Why I hate 'Let's go Brandon'
I‘m a former CIA operations officer who spent his life recruiting foreign spies to help protect our nation.
I’ve served in some of the most dangerous places on Earth,
. I’ve lost friends to the fight. I am deeply patriotic. I believe in American exceptionalism, the notion that we are indeed a “shining city on the hill.”
Trust me, many of the foreign spies we recruited felt this way, as they came from authoritarian states that did not have the political and economic freedoms and strong democratic institutions we enjoy.
For these very reasons, I am deeply disappointed with many on the Right — enabled, unfortunately, by both digital and cable news outlets — who have taken up the chant of “Let’s go Brandon.” It is not compatible with the ideas of patriotism and unity. Instead, it is a juvenile and disrespectful slogan that should have no place in our actual political discourse.
Celebrating derogatory statements toward a sitting president is not patriotic, whoever that president might be. How can we unite as a nation when one side finds this slogan acceptable?
It does nothing to promote a better body politic and is grossly offensive to the office of the president.
There are real questions to debate in our country today. The size of the welfare state. Abortion. The role of America in the world after two wars that cost trillions and amid new dangers from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. How much do we tax our fellow citizens? How should politicians spend, or not spend, our money? How do we deal with income inequality? How do we restore America, together, despite the deep divisions in our nation?
Passionate debate is good and healthy and should be encouraged. Ridiculous and offensive slogans must be tossed in the trash bin. Instead, let us live by the ideals that former President Ronald Reagan once stated: “If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.”
Marc Polymeropoulos is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. A former CIA senior operations officer, he retired in 2019 after a 26-year career serving in the Near East and South Asia. His book Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA was published in June 2021 by Harper Collins.