What is “Let’s go, Brandon”?


Taylor Schmitz

Merchandise such as hats, t-shirts and flags have been made featuring the now-famous slogan.

Taylor Schmitz, Entertainment Editor

On Oct. 2, 2021, 28-year-old driver, Brandon Brown won his first Xfinity Series at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. How this celebratory moment turned into yet another political phenomenon is a rather interesting story. 

After soaking in his monumental win, Brown was interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. During the interview, the crowd behind him started a chant that was, at first, a little difficult to understand. The reporter, in hopes of sustaining the celebratory mood, suggested the crowd was yelling “Let’s go, Brandon” to support the winner. However, after a few moments, it became clear that they were instead shouting “F— Joe Biden.”

After only a month, the phrase “Let’s go, Brandon” has taken off, gaining popularity specifically with Republicans in power. On Oct. 21, 2021, Rep. Bill Posey ended his house floor speech with the phrase “Let’s go, Brandon” accompanied by a fist pump. In addition, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan wore a “Let’s go, Brandon” face mask at the Capitol, Sen. Ted Cruz posed with a “Let’s go, Brandon” sign at the World Series, and Sen. Mitch McConnell’s press secretary retweeted a photo of the phrase plastered on a construction sign.

The public has also started to favor the new conservative dog whistle. When President Biden visited a construction site to promote his vaccinate-or-test mandate, protesters shouted both of the three-word phrases. Another group chanted “Let’s go, Brandon” outside a Virginia park when Biden made an appearance on behalf of the Democratic candidate for governor. Even on a Southwest flight, the pilot signed off over the intercom with the phrase, some passengers responding with audible gasps.

Trump and his campaign team have taken advantage of the trend. His Save America PAC now sells a $45 t-shirt featuring “Let’s go, Brandon” above an American flag. Another message to his supporters reads, “#FJB or LET’S GO BRANDON? Either way, President Trump wants YOU to have our ICONIC new shirt.” T-shirts are also being sold by individual Republican merch sellers displaying the slogan and the NASCAR logo.

The situation is disappointing considering Brown drives for a short-staffed, underfunded team who has struggled to receive sponsorships in the past, and now the existing partners Brown has have not been marketing him since the phrase gained traction. In response to this situation, NASCAR and NBC have taken steps to limit surrounding crowd noise during interviews, but unfortunately for first-time champion Brown, the phrase has already taken on a life of its own.