We may not have much, but it took us decades to build it. Jair Bolsonaro would mean a scorched-earth policy
The Brazilian voter has many reasons to be angry. But he cannot complain of a lack of diversity among the presidential candidates. There are all kinds of options, from the Left to the Right; from statists to those who want, literally, to privatize everything; from those who accept any kind of alliance to those who will not do any; from those who are more experienced to those who promise to be something new.
This blog will not support any of these candidacies – just like, in its 12-year history, it has never supported any candidacy. Many of them are worthy of being defended, depending on the voter’s point of view and ideology. Although Caixa Zero defends some causes, we believe it is not the journalist’s role to tell its readers who to vote for, but to give them information on these candidates so every person can make a very informed choice.
This year, the rule still applies. There is, however, a difference. Due to a series of circumstances, one of the candidacies currently in the lead is totally unacceptable from a democratic point of view. And this blog believes that yes, it is his role to warn about the risk posed by this candidate against the Brazilian democracy. We are talking, evidently, about Jair Bolsonaro.
All other candidates have flaws – it is up to the reader to decide which ones are grave enough to make it impossible to vote for that person. But all of them are playing within the rules of democracy. Bolsonaro is a sad exception which must be stressed. It is not possible to consider him as “just another name” in the presidential race. His victory, unlikely, but possible, would be tragic.
In interviews available to anyone on the internet, Bolsonaro says clearly that, if he was president, he would immediately shut down the Congress – first measure taken by every dictatorship. That the solution for Brazil does not lie in the democratic process, but in a civil war. That it is necessary to kill 30 thousand people, even if some among them are innocent.
Bolsonaro already spoke of shooting former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso. This week, he threatened to machine-gun his Workers’ Party adversaries in Acre. He was legally convicted for saying that he would not rape a deputy “because she did not deserve it”. He treats women like inferior beings – he once said he had four sons and, in the fifth time, he “faltered” and had a daughter.
He is racist. When talking about quilombolas (people who live in the quilombos, descendants of runaway slaves), he called them useless and said that the skinniest among them weighed “seven arrobas” – a weight unit used to weigh animals, not humans. He is a homophobe. He opposes anyone who thinks differently from him.
If everyone else is excluded, it is clear that Bolsonaro only considers white heterosexual men who think like him worthy of his respect. If we consider that the Brazilian Constitution says in its opening lines that we are all equal, it is evident that this is not someone who is qualified to govern the country.
Bolsonaro defends openly the 1964 dictatorship, treating as a revolution something that the entire historiography knows to be a coup. In order to make his lie prevail, he claims that historians are liars. He defends torture: in his speech during the voting of Dilma’s impeachment, he praised the biggest villain of the torture basements during the civil-military regime, Colonel Ustra.
The candidate, besides all that, is visibly unprepared. He has no knowledge of any of the country’s true problems. He already made it clear he does not understand economy – even after spending six mandates in Congress, he is unable to say what the macroeconomic tripod that has been conducting our economic policies since FHC is, something that anyone who reads newspaper would be able to answer.
His candidacy, according to some, represents merely a protest. A sign of a profound dissatisfaction with politics. It is understandable: our politics are going from bad to worse. But it is impossible to defend replacing something that has problems with a visibly worse option – we cannot accept the return of the dictatorship, of torture, of the disrespect to democracy’s basic principles.
We may not have much, but it took us decades to build it. Jair Bolsonaro would mean a scorched-earth policy. Losing the little we have in the name of a protest does not make any sense. It is necessary to stop this madness at once, before it brings even more tragic consequences to the country.
READ IT IN PORTUGUESE:
“O eleitor brasileiro tem muito motivo para estar irritado. Mas não pode se queixar de falta de diversidade entre os candidatos a presidente. Há opções de todo tipo, da esquerda à direita; dos estatistas aos que querem, literalmente, privatizar tudo; dos que aceitam qualquer tipo de aliança aos que não aceitam aliança alguma; dos que têm mais experiência aos que prometem ser novidade.”