NEWS AND OPINION:
It is an emerging cultural force. And a very telling one.
“Let’s Go, Brandon” — an emphatic phrase that grew out of a misheard crowd chant during an Oct. 2 NASCAR race — was instantly magnified on social media and became a symbol of Republican independence and pushback against President Biden and the White House. And now comes the greater implications of it all as the aftereffects continue. Headlines in the last 48 hours reveal much:
“‘Let’s go, Brandon’ and the anti-civility arms race,” declared The Week.
“Video of Trump laughing during ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ chant at World Series seen over 9 million times,” observed Newsweek.
“‘Let’s go, Brandon’ is what passes for oratory now. Be worried,” cautioned the Los Angeles Times.
“Is ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ a form of hate speech?” asked Joe Concha, a media and politics columnist for The Hill and a Fox News contributor.
“It’s not hate speech. It’s harmless political speech. And the more the hypocritical woke mob tries to suppress it, the louder and more widespread that chant will get,” Mr. Concha predicted in his column.
Brandon culture, meanwhile, is flourishing.
“Let’s go, Brandon” is a No. 1 tune nationwide. There are, in fact, four Brandon tunes now circulating among eager listeners. The phrase has also become a dance, a political statement, a T-shirt, poster, flag and bumper sticker motto — the list goes on. The phrase has been transformed into a rallying cry for those who support, in general, a strong, productive, straightforward and cheerful America rather than a socialist spin-off. A Trafalgar Group poll of 1,083 U.S. voters released Oct. 26 found that 58% of them were already very familiar with the phrase and the movement — and that 76% considered the chant to be an “appropriate way to protest the Biden administration.”
Here’s a handy summary of the greater implications.
“The success of ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ is a welcome sign that there are still Americans out there who don’t like being pushed around, bullied into silence, and told how to think and act. As long as these folks exist, and are willing to stand up and be counted, the last bastion of freedom on Earth still has a chance of surviving,” advised the editorial board of Issues & Answers, a news organization.
SOMETHING TO FUME ABOUT
How climate-minded are those attending the recent COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland? A report from the Daily Mail — a British news organization — reveals all.
A “400-strong parade of private jets” crowded the local airport, The Mail reported — naming off passengers, included royalty, government officials, celebrities, “green” CEOs and billionaire Jeff Bezos, who arrived aboard a $65.4 million Gulf Stream jet. The traffic jam of aircraft was so great in the area that some jets were forced to park 30 miles away.
“President Biden alone will generate an estimated 2.2 million pounds of carbon to reach the summit, thanks to a fleet of four planes, the Marine One helicopter and an enormous motorcade including The Beast and numerous SUVs,” the news organization noted.
That motorcade numbered 85 vehicles, by the way.
“Armies have invaded entire countries with less vehicles than that,” quipped a very well-informed but unnamed source.
MEANWHILE IN ALASKA
President Biden’s $1.8 trillion “Build Back Better” infrastructure bill would revoke the program that opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — that’s ANWR for short — to oil development, as planned by former President Donald Trump and his administration.
“The ANWR provision in the bill now pending in the U.S. House is only a single sentence on page 851 of the 1,684-page bill that passed through the body’s rules committee. It states that the oil and gas program and the leases issued through it are repealed and that refunds to bidders will be issued within 30 days of the bill’s enactment,” explains Arctic Today, a news organization.
The Gwich’in tribal groups in Alaska and Canada are happy about this.
“Mashi’ choo to President Biden and members of Congress who continue to seek protection for sacred lands essential to the Porcupine caribou herd and our Gwich’in way of life,” said Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, in a statement.
The Gwich’in Steering Committee is an umbrella organization for the tribal groups which have long opposed Arctic Refuge oil development because of potential disruption to both the aforementioned caribou herd — one of the largest in North America — and the state’s majestic beauty.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, has vowed that she and her fellow Republican “pro-development colleagues” — Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young — will fight to preserve the ANWR oil program.
“The ANWR opponents will try anything to reverse the law we passed in 2017 to open a small fraction of the non-wilderness area to responsible development. Not even high energy prices, mounting inflation, and declining economic growth have convinced them to support the domestic production of resources we will rely on long into the future,” Ms. Murkowski said in a statement.
Fox News had a very productive October, airing 49 of the top 100 overall cable telecasts during the month along with 13 of the top 15 cable news programs. Fox News continues to best its news competition, earning an average 2.3 million prime-time viewers, compared to MSNBC with 1.2 million and CNN with 661,000.
The standout programs for the month were “The Five,” with 3.1 million prime-time viewers, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3 million), “Hannity” (2.7 million), “Special Report with Bret Baier” (2.3 million) and “The Ingraham Angle” (2.2 million).
POLL DU JOUR
• 64% of U.S. adults say they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19; 58% of Republicans, 58% of independents and 83% of Democrats agree.
• 59% of this group would get a booster shot if it were available to them; 51% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 68% of Democrats agree.
• 16% are not sure if they would get a booster; 21% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
• 12% have already received a booster shot; 9% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 15% of Democrats agree.
• 12% would refuse the booster shot; 19% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 24-26.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.