And We Thought Trump Was Horrible?

On Sunday, October 7th, Brazilians elected a new president, Jair Bolsonaro.  Until this man was elected, I thought that the U.S. was alone in having lost its collective mind, as evidenced by the election of Donald Trump.  Bolsonaro is every abominable thing Trump is … and much more.  I have to question the sanity of the 55% of Brazilians who voted for this demagogue.  But then, I have long questioned the sanity of those in the U.S. who voted for Donald Trump, also.  Oh, and guess who worked on Bolsonaro’s campaign?  None other than Trump’s former campaign advisor, Steve Bannon!!!Bolsonaro-TrumpFirst let’s look at some similarities …

  • Opposes most all forms of gun control
  • Strongly opposed to same-sex marriage
  • Opposes environmental regulations
  • Opposes women’s right of choice
  • Opposes affirmative action
  • Opposes land reforms
  • Opposes secularism
  • Plans to pull out of Paris climate accord
  • Plans to move Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
  • Is on his third marriage (yes, it’s irrelevant, but still says something, I think)

But then there are those ideas and rhetoric that take him beyond even what Trump dares to say …

He has made statements in defense of the former Brazilian military regime (a dictatorship known for constant human rights violations). He claims that torture is a “legitimate practice” and says that he would try to pass new legislation regarding the introduction of life imprisonment to the Brazilian penal code.

Bolsonaro said that “the error of the dictatorship was that it tortured but did not kill”.

Brazil has the world’s largest tropical rainforest in the Amazon basin. Bolsonaro has chafed at foreign pressure to safeguard the rainforest, and he served notice to international nonprofit groups such as the World Wildlife Fund that he will not tolerate their agendas in Brazil. He has also come out strongly against lands reserved for indigenous tribes. Bolsonaro advisers additionally say that he plans to expand nuclear and hydroelectric power into the Amazon.

In a 2017 speech, Bolsonaro stated, “God above everything. There is no such thing as this secular state. The state is Christian, and the minority will have to change, if they can.”

Bolsonaro argued that men and women should not receive the same salaries, because women get pregnant; adding that he believes federal law mandating paid maternity leave harms work productivity.  Bolsonaro said that he had five children, that the first four were male and that for the fifth he produced a daughter out of “a moment of weakness”.

Bolsonaro said that “I would be incapable of loving a gay son,” and added that he would prefer any gay son of his “to die in an accident…”  Seriously???  Wow, what a dad, huh?  He went on to say that if a gay couple moved in next door to him, it would lower the market value of his house. Bolsonaro linked homosexuality to pedophilia, claiming that “many of the children who are adopted by gay couples will be abused by these couples.”  I have to ask … what rock did this pos slither out from under???  “If I see two men kissing in the street, I will beat them.” He then publicly defended beating gay children by saying: “If your child starts to become like that, a little gay, you take a whip and you change their behavior.”

On October 4, 2018, Bolsonaro said: “A father does not want to come home and see his son playing with a doll by the influence of school. Homosexuals will be happy if I become president”

trump-jr-eduardo-bolsonaro

Don Trump, Jr. (center) with Eduardo Bolsonaro (second from left)

Trump and Bolsonaro both indicate they plan to work together to improve relations between the U.S. and Brazil, and their sons have already met.  Eduardo Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro’s eldest son, met with Don Trump Jr. in Las Vegas. “They went to a shooting range together—not a major meeting but they got to know each other a bit,” according to a member of Bolsonaro’s party.  Following Bolsonaro’s victory, Trump tweeted …

“Had a very good conversation with the newly elected President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who won the race by a substantial margin. We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!”

Bolsonaro-2Bolsonaro’s election is another feather in the cap of the populist movement.  He won by tapping into a deep well of resentment at the status quo in Brazil — a country whiplashed by rising crime and two years of political and economic turmoil — and by presenting himself as the alternative.  Unlike Donald Trump in 2016, Bolsonaro actually won the popular vote by 55%, but one thing they both said that is striking is that “I alone can fix this”.  And they have in common their loudness, their crassness, their utter contempt for such things as respect, common courtesy and quiet dignity.  They are both loud, ‘in your face’ sorts.  Both countries have a large women’s protest movement … in the U.S. it is “Never Trump” and in Brazil it is “Ele Nao” (Not Him).

Like Trump, Bolsonaro has been a divisive figure in Brazil and those who love him seem to do so mainly for his tough talk.  Having seen what nearly two years of Trump has wrought upon this nation, I can only empathize with the people of Brazil.  Is this, then, the face of things to come, the type of ‘leader’ that people around the world will choose in the future?  Let us hope not.

41 thoughts on “And We Thought Trump Was Horrible?

  1. Jill, good post and comments. The backdrop to all of this is corruption. When I was defining the world’s major problems, a British missionary in Nigeria said one of the top problems is corruption. It leads to people turning to nefarious sources who offer short term hope.

    In Brazil, leadership corruption is rampant. As with other countries, a new leader has emerged that promotes anti-corruption efforts. Yet, looking at Brazil’s new leader, he has a corrupt way of thinking – suppressing the rights of people who are not play along with the mainstream. This is an old story. Leader says the right things, then gets in and reveals his true self. My guess is he will use his power to cleanse, not unlike what Erdogan did with his staged coup purge. Brazil is in for more of the same, but worse. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree … I believe that Bolsonaro is as corrupt as any, and like you, I fully expect that before long journalists will begin to disappear or be imprisoned, the same with activists who speak out against the man and his policies. But, frankly, if the mid-terms tomorrow … er, today … don’t give the majority in the House to the democrats, I truly expect to see the same here, for there will be little to stop Trump.

