There is a crisis afoot – people are being rude to President Joe Biden.
The media portrays the new trend of anti-Biden protesters chanting or holding signs saying “F-Joe Biden,” or the cleaner version that has come to refer to the same thing, “Let’s go, Brandon,” as a new low in American politics.
A recent report for the Washington Post was titled:Biden critics increasingly criticize vulgar criticism. It stated that presidents have always been the subject of ridicule and abuse, and then claimed that “the current rush of anti-Biden signals and chants, however, is on another level, much more vulgar and pervasive.”
Oh really? Put aside all the abuse of presidents before the digital age, be it John Quincy Adams (“Pimp”), Andrew Jackson (“Tyrant greater than Cromwell, Caesar, or Bonaparte”), and Martin van Buren (“Martin van Rooyen”), Abraham Lincoln (“the original gorilla”) or Theodore Roosevelt (“the Cursed Cowboy”). The past few years have not been a polite period of polite discord in our national life.
Like Byron York from The Washington Examiner noteOpponents of Donald Trump glorified the F-word, so that without it some of them would be practically silent. When Robert De Niro introduced Bruce Springsteen at the 2018 Tony Awards, he took the opportunity to declare, “I’ll say one thing. Wow – Trump.” Cue a standing ovation.
An art gallery in Los Angeles held an art exhibition “F- Trump”, rapper Eminem led the call and response of “F- Trump” in a concert in England and so on.
If throwing this particular vulgarity is completely off-limits now, the new progressive rule is “F – you” for me but not for you.
After gaining traction with roadside protesters outside the Biden events and with college football fans, “F— Joe Biden” took an unexpected turn last month. NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won a race at Talladega Superspeedway and his interviewer mistook the “F-Joe Biden” chant in the background while fans say, “Let’s go, Brandon.”
The scene was more like something out of the Will Farrell comedy “Talladega Nights.” M was born.
The alternate version of the insult, which the president’s critics immediately embraced, was more subtle than the original. Basically, it’s a joke. It’s a mockery of Biden, of course, but also of misreporting the racetrack cheering, which is seen as a symbol of the media’s ridiculous protectionism toward Biden.
The chant is also pleasantly palatable, given its source: Who could object to cheering on Brandon, whatever?
However, not everyone appreciates humor. When a Southwest Airlines pilot allegedly spoke the offending phrase on a flight intercom with an Associated Press reporter on board, the anger machine set off in a particularly blatant display of humor and lack of proportion.
Juliette Kayem, a Harvard professor and CNN commentator, posted a letter supposedly from another pilot calling for the southwest pilot and his crew to be fired, on the grounds that the pilot must have been too mentally unbalanced to operate the plane.
Asha Rangaba, another CNN commentator and Yale University law professor, compared the pilot’s statement by saying, “Long live ISIS,” as if expressing anti-Biden sentiment in a funny way is the same as pledging allegiance to a terrorist group that loves its aides to crash planes.
Of course, pilots shouldn’t make political ads on their flights, and it would be better if no one resorted to public obscenities when referring to Biden, Trump, or any other employee. But one of the perks of living in a democratic age is that people can insult the head of state without fear of imprisonment or other punishment.
Anyone who thinks that mocking an American president, especially an unpopular one, breaks into new and dangerous ground knows nothing of our history or what it’s like to live in a tumultuous continental country. Partisan insults, vulgar and unpleasant, come with territory.