Biden. (“Oh yes, you can: it’s Trump’s fault people hated him and cussed him, and it’s Trump’s fault people hate Biden and cuss him.” Right. And Jussie Smollett was attacked by random MAGA hats on a cold Chicago night.)
From the perspective of morality: everyone follows some kind of guide. Secular leftists will say you have to do what the government says, and the government will take care of you, because government is the answer to our political problems. Religious folks will say you have to follow a deity. Anarchists say you will have to follow your own passions.
As a Christian, the Bible says to avoid coarse talking, and speak of pleasant things. This isn’t a government rule, or a political rule. It’s a spiritual one. Lobbing F-bombs at the sitting President is the height of disrespect of the person and the office. Any Christian who does it needs to repent, because it’s not how Christ taught us to act. Christians don’t get to turn our righteousness on and off like a light switch.
On the other hand, seculars do seem to have that ability, without the need to repent of it. All I can tell you is that the ends do not justify the means. When you engage in spiritually dark and demonic practices like undermining the authority of those chosen (elected) to govern over you, you get what you get, which is “Let’s go Brandon.”
There are a few big races that will be decided today. Of course, all eyes are on Virginia, which is a toss-up between challenger Republican Glenn Youngkin and one-time governor Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe’s gaffes, offending earnest parents and empowering officious snobs on school boards to be more officious and snobby, may cost him the race. But we’ll see: I’m making no predictions.
Atlanta will have a new mayor, as will Boston. Michelle Wu is expected to be the first Taiwanese immigrant woman to sit in the Boston mayor’s office—if she wins. Good for her. Her opponent is a daughter of Tunisian-Polish immigrants, Annissa Essaibi George, whose husband is a high-flying real estate developer with properties all over the Hub.
Atlanta is looking at possibly re-electing former mayor Kasim Reed, which would be a tragedy of the highest order. Reed oversaw what may be the most corrupt Atlanta administration in 100 years, and that’s saying a lot. I’d take Felicia Moore over Reed, though I don’t get to vote in Atlanta.
There are many smaller races for school boards, city council seats, and myriad other offices all over America. Don’t let the fact that this is an off-year, off-cycle election keep you from the polls. All politics is local, and the local races frequently affect your life more than the ones in state capitols and Washington, D.C. These races matter.
Go vote! I’m about to do that right now.
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I guess the only real objection a person could say between Trump and Biden is that Biden doesn't stoop to that level whereas Trump wallowed in it. I do have an issue with a sitting congressmen saying that during a session of congress but I guess I'm just outdated like that. Expecting a sense of decorum from people who probably don't even know what that word means. And I ain't just talking about republicans there. I do hate the fact that stuff like that is bleeding into every aspect of life. That pilot should lose his job for what he did. You can't do stuff like that while you have hundreds of people expecting you to get them safely to their destination.
I am really much happier when I don't know a person's politics.
Back in the old days, the press used to sanitize the language of those with colorful vocabularies. John Nance Garner was FDR's 1st Vice President, serving from 1933-1941. He complained about his role as VP, and was recorded as saying that the Vice Presidency was "not worth a bucket of warm spit". He actually said it was "not worth a bucket of warm piss". Lyndon Johnson was quoted by the press when he said of Gerald Ford "Jerry Ford is so dumb that he can't walk and chew gum at the same time". What he actually said is that "Jerry Ford is so dumb that he can't fart and chew gum at the same time". Johnson was especially crude. The press constantly sanitized his use of the N-word. Stronger expletives like the F-bomb were spoken where they couldn't be quoted by the press.
Expletives have existed through our history and has been part of political discourse from the beginning. The difference is such utterances were done privately in the olden times, which was easier to do in those days. Recent decades have seen a gradual change in the cultural acceptability of profanity to where its been mainstreamed for public discourse in many quarters now. One thing I do notice is that the F-bomb is used far more often by elected by and towards elected officials than 2-3 decades ago. If "Let's go Brandon" means one less utterance of the F-bomb, I'm fine with it.