Bolsonaro, to destruction as a strategy
The event that probably marked more intensely the life of Jair Messias Bolsonaro, 67 years old, occurred in 1970 in a small city where he lived with his doctors and his country, an unqualified dentist who ventured into gold prospecting to earn or sustain, and a lady-of-the-house who was so seriously pregnant that she wanted to chamá-lo de Messias because she considered her birth a miracle. My first name, Jair, is after a soccer player.
Bolsonaro was a 15-year-old teenager -- in Brazil under a dictatorship -- when a large military detachment revolutionized the tedious routine of Eldorado, 180 kilometers south of São Paulo. A contingent of soldiers went there in pursuit of Carlos Lamarca, a defecting captain who had joined the rebels, and in his escape he shot with the police in the praça. Or disembark two soldiers, the roadblocks and the searches will cause an impression not young born in 1955 in Glicério (São Paulo). Years later, he reluctantly entered the army, left the institution to carry two estates, had a long and mediocre career as a deputy and, to the surprise of many of his compatriots who ignored and despised him for years, he became president of the Republic in 2018.
As president, or ultradireitista --67 years old, country of five sons by three wives--, he broke many economic promises, but he was able to pass a popular remuneration to help poor people who are more money and have more people than the old Bolsa program Family, facilitated the sale of weapons and dismantled the environmental policy of Brazil. Preferred by two more conservative voters thanks to his firm opposition to the extension of abortion or two LGBT+ rights and an idol of Brazil who detests “or communism” and gender equality policies, he aspires to win another term in the October 2 elections against or former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 76.
Despite the economic crisis and the disastrous management of the pandemic, Bolsonaro has maintained the unwavering support of a third of the electorate for the past four years.
For months, Lula has been leading the investigations whose forecasts the president and the Bolsonarists consider manipulated and liars. As they are preparing the ground to contest the election result, emulating his admired Donald Trump in the United States. It would be the culmination of a strategy of sustained attacks on institutions such as the Supreme Court, which had been its main counterweight during this mandate, and is also accused of committing excessive efforts. The erosion of Brazilian democracy is evident.
Journalist Carol Pires, 36, author of a fascinating sound profile of Bolsonaro, entitled Narrated Portrait, discovered during her search for the meaning of that episode for half a century in Eldorado. For her, the main trait of his personality is that “even when he was young, he was paranoid, given to conspiracies”. His deputy collaborators “say that they passed from allies to enemies in our eyes, with conspiracy explanations”. The substitutions of ministers have been constant. No boom in the pandemic, he changed four times as Minister of Health.
“During his 27 years as a federal deputy, Bolsonaro told this story (da caça de guerrilheiro) in different ways,” explains Pires, reporter and screenwriter. Version by version, his participation in it grows. Ele ganhou stand out. Primeiro, that to rusga or pegou na escola; depois, that testemunhou or shooting; After all, he joined the soldiers in search... The journalist adds that, from then on, he introduced conspiracy theories. He would say, without proof, that the Lamarca guerrilla was in the region financed by the mayor of Eldorado, country of Rubens Paiva, a deputy who disappeared during the dictatorship. Decades later, Bolsonaro introduced Dilma Rousseff, an ex-guerrilla, into the story to falsely imply her non-disappearance given her parley. Pure Bolsonaro.
In 2016, in a tumultuous session in which the deputies would vote on the impeachment of the leftist Rousseff, or ultra-directionist, he dedicated his vote in favor of a repressor who tortured while she was arrested. The gesture shocked some Brazilians, but for many it was more one of Bolsonaro's provocations and explosions. Like the photos of two dictators who ruled between 1964 and 1985, hanging in their cabinet in Congress. They are still there: forums inherited by a Bolsonarista deputy.
For President Bolsonaro, this election is a duel between right and wrong. He also appeals to the messianic discourse to explain his resignation to the presidency, a position for which he credits having been nominated by God after surviving the outrage of a madman who killed or killed during the previous electoral campaign. It was a water divider. Isso reinforced his fame and threw two eleitor debates.
