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Brazil turns right

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, October 29th, 2018 - 90 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, Europe, International, Politics, us politics - Tags:

In further bad news for the world Brazil has turned to the right with the election of a leader that makes Donald Trump look like a moderate.  From the Guardian:

Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.7% of the votes after 88% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday.

Bolsonaro’s exact lead over his rival, Fernando Haddad, will be clear when the full official election results are announced shortly.

News of the exit poll result sent Bolsonaro devotees outside his beachfront home in western Rio de Janeiro into ecstasy and drew huge crowds out onto Avenida Paulista, one of São Paulo’s most important boulevards, where they sang Brazil’s national anthem and set off fireworks.

But Bolsonaro’s triumph will leave many millions of progressive Brazilians profoundly disturbed and fearful of the intolerant, right-wing tack their country is now likely to take.

Over nearly three decades in politics, he has become notorious for his hostility to black, gay and indigenous Brazilians and to women as well as for his admiration of dictatorial regimes, including the one that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.

“The extreme right has conquered Brazil,” Celso Rocha de Barros, a Brazilian political columnist, told the election night webcast of Piauí magazine. “Brazil now has a more extremist president than any democratic country in the world … we don’t know what is going to happen.”

The Brazil result matches what has been happening recently in Europe with many governments turning right over the past few years.  Although there was good news in Ireland with Michael Huggins being re-elected as President.

The continuing success of the right throughout the world is of concern. All that it does is embolden conservative parties and their more extremist elements.

And what is the left wing antidote to this? If I can sum it up in far too few words it is provide an alternative. Talk about hope and kindness as Jacinda does. Have politicians, like Jeremy Corbyn, who have always stuck to their principles and have based their political career on ideals not game playing.

It will be interesting to see if the right wing in National take this as a reason to push the hard line.  Although I think they would be better to see what happens with the US mid term elections.  The prospects look intriguing with Nate Silver thinking there is a high chance that the House of Representatives will flip to Democrat control.

But time will tell.

90 comments on “Brazil turns right”

  1. This is bad. Expect record amounts of rainforests to go down. All vulnerable people in that country will be frightened by this election. I wish them well but tough, tough times ahead.

  2. Bill 2

    I’m just going to cut and paste the shorter quotes from this piece published at The Intercept. This guy’s a scary deal if he in any way lives up to his rhetoric.

    “I’ll give carte blanche for the police to kill.”
    – Event in Deerfield Beach, FL, October 8, 2017

    “You will not have any more NGOs to quench your leftist hunger. It will be a cleansing never before seen in the history of Brazil.”
    – Live video address to a rally in São Paulo, October 21, 2018

    “The big problem in Brazil is that the government is at the jugular of businessmen. […] The worker will have to decide: less rights and employment or all the rights and unemployment.”
    – Event in Deerfield Beach, FL , October 8, 2017

    “I would not employ [a woman] with the same salary [of a man]. But there are many women who are competent.”
    – SuperPop, RedeTV!, February 15, 2016

    “[Homosexuals] will not find peace. And I have [congressional] immunity to say that I’m homophobic, yes, and very proud of it if it is to defend children in schools.”
    – TWTV, June 5, 2013

    “I’m a rapist now. I would never rape you, because you do not deserve it… slut!”
    – Rede TV, speaking to Congresswoman Maria do Rosário, November 11, 2003

    Yeah, there’s more, but fuck…. 🙁

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The continuing success of the right throughout the world is of concern. All that it does is embolden conservative parties and their more extremist elements.

    That’s what it is but it’s what you get when the ‘Left’ political parties refuse to listen to the people and continue to enact policies that the majority don’t want and that makes them worse off. This leads to the rise of the right-wing populist strong man who tells everyone that he’s going to fix all the problems by coming down on corruption, boosting jobs and alienating the other. They will, of course, continue the same policies while instituting harsher penalties upon the poor foe being poor and possibly starting trade wars.

