The year the American right made me laugh

In today’s column I’m going to take off my programmer’s hat and wear the one of editor of the international pages of the newspaper Causa Operária. We won’t deal with technology. I make this exception because this topic would never make it to the pages of our traditional print newspaper, but I believe it can find its place in this relaxed space that is my column.

Every year, the US Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) “monitors” US airspace for Santa’s activities. The “purpose” is to let the children know if their gifts will be delivered. As part of the activity that seeks to humanize the high degree of militarization in American society, children across the country can contact the state agency to inquire about the status of their deliveries.

This year, Joe Biden and his wife Jill have answered a few calls. The result was hilarious. One of the parents participating in the event broadcast on national television said goodbye with a phrase associated with the trumpist right. After letting his four kids comment on their Christmas wishes, Jared said, “Merry Christmas and come on, Brandon!. Not understanding, Biden replied, “Come on, Brandon! Okay!

For anyone who doesn’t follow international politics and internet memes, these phrases shouldn’t make any sense. Especially if it added to the information that Jared’s four children were Griffin, Hunter, Piper, and Penelope. Who is Brandon then? Allow me to explain.

In October of this year, in front of the screams of “fuck Joe Biden” (f**k yourself Joe Biden) at the end of a Nascar race, the reporter interviewing the race winner , Brandon Brown, was “confused”. Kelli Stavast highlighted how the fans were cheering the winner, shouting “Let’s go, Brandon!” (come on, Brandon!). All that was heard, however, was the slogan in repudiation of the president. 

The moment was delusional. This columnist will never know if the reporter really got it wrong or if she was ordered to censor the race audience at her point. The second option is unlikely because the sports show’s anchor could have simply interrupted the broadcast. Still, it’s all pretty weird. 

The right quickly seized the battle cry “Let’s go, Brandon!“. It got to the point where Republican lawmakers wore the phrase on their masks. Songs were created with the meme. At the time of mass censorship, the encrypted slogan became liberating in many ways.

Despite laughing at the ridiculous situation the US president finds himself in, part of me is a little sad. Nothing has made me laugh as genuinely as this teasing for a long time. The involuntary humor practiced by Biden, who accompanies his interlocutor and utters the watchword, is the icing on the cake. The part that makes me sad, however, is that the joke with the president originated and developed in the American conservative right.

The left, dominated by the politics of identity, has lost its capacity to be an offender. All the rules of treatment and what can and cannot be said almost make satirical humor impossible. Does anyone remember any mockery against Donald Trump that was really funny or offender? All I remember is the left parrot repeating what big newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times were saying.

As a 2021 Christmas present, I want the left to get their own “Let’s go Brandon”. In Brazil, USA or somewhere! We have to go back to being offenders, after all, we who are against the system, not the US Christian Right. 

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