During these four years he was not in power, he denied those who previously said he would moderate, he did not charge. Bolsonaro or president is very similar to Bolsonaro as a candidate or deputy. His total lack of empathy for the victims of COVID has been expensive, with comments such as “my name is Messiah, but I don't do miracles” or his response of “what the Lord can tell me, I'm not a dream! This insensitivity and delay in the purchase of the vaccine, with the consequent avoidable loss of lives, is one of the most cited reasons for voters who bet on it as the incarnation of the move and now opt for candidates of the third party via Lula himself.
The pandemic now represents a challenge of a caliber that his predecessors do not have to face, the truth is that the president's administration is characterized more by its destructive objective than by its determination to build. "Bolsonaro never had a political project, he was never a congressman with proposals for public policies," says Pires. “His most well-known declarations are invariably aggressive against women, homosexuals, blacks. Always focused on the annihilation of those that are different. His logic is that, if he disagrees, he is mau and must be destroyed. Or what did he want to put in his place? He himself doesn't know”, she says. Os admirers of Bolsonaro chamam tudo isso of “frankness”.
The captain, as he is known in the family, is the patriarch and leader of a political clan. He directs a compact group made up of his three oldest sons, strategically placed in different centers of power: Flávio, or eldest son, known as 01, is a senator; or Carioca municipal councilor Carlos, 02 (sic), he is the brain behind the social media strategy and deputy Eduardo, 03, linked with an illiberal ultradirection in the rest of the world, from Trump to Vox Spanish or Italian Meloni.
For those who know --a minority, those who closely accompany parliamentary politics-- Bolsonaro was that irrelevant deputy, a reason for joke that in three decades did not approve a single law. He was told by the court in the 1990s that "either the military regime should have ended or work killing 30,000 people" or by court to a leftist congressman that she was "too ugly to be raped."
Bolsonaro saw his moment after Donald Trump's electoral victory in the United States. He skillfully capitalized on or tiredness with corruption, violence and dissatisfaction with lifelong politicians, just as he fosse um deles. His son Carlos, 02 years old, developed a social media campaign that proved to be extremely effective.
The patriarch placed ten points in front of the Workers' Party candidate in the second round, because he knew how to take advantage of the situation, in addition to forging alliances with evangelicals, police and soldiers. Two out of three Brazilian men and seven out of ten Protestants will vote in his favor. In the interior of Brazil, his speech of giving priority to extractivist economic development, disregarding damage to the environment or indigenous communities, was also enthusiastic. Isso I have conquered or supported the most flourishing economic sector, the agricultural industry, as highlighted by the NGOs, the native people, the environmentalists and other sectors as blamed for hindering or economic development that would benefit the local inhabitants.
Four years later, if the predictions of the investigations will become reality, he will be the first Brazilian president who has not been re-elected until now in this century.
It is impossible to understand Bolsonaro if he had in mind that he was trained in the military academy during the years of his dictatorship and that he left the institution at the time when Brazil returned to the path of democracy, in 1988. Bolsonaro was invited to return to civilian life later told to Veja magazine about his plans to plant a bomb to protest against the low salary of two soldiers. The author of the solid profile of Bolsonaro argues that he "traces this coup mentality of the army for politics." His conclusion, after many months immersed in the president's life, is that "he was a mighty soldier, a mighty congressman and a mighty president."
The ultra-direitista and his followers insist that he be investigated or underestimated more than once, as fizeram in 2018. They argue that the means of communication and the electoral authorities are in a coalition to remove him from office and let Lula win. Prova, we tell them, it is enough to smell for the multidões that he gathers in his events - traditional families, motorcycle and weapons enthusiasts - to be sure that the victory of the captain is within reach, on the first return. The question is what will happen if the electing authorities will certify that the majority of Brazilians prefer their opponent.
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