    • Gosman 3.1

      Except the Workers party in Brazil did attempt to enact quite radical leftist reforms when they were in power and they fell to the same sort of vices that all hard left parties are prone to – Corruption and bloated government expenditure.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        ‘Corruption and bloated government expenditure’ are traits of RWNJ governments as seen in our last government and the present RWNJ government in the US and UK.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          are traits of RWNJ governments

          Traits of incompetent governments of any and all stripes.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            True.

            My point is that such are traits of right-wing governments all the time. That they’re inherent in them. Basically, the leaders of right-wing parties are corrupt.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No, that’s no more true than saying all right wing parties are Nazis, or all left wing parties are Stalinist’s. It conflates all the categories down to one extreme caricature.

              • JohnSelway

                exactly right. RedL. It is possible to be Rigbt-Wing and not corrupt. Though Draco seems to think corrupt and right-wing are synonyms

                • KJT

                  It is possible for a right wing party not to be corrupt.
                  Very rare, however.

                  • Gosman

                    Much more common for a left wing party to be corrupt though in my opinion. Any political party that promotes the power of the State as the main means to solving the problems in society opens itself up for people to try and abuse the system that is put in place.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Whereas any party that works to dismantle the state so they can do whatever they like is not corrupt? Nope Gosman – try again.

                    • KJT

                      You have just described Nazi’s Gossie. Left wingers on the whole, want a democratic state.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Much more common for a left wing party to be corrupt though in my opinion.

                      And your opinion isn’t worth squat as you show all the signs of being an ignorant authoritarian follower as you continually defend the corrupt actions of the National Party.

                      Any political party that promotes the power of the State as the main means to solving the problems in society opens itself up for people to try and abuse the system that is put in place.

                      The left generally supports community while it’s the right-wing that seeks authoritarian control through government and ownership.

                  • Muttonbird

                    The clue is in the terminology. Socialists are there for society. Capitalists are there for capital.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It is possible to be Rigbt-Wing and not corrupt.

                  I actually said that.

                  • In Vino

                    Hmmm.. I would have loved to hear your pronunciation of ‘Rigbt’, but I guess this is getting silly.

                    • Booker

                      Looking over this sun-thread it seems one point to keep in mind is that the Left/Right division is encumbered with slightly different weight in Latin America than here or in “the West”. During the military dictatorships there left-Wing groups were killed, disappeared and suppressed. You would think afterwards the right would have a bad name and the left seen as a force for good. But there’s deeper baggage where being left was demonised, associated with being lazy, lawless, drug-takers and propaganda along those lines for year after year during the dictatorship. My former partner was Latin American and I’ve spent plenty of time over there or talking with ex-pats and that negative view hasn’t been entirely shaken off.

                    • Gosman

                      Perhaps because some of what they claim is true.

    • tc 3.2

      In the UK MI5 have taken oversight from the police of the far right groups.

      The ‘terrorist’ (their words not mine) incidents have become significant enough to now go under the same eyes in MI5 as other terrorist groups are.

      Your points about the majority being ignored are pertinent. Sweden’s govt been told since the 90’s about managing the immigration by its voters. They didn’t which set the scene for the far right to make a play in recent elections by turning the anger into votes.

      Bolsarno said ‘I’m not like the others’ and here we are.

  4. JohnSelway 4

    Glad I got to see the Amazon Rain forest when I did. Not going to last long under this fucko

  5. McFlock 5

    Another god-toting family values guy married to his third wife.

    Brazil’s and interesting place – I’m wondering (but can probably predict) if there’s a certain ethnic bias in his support, as well as an economic bias.

    I guess the world will find out how strong the Brazilian constitution is…

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Brazilians have short memories is all I can say…this reprehensible would be dictator will reinstitute torture, and violently repress organised opposition just like ’64–’85

    authoritarians never solve anything, they oppress by evermore brutal means, whilst enabling the corporates and elites–women, leftists, gays, indigenous people, and trees are in for it!

    • Gosman 6.1

      They have short memories because of the appalling legacy left by the PT government under Lula and his successor.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45168837

      • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1

        grow up Gosman, the major mistake Lula made was getting entangled with the IMF, and instituting certain austerity measures

        • Gosman 6.1.1.1

          Why did he get entangled with the IMF? Even Venezuela has not done that despite the economy imploding.

          • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1

            So a right winger in Brazil will ‘just like English/Robertson’ in his economic policy, and not just another corrupt Brazilian ?

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Gosman has been taken ‘out of the loop’ for dropping smash and trash around the show (again) . Some of his comments might come through – it’ll be down to who-ever’s around and their discretion.

              Bearing that in mind, you might not want to bother responding to his existing comments.

              • Gosman

                Care to explain why you decided to do that specifically not just generally?

                As far as I can see I am keeping within the T and C’s of the Blog.

  7. Gosman 7

    Why do you think Bolsonaro was able to make hay from attacking his opponent as Communist and a supporter of Venezuela? Surely Brazilians would warm to leftist political thinking?

    • RedLogix 7.1

      The Trump of the Tropics. Another right wing leader exploiting social and economic fault lines for their own political advantage. Increasing fear and uncertainty generates reactionary pushback, the barriers are erected, the outsiders are shunned. New ideas are rejected and people retreat into bunker mode.

      And yes the spectre of Venezuela bolstered Bolsonaro’s hand no doubt. As with the election of Trump, the left will likely have hard lessons on the table it may or may not choose to learn.

      If the rhetoric is anything to go by Bolsonaro is more extreme than Trump, and given his personal background, possibly more competent. In which case Brazil is in for a wild ride that will end badly, as it always does for all totalitarian governments sooner or later.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        The problem here is that moderate liberal political parties have failed to sell their vision adequately and leftist political parties have reverted to type as soon as they get in to power and screw the country they run up. This tends to leave the electorate not much choice but to vote for the hard right version of the leftist party that has disappointed them so much. The solution would be for the moderate liberal parties to get their act together.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          Not just failed to sell it adequately, but failed to frame competently. Brazil has had several decades with a left wing Workers Party dominating the scene, but their repeated corruption scandals and economic failure, predictably set the scene for this reaction.

          And if Bolsonaro’s victory was predictable, so too will be the left’s propensity to blame something else, someone, anyone, but themselves for their defeat.

          Mickey’s OP never quite gets to the point here; this is the outcome of a democratic election, people voted for this in their millions. Why?

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            And if Bolsonaro’s victory was predictable, so too will be the left’s propensity to blame something else, someone, anyone, but themselves for their defeat.

            Yep.

          • Dukeofurl 7.1.1.1.2

            “Brazil has had several decades with a left wing Workers Party dominating the scene”

            Rubbish
            The Workers party has only held the Presidency under Da Silva and Rousseff ( 2003 -2016)
            Not decades but 13 years, before that from the end of the juntas was centrist partys

            There was a president from The Labour Party( PTB) for short periods in early 60s and early 50s.

            A junta ruled for ‘decades’ ( 64-85)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Brazil

        • KJT 7.1.1.2

          Funny how all these failing countries had decades of corrupt right wing Government. But according to Gosman, it was the brief periods of left wing Government, which caused the unsolvable level of corruption and mis Government. Instead of the reality. The mess left by the kleptocrats is to great to solve. Meaning even if allowed to do so, it would take a real left wing Government decades to sort. The same problem Labour/Greens have here. The expectation, that three decades of right wing vandalism, can be sorted in a term, is an impossible standard to meet.

          • RedLogix 7.1.1.2.1

            Sorry but blaming the other team never, ever works.

            I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong; maybe the other guys do cheat, maybe the ref is bought. I get that. But whining about the result invites nothing but contempt.

            If we want to win this, we have to find a way to be competent at it. Something that reaches past the corruption and kleptocrats. Something that wins the confidence of the broad mass of people, something we can unite around. A narrative that people want to believe in. Something that doesn’t divide the world into tribal power games, but engages our diversity under a unifying story.

            • KJT 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Even when the other lot. Not team. Is at fault. Though Labour is also at fault for confusing the end with their goal posts.

              But yes. Claiming to be “left” then I’m losing right wing policies, such as the totally irresponsible, “Budget responsibility rules” does not inspire confidence.

