Leave Brandon Out Of It

Protecting children from profanity-laced books was a cornerstone of Governor-elect Youngkin’s successful campaign. Commercials featuring a mother talking earnestly about how he helped her fight against a book that she felt was inappropriate was a rallying point for Republicans.

It was a call to empower parents to have control over when and where their children were exposed to certain language and ideas.  Then, after making these assertions, some of those parents returned to homes flying “F*** Biden” flags.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, was deeply offended by the fact that Big Bird was pushing “government propaganda” when Sesame Street released a tweet about the massive puppet getting a vaccine as a way to help small children feel brave when facing inoculation against a deadly pandemic. However, he had no problem retweeting a picture of an Astros fan holding a sign at the World Series that read, “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemistic phrase for “F*** Joe Biden.”

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C, wore a “Let’s Go Brandon” mask on the floor of the House, and Rep. Bill Posey, R- FL, ended a floor speech with a fist pump and cry of, “Let’s Go Brandon.”

There are many reasons to dislike and disagree with President Joe Biden, but this sophomoric rhetoric is beneath a party that was once led by a man with such reverence for the office of the President that he is rumored to have never entered the Oval Office without a jacket.

The question of whether or not children are listening to and absorbing this coarse language was answered in deafening decibels at New York’s Oswego Speedway when a trio of young children was enlisted to help the announcer start the NAPA Super DIRT race. After the traditional “start your engines,” the youngest of the bunch shouted, “Let’s Go Brandon,” into the microphone as his compatriots laughed.  The clip has since gone viral.

America has a long history of Presidential name-calling; before there was “Tricky Dick,” “Slick Willie,” or “Dubya,” Federalists were calling Thomas Jefferson a “brandy-soaked defamer of churches.” So what is the difference now?

After enduring four years of relentless mocking of their victorious president, Donald Trump, shouldn’t Republicans be allowed to blow off some steam at the other guy? Perhaps, but as my mom used to say, “Once you start shouting, you’ve lost the argument.”

Not only are children listening, but our foreign adversaries are listening as well.

China is accumulating global influence as the world watches us bicker with no more depth of argument than a group of rival schoolyard bullies encircled by a crowd chanting, “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Terror networks know that we are more interested in insulting each other than policing them. In the Kremlin, the only thing stopping Russian leaders from taking advantage of America’s narcissistic name-calling is the fact that they can hardly catch their breath from laughing so hard.

In short, this behavior is making us less safe.

Presidents are not above reproach; far from it. However, there is a difference between harsh criticism and mindless contempt. The first strengthens one’s position while the other makes the taunter no better than any late-night comedian flinging insults at President Trump.

To quote our former First Lady, “Be Best.”

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