According to Gloria Johnson, a leftist Democrat representative from Tennessee, chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” is the equivalent of burning the American flag. That’s right; according to her, a funny chant that pokes fun at both the lying media and Biden Administration is the same as taking a torch to Old Glory.
Her comment was made on Twitter as a response to another tweet that took aim at the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant:
As a friend said, I think it should be equated with burning the flag, in essence, that’s what they are doing. https://t.co/0WrJzFSkwv
— Rep. Gloria Johnson (@VoteGloriaJ) November 15, 2021
She followed up that tweet with a later one noting that both flag burning and LGB chants are “protected speech” and that her comments were just her opinion, not a “legal take.” She also randomly adds “reading is fundamental,” without any context.
Reading is fundamental. It’s not a legal take, it’s a person’s opinion. And as a few were smart enough to understand-both are protected speech.
— Rep. Gloria Johnson (@VoteGloriaJ) November 17, 2021
As the Daily Caller notes, the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant is an incredibly popular one, having been heard at most every public event and even appearing on items of clothing and in rap songs:
The phrase, “Let’s Go Brandon” has become a trend across the U.S. and is often chanted at sporting and other events. The chant is the less profane version of “F**k Joe Biden” and caught on after a NASCAR race in which NBC reporter, Kelli Stavast appeared to believe fans were cheering for driver, Brandon Brown.
So, in terms of how it’s viewed by the general public, which abhors flag burning. For example, a Gallup poll in 2006 showed that Americans generally supported a Constitutional Amendment that would make flag burning illegal. And that was at a time when anti-Iraq War sentiment was reaching a crescendo, so it was hardly a jingoistic or highly patriotic time that would push people toward wanting to ban flag burnings.
No such amendment has been proposed that would make saying “Let’s Go Brandon” illegal. Rather, more and more people seem to be adopting it and generally viewing it as a fun form of protest against both Biden and the media.
So, though Rep. Johnson is right that both are free speech, there’s a major difference in how the two are treated. One is toeing the line of what is legal and is viewed negatively
Many on Twitter noted the absurdity, hypocrisy, and tyrannical potential of Rep. Johnson’s comparison:
Was this the friend who said that? pic.twitter.com/u0sJiSXqmU
— David Reaboi, Late Republic Nonsense (@davereaboi) November 16, 2021
Ridiculous. It's free speech related to incompetence of the president, who happens to have your support this time.
— Kelkat (@Tweetytweeter63) November 17, 2021
Then this would be the equivalent of…? pic.twitter.com/C7QPI4mLwB
— Dave Emerich (@DaveEmerich) November 17, 2021
Land of the free, home of the thought police.
— JaminX฿T (@JaminXBT) November 16, 2021
Thank you for demonstrating to everyone that you are unqualified to hold public office.
— John William Sherrod (@jwsherrod) November 16, 2021
No, it’s a satirical commentary on the ridiculous bias of the press toward one temporary holder of a political office, and on the actual competency of said politician. Nothing to do with the country at all, which (hopefully) will survive.
— Lisa Rothstein #BeYourOwnBoss #NOPROAct #RepealAB5 (@davincidiva) November 16, 2021
And, as the final tweet notes, there’s a major difference between the two protected forms of speech, one Johnson doesn’t discuss. Flag burnings are meant to show disrespect toward America generally. Commonly seen at anti-American protests everywhere from leftist rallies in America to IRGC-staged rallies Iran, the act of burning the flag is meant to show disrespect both toward America and the values it stands for.
The “Let’s Go Brandon” chant is far different. Far from being an attack on American and her values, it’s a cry of protest against Biden’s incompetence and the media’s attempt to cover for him.
That difference in motivation is what Rep. Johnson is attempting to ignore by connecting the two and it’s an important one.