            • Stuart Munro 7.1.1.2.1.2

              “blaming the other team never, ever works”

              The assumes there is some kind of equivalence between the teams – and that assumption leads to a blurring of the electoral distinction that needs to be highlighted.

              The Key kleptocrats’ pursuit of self enrichment was corrupt, on a large scale, and compromised their quality of governance. This is provable. And the coalition is now situated to legislate against those behaviours.

              Criticising and not regulating makes you look pretty silly, as if your MPs also mean to indulge in similar behaviours. But not criticizing things like list place buying fails to meet a public expectation that a better standard can be established. That will cost support too, because Joe or Tracy Average isn’t too keen on that stuff happening, much less continuing.

              It’s a point of difference, and not one that requires a massive spend. No, the Gnats are not intrinsically evil – but while they lie with great frequency and routinely indulge in large scale corruption they might as well be. If you won’t call them on those things, you won’t attract much of the support you ought to deserve.

        • KJT 7.1.1.3

          Funny how Gosman always mentions Venezuela. Forgetting about the right wing nirvana, Honduras. Eh!

  8. Dukeofurl 8

    With the two regional elections in Germany its seems that the left partys have held their own, but a re-arrangement with the 3 main left groups
    The SPD, Greens and Die Linke ( DL- which combined a split off from SPD and the East german leftists/communists)

    Yesterday in Hesse. Combined SPD-Greens-DL vote was 46%. Back in 2013 it was 47%

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landtagswahl_in_Hessen_2018
    with all 3 parties in the Landtag

    A few weeks back in Bavaria , very similar result.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landtagswahl_in_Bayern_2018

    2018 SPD + Greeens +DL = 30.4%

    2013 it was 31.3%
    with the DL missing out on have MPs both times.

    Clearly the growth of the far right AFD in these elections is from the conservative side.

  9. Gosman 9

    Which one of my comments breached the code of conduct here? As far as I can tell i am on topic.

    [A moderator has put you into pending comments -TS]

  10. SPC 10

    It’s part of a resurgence in base populist nationalism.

    I blame the Zionists for idolising love of ones own kind as an order of rule under God.

  11. xanthe 11

    Until the left turns its back on all forms of discrimination including “positive discrimination” and discourages those who promote such in their ranks the decay and corruption will continue.

    What you do must be ethical or you will become corrupt. the end will never justify the means.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Absolutely. Your last sentence is a tough lesson.

    • Ad 11.2

      What you call corrupt is really just political business. It’s not a purity contest. It’s just a contest.

      You win when you strike the balance between inspiration, credibility, and capacity. You have to appear as good as you can, while your machine does everything it needs to win.

      But that balance or imbalance isn’t where the left globally is losing.

      The right are just better at nationalism, and the left usually don’t have an equivalent answer.

      • RedLogix 11.2.1

        The left lose the contest when we project the message “because we care more about the poor and marginalised, this makes us better people.” And then inevitably when it turns out we are not better people (just the usual mix of good and bad like everyone) … the voters turn on our hypocrisy.

        Plus of course all to often our ideas are untested and often don’t work as well as we’d like, and the voters turn on our incompetence.

        And then because we like to think we’re smarter than the other guys we refuse to learn the lessons and point the finger elsewhere; and the voters turn away in disgust.

        • Ad 11.2.1.1

          Hypocrisy doesn’t account for either the decline of the left getting elected across Europe, or the rise of the hard right anywhere in the last two decades.

          Really interesting variants of nationalism exploited well by the hard right does.

          • Gosman 11.2.1.1.1

            The left can do economic nationalism just as well as the right. Indeed it is one reason Corbyn is a reluctant supporter of UK memership of the EU.

      • xanthe 11.2.2

        Ad….. it all looks like “just business” when you have no morals

  12. Ad 12

    “And what is the left wing antidote to this? If I can sum it up in far too few words it is provide an alternative. Talk about hope and kindness as Jacinda does. Have politicians, like Jeremy Corbyn, who have always stuck to their principles and have based their political career on ideals not game playing.”

    I like that idea more in theory than in reality.

