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02 November, 2018

Brazil’s version of Trump: why is it a «wake-up call» for the world?

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A racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, a pro-torturer. Because of the profane outbursts and verbal abuse, he has earned such an image and was even considered as a political clown. Once he insulted lawmaker claiming that she was too ugly to be worth of raping. What is more, he said that he’d rather have a dead son than a gay one. Therefore, analysts concluded that Brazil has elected the most extremist president among democratic countries. So why did Brazil decide to make «really radical shift»? How did such an «extreme» and «unpleasant» figure become a president?

Make Brazil great again?!

Twenty years ago Latin American countries experienced threshold moment when Argentina had industrial power, Venezuela was the second largest oil producer and Brazil successfully entered the BRICS.

What happened? Nowadays Brazil has more than 14 million unemployed people. Moreover, every year the country is facing 60 thousand murders and 50 thousand rapes. Experts claim that «a crisis occurred in this country because of favoritism and the notorious union between the government and the elites». The fact that entire political class was corrupt was revealed when politicians from Brazil’s main parties have been accused of bribes and kickbacks. Therefore, a new president Mr. Jair Bolsonar pledged to «drain the swamp of corruption» and fight against terrifying crime.

The messiah…

“People are very angry… People are very mad at politicians and Bolsonaro presented himself not as a politician, even if he was, but as a kind of Messiah. People like these kinds of promises” said Lilia M. Schwarcz, a professor of anthropology at the University of São Paulo. Some experts believe that Bolsonaro used political scandals felicitously for his election campaign, while others argue that social media was an important tool. Even the scandal when he was stabbed during a campaign event was considered as a rigged attack. Therefore, for former White House Chief Strategist Mr. Steve Bannon Bolsonaro’s outburst speeches are nothing more than provocative rhetoric, which led to the growth of populism. There is no doubt that it is a way to manipulate people’s sense of patriotism and pride. By the way, analysts claim that Donald Trump also used this method in order to win the election in 2016.

Tropical Trump

Who knows?! Maybe he is following the US president’s track. Anyway, Mr. Jair Bolsonar admitted that he is the fan of Donald Trump. In fact, they do have similarities: both are conservative populists who were criticized as an authoritarian, racist and sexist. They are pro-torture; anti-media figures who threatened to imprison political opponents. Despite their charismatic personality, analysts argue that Bolsonar is more radical on most position.

However, Trump was very delighted by the result of the presidential election in Brazil. He even tweeted after the election and announced that they are going to work closely together with Bolsonaro, especially in Trade and Military industries. It did not happen by chance that he emphasized these two areas specifically. Some analysts were convinced that the US president would use the military collaboration with Brazil against Venezuela’s issue where he has threatened intervention. Since China is Brazil’s main export source, Trump will make every effort to affect these trade relations. Furthermore, Brazil’s new president has announced that he is planning to limit the flow of Chinese investment in the Brazilian economy, which suggests an affinity with the US that could alter politics in the country and beyond.

The end of democracy?

Despite the success of gaining democracy from 1974 to the mid-2000s, the regime is experiencing obstacles in some countries such as Russia, Turkey and Venezuela. It is said that even in some European countries (such as Poland and Hungary) the level of democracy decreased significantly. And the fact that proponents of populism are winning the elections means that democracy is facing troubled times.

 

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