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  2. The age of Aquarius is already over, after a mere 60 or so years. It was supposed to last 2000 years. So now we are in the Interegnum, the age of Pisces is a long way off. What the astrologers are saying, I cannot guess. Time is turning backward, or going somewhere sideways. Let’s all go to the moon…

    Liked by 1 person

      • To steal the title of a book, the moon is a harsh mistress. We will not trash the moon, we wii keep it clean and tidy. Throwing things out the door will cause vacuums inside, and other such problems for living things. Life on an airless world will be more strict than life on earth. Trash will all be recycled. Human trash, meanwhile, will not survive.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I wish I could be, but he might be on Trump’s side in some things. His ideas often bordered on the side of conservatism. Still, I would have loved to hear his thinking. I might not have agreed with him, but he always tried to see things from more than one side.
            Happy election dsy, I hope!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I have read only a very little by him, but think he was highly intelligent. However, if he would have agreed with Trump on virtually anything, then I take that back! Thanks, my friend … early hours yet, but it’s up/down/back/forth … I would chew my fingernails, but I keep them clipped short. Instead, I am chain-smoking … gonna have to roll some more at this rate!

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  3. Can I ask when populist became equal to hate? Populous use to mean taking care of the people, responding to their problems instead of serving the needs of corporations. There never was a hate componente to populism as I understood it. Now it is all about hate. The more hate and fear a politician can gin up , the more they are loved by some sectors of the people. I am glad there seems to be an upper limit to the effectiveness of hate and fear in the USA. I hope that those people running for office who have instead talked about what they can do to help fill the people’s needs such as healthcare, food assistance , housing assistance, helping the lower incomes with what they need to be OK in society are doing well. We will need them more than ever after Nov. 6. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, Scottie … have you got some time? By definition, populism is “support for the concerns of ordinary people.” That would be … people like me and you, right? And yet, today’s populist movement seems to have left us behind. What changed? A few things.

      One, technology shrunk the world. Today, we can make a journey in a matter of hours that used to take weeks. Today, we can instantaneously send a message that decades ago would have taken days, if not weeks. And so … now we can exchange goods and services around the globe, buying oil from Saudi Arabia and selling Ford Rangers to Germany, all with merely the push of a button. But wait! What if the other guy is getting just a bit more advantage than we are??? GASP! What if I’m buying more than I’m selling?

      Then there came uprising of ordinary people in the Middle East, people who finally tired of living in oppressive regimes and decided to do something, leading to revolutions, civil wars, uprisings, and general violence & unrest throughout the Middle East. Which led to people fleeing the violence, taking their families and seeking safe haven elsewhere, primarily in Europe and North America, hoping for a place where they could live in peace, work hard to take care of their families, and have a better life. I call them refugees, but the bigots call them aliens or illegals.

      Add all of that to the greed of the capitalists, the big corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Smith & Wesson, General Motors who look around and realize that there is profit out there that they are not getting, and besides that, they are paying taxes that are helping us ordinary people stay alive.

      And then, there are the holier-than-thou Christian evangelicals who are concerned because … well, heck, with all these immigrants coming in, and add to that the black people, and Latinos … they are scared they might become the minorities that they have so disparaged over the years, and … something must be done! Everyone knows that white Christians are superior, and we must prove it by putting all these other people … somewhere else! And also those LGBTs, for everyone knows they will corrupt our children by using the restroom in the mall!!!

      And let us not forget that ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’, the election … not once, but twice, mind you … of an African-American to the highest office in the land. Oh. horrors.

      So, all the above factors were swirling ’round in a big pot of anxiety when onto the scene rode none other than a blathering idiot with a really bad toupee and very small hands by the name of Donald Trump. Donald Trump who said, “I alone can fix this”, and the people applauded, for surely “this” needed fixing. Donald Trump who said that Latinos were murderers and rapists, and Africaans came from ‘shithole countries’, and the masses cheered. Donald Trump, who bragged about how he abused women, for they are naught but second-class citizens, deserving of whatever abuse the superior white male wishes to dole out.

      And thus, hate became the norm and the definition of the word ‘populism’ became a victim of Kellyanne Conway’s ‘alternative’ vocabulary.

      Sorry, Scottie … I just sort of got up on that soapbox and started hyperventilating and … crying as I wrote this … and … you are right. Hate has no place in a civil society. But ours is no longer a civil society and I wonder if it ever will be again. Love you, Scottie. Hugs! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Another cloud on the horizon. Although this one’s rise was more predictable considering the mess Brazilian national politics has been in of late.
    Grim times are beckoning folks.
    In Germany there is are of couple of generations with too idiots who have forgotten where Hitler led them to.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’d say the tourist industry in North America has probably taken a minor hit since Trump, now it looks like part of the South is going to do the same. e’re all going to be in trouble if the rainforest disappears and I wouldn’t give two cents for the chances of any indigenous tribe occupying land that Bolsonaro allows to be developed.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, how lucky we are to have two such madmen at the helms of two of the most populous nations on this side of the pond. Sigh. Both of these ‘men’ seem to go by the motto “Live for today, for tomorrow we die”. And they are doing their best to make sure that happens, it would seem.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Unfortunately, I don’t think “hope” (as in “let us hope not”) carries much weight anymore. It appears the populist movement is gaining speed in many countries. As one blog writer noted: ” … what has been playing out on the stage of American politics can be seen more clearly against the backdrop of world politics (globalism vs. popularism).”

    Perhaps it’s all happening because of the pendulum …

    In any case, I think we’re in for a very rough ride.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I wish I could disagree with what you say, but I cannot. If it is the pendulum swinging to the far right, my fear is that this time it will swing too far and break. Scary times we’re living in, and most of us likely won’t live to see how it plays out. Perhaps that’s a good thing?

      Liked by 2 people

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