    Principled losers are a pain in the ass.

    • Gabby 12.1

      Particularly to corrupt end-justifies-the-meanies addy. Big arsepain. They do not like it up them addy.

      • Ad 12.1.1

        As the great philosopher Janice Joplin said:

        Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

    • mickysavage 12.2

      Principled losers are a pain in the ass.

      So are unprincipled winners …

      • xanthe 12.2.1

        and of course unprincipled losers

      • Ad 12.2.2

        The closest to principles we get in Parliament are agreements.

        The better term for them is …… deals.

        Dirty or otherwise, the ability to do deals that people like is a far better indicator of electability than hope, kindness, or principles. Holy mackerel National nearly got in again and manages to get by with none of that sticky stuff.

        I tell you what, I’ll generate a post for you on the kind of nationalism that might, just might, start to battle the super-successful nationalism that the right has deployed over the last two decades to nearly wipe the democratic left out.

        • Incognito 12.2.2.1

          Great comment that cries out for a response!

          Dirty or otherwise, the ability to do deals [agreements] that people like is a far better indicator of electability than hope, kindness, or principles. Holy mackerel National nearly got in again and manages to get by with none of that sticky stuff.

          Let’s start with the first deal [agreement], which is the Coalition Agreement. I would like to think that Ardern’s personal values played a role in getting this over the line. These values haven’t just come out of the blue; they were there from the beginning and they’re genuine as far as we can tell. Sure, there may been a bit of media coaching and advice from Labour’s spin doctors but you can’t fake the real deal, so to speak.

          Now, if you haven’t thrown your hands up in the air in abject disagreement you may also want to consider that these values underpin every deal [agreement] that Ardern is directly involved in. What’s more, she may have (built) a team that shares at least some of those values; she can’t do it all by herself. Having the right team is vital and I think Winston Peters is a key player in that team.

          Thus, we have the Coalition Government that does political deals [agreements] underpinned by personal values such as hope, kindness, and principles (e.g. personal integrity and mutual respect), you know, the “sticky stuff”. Without the sticky stuff things can easily fall apart (cue: National Party).

          The beauty of these values is that they’re neither Left nor Right, they don’t define one’s political leaning at all; they are universal values.

          This is where it gets really interesting because it opens up the possibility to do deals with your opponents, to do non-partisan deals [agreements].

          It could work …

          • Gosman 12.2.2.1.1

            The Nationl party had 9 years of remarkably stable rule in NZ. It did not fall apart during that time. Care to explain?

            • Incognito 12.2.2.1.1.1

              There are many forms of “sticky stuff”; if one goes, you’ll have to replace it with another. And we don’t know what happened behind National’s façade of unity & discipline; they always kept the curtains tightly shut.

              Anyway, are you trying to call me out on a presumed ‘technicality’ or are you here to play ball? You did end up in moderation today for a reason …

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.3

      Short term thinking.

      As another great philosopher said

      For the loser now will be later to win

      Principles are always important

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.4

      Principled losers are better than unprincipled winners. IMO.

  13. halfcrown 13

    “crush a supposed communist threat”

    That is all he will do, the rest is bullshit.

  14. xanthe 14

    here is something to ponder
    what is worse
    a self serving despot
    or
    a divinely inspired despot

    I think that perhaps voters in America and Brazil have (rightly or wrongly) seen that as their choice. If that is how they see it then their choice was the best one they could make IMHO.

  15. joe90 15

    Surprise surprise……

    Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has been meddling in Brazil's elections in support of far-right Jair Bolsonaro #BrasilDecide #Eleições2018 Live Updates: https://t.co/VhNhvl5u90 pic.twitter.com/VYr4yCRvff— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) October 28, 2018

    It was a pleasure to meet STEVE BANNON,strategist in Donald Trump's presidential campaign.We had a great conversation and we share the same worldview.He said be an enthusiast of Bolsonaro's campaign and we are certainly in touch to join forces,especially against cultural marxism. pic.twitter.com/ceHoui6FH5— Eduardo Bolsonaro 17 (@BolsonaroSP) August 4, 2018

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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