Brazil: Out of the frying pan, into the fire
Sensationalism, populism, when politics is entertainment and the people vote for a circus, a clown as the ringmaster. Brazil just made a huge mistake.
And so right on cue Jair Messias Bolsonaro (PSL, Social Liberal Party), an ex-army captain who has done time in prison, is elected with a substantial majority (55.2% against Fernando Haddad's 44.8%), the Right-Wing candidate sweeping into town with a simplistic discourse to solve Brazil's problems at a stroke. Brazil is the latest victim of Wow! politics.
The stabbing in the abdomen just before the first round of the election three weeks ago meant that Bolsonaro could claim to be unfit for debates, but also saved him from being exposed as an electoral fraud whose grasp of the issues is shallow and lightweight. He is as qualified for the job as any of Brazil's disgusting political class (generally speaking, there are exceptions), in many cases (not all) a gaggle of thieves and infantile Bible-Bashers, Bullet-Peddlers and Beef Yokels who would sell their own grandmothers if they thought they would make a quick buck.
These are the ones behind the deforestation of the Amazon, these are the ones exterminating Native Americans, these are the ones torching or shooting protesters who dare to stand in their way.
Now we come to the election. The type of person who voted for Bolsonaro falls into two categories: those whose right to the vote is dubious because they have no idea what they are doing (one may as well give a machine gun to a three-year-old in a crowded airport) and those who, disillusioned with rising crime rates, turn to Bolsonaro as the last hope.
Understandable to a point when the simple act of going out shopping can mean you come back home with a bullet in your side or else in a coffin, in some regions, but then again these things are complex and require a multi-vector approach taking into consideration complicated developmental and societal policies which have to be managed by people who know what they are doing.
The Brazilian electorate forgot that Fernando Haddad received seven prizes for his management of the Prefecture (Municipality) of São Paulo, including best Prefect (Mayor) of Latin America, they forgot that he has a degree in law, a Master's in economics and a Doctorate in Philosophy. In short, they forgot common sense and voted for someone who has kept his mouth closed during the campaign after making absurd statements which in any other country in the world, except for the most primitive island-state banana republics, would have seen him reach perhaps two per cent of the vote, granted by the idiotic members of society who do not know what the word "economy" means.
And so the Brazilian electorate, in its utter wisdom, voted for the ex-army captain (almost as low a rank as it gets) of 63 years of age who declared that the Military Police should have killed 1,000 rioting prisoners and not just 111 (Carandiru Prison Riot), who said "Pinochet should have killed more people", who stated that only through a civil war involving some 30,000 deaths will anything change, starting with the death of the Presidential candidate Fernando Henrique Cardoso, "If I saw two men kissing in the street I'd beat them up", "the error of the dictatorship was to torture and not to kill", "if a son starts to act half-gay-like, give his hide a tanning and he'll change his behavior", who said that if a son of his was gay he would prefer that he died in a car crash, who said his children would not associate with blacks because they were properly educated, "90 per cent of these children (adopted by gay couples) will turn out to be gay and will end up as prostitutes", "I am not going to rape you because you do not deserve it" (to a female politician), who paid homage to Colonel Ustra, a fascist torturer during the military regime (1964 to 1975), who said he had sired four boys before "giving a weak screw and the fifth turned out a girl", among other idiotic statements, among them praising Trump.
So congratulations, Brazil. You have just elected a Fascist, torture-praising, murder-advocating, racist, homophobic, sexist oaf to represent you for the next four years, whose solution to crime is to flood the country with more guns. Now watch Brazil spin out of control, with a massive exodus of whoever can get on an aircraft to save their skin, with an ensuing economic and social collapse. Next time around, at least cast a blank vote, except there won't be because before that happens you will find yourselves in another military dictatorship after a coup d'état.
Brazil, always the promise of tomorrow, now goes back to yesterday. Time to watch Bolsonaro and his crowd, time to denounce the slightest incident in which human rights are violated.
Senhor "Capitão" Bolsonaro você e sua laia estão sendo vigiados no que diz respeito à vossa gestão de direitos humanos!
Photo: By Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile. - Archivo General Histórico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (), CC BY 2.0 cl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30547377
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru. He is an official translator, a coach, a consultant and a professor.