Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazilian presidential election

Won by a margin of 11% or so, defeating Haddad, the candidate from the Worker’s Party.

Bolsonaro is often called the Donald Trump of Brazil…

In words, deeds and ambition I can see the comparison…and it is a comparison that compliments neither man.

And the rise of right-wing authoritarian populism continues apace. Bolsonaro has made his opinion on democracy clear. This is a scary time to be alive.

It’s been scarier. Unlike the last time this sort of thing happened, democracy was not a proven success in most of the world. Authoritarianism of the right and left was the “wave of the future”. All this is is rejection of elites for ignoring the will of the people for too long. This is the consequence of the “no compromise with the electorate” attitude of elites. Nearly all of these right wing populist movements will fail and the elites will be back in charge, and hopefully this time they’ll pay attention to the voters instead of scolding them for not being sufficiently enlightened enough.

First of all, what the fuck are you talking about?

Secondly, one of the nasty things about authoritarianism is that it’s hard to reverse course because it doesn’t care about democracy - it clings to power antidemocratically. The other nasty thing about it is how little time it takes for things to get really, really bad.

They should be so lucky. Unfortunately, he’s more likely to be the Pinochet of Brazil.

ETA: Never let it be forgotten that Steve Bannon endorsed Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro was elected, by a solid margin, and his mandate begins and ends at fighting corruption and improving the economy. Pinochet was not elected, and Hitler never had an electoral mandate. Democratic populists will often bend democracy, but once given power by actual voters they usually aren’t willing to break it. To me, the person most like Bolsonaro is actually Hugo Chavez. They are opposites on policy, but have similar views about populism and democracy.

…Have you heard anything about Bolsonaro? Like, say, how he thinks very little of democracy and pines for the days of Brazil’s military dictatorship? And while it’s not like Chavez was a godsend for Venezuela, “Like Chavez crossed with Trump” is a whole fucking lot worse.

All I know is that my friends in Brazil are terrified and disheartened in a way that eclipses how folks here felt at Trump’s win.

Any criticism of Bolsonaro’s election (against the whole of the Brazilian political establishment and intense international pressure) has to start with the realization that Hadad, his opponent, was the candidate of the mega-corrupt PT (Workers’ party) of Lula. The country has 60,000 murders a year (more than the US, EU, Russia, Canada, North Africa, China and Australia combined), has supported Evo, Ortega, the Kirchners, Chavez, and Maduro. It has put its hands in many other countries’ pockets (including mine) and messed with their elections. The Lava Jato problems have also exploded under them.
The Brazilians know their country better than us and they decided that he was better. Maybe he’ll be terrible, but it’s not like they passed on a fantastic option on the way to Bolsonaro’s victory.
I’m liking the phrase “populism is what you say when the people don’t vote for your candidate”

I understand why; it’s a good way of deflecting from the charge that a candidate is a right-wing populist. Unfortunately, it’s kind of nonsense. Even if the term is a perjorative, it’s one that means something. When people call Bolsonaro a populist, they’re referring to his demagoguery, the way he plays up the interests of “the common people”, even though his actual policy proposals have fuck-all to do with benefiting the common people. There is a meaning here, a political strategy that absolutely applies to most of the far-right leaders who are currently ascendant. And the fact that it’s often seen as a smear should be a good indication of what happens when far-right populists rise to power. It’s usually not a good thing.

A list of quotes from the man.

A few selections:

It’s also a good way of insulting other people by calling them dumb. It also deflects responsibility from having an opposing candidate up to his ear in corruption with the ruling party having destroyed Brazilian economy and murders like there is no tomorrow. What was the “good” alternative the Brazilians forgot to vote for? It certainly wasn’t Hadid.
Let’s say Bolsonaro is as bad as his critics say, how did the Brazilians decide he was the best guy available? Bolsonaro was attacked every single day by all the major media both within and without Brazil ad still won. The ruling party had scandal after scandal and Lava Jato is huge. Are you saying, then, that PT was a good option? Because saying “Candidate A is a fascist” is only relevant if Candidate B isn’t a piece of shit himself. At least acknowledging the fact is a start.

But, yeah, Populist/Fascist is branded so easily, as easily as “Hitler”.
If I were Brazilian I wouldn’t have like voting for him, but I’d have been much worse voting for Hadid and PT.

Yet, Brazilians voted for him. All of those quotes were 24/7 in the news, and he still won.
So, it’s either Brazilians are supremely stupid and should not be granted the right to vote or shit there is so bad that anything was better than PT/Hadid.

Quick reminder: Brazilians voted for a far-right populist strongman who has a very low opinion of democracy. At that point, what crime did his opponent commit that would make that sensible? As Yudkowsky put it talking about Trump not long ago:

“Scope is real. If you ever have to choose between voting a convicted serial abuser of children into the Presidential office–but this person otherwise seems stable and collected–versus a Presidential candidate who seems easy to provoke and who has ‘bad days’ and doesn’t listen to advisors and once said “Why do we have all these nukes if we can’t use them?”, it is deadly important that you vote for the pedophile. It isn’t physically possible to abuse enough children per day over 4 years to do as much damage as you can do with one wrong move in the National Security Decision-Making Game.”

It’s a bit like seeing that one candidate is under FBI investigation for mishandling confidential information, and voting for literally Donald Trump.

Which was also a really big fucking mistake.

Our former exchange student from Brazil posted this a couple of weeks ago:

I went to talk to my mother-in-law that I was going to vote for Bolsonaro and now she won’t talk to me anymore. The guy hasn’t even won yet and my life is already improving!

How bad were the guys that ran against Benito Mussolini back in 1924? Was he better than anything else at the time?

(my bolding)
What crime? Being part of the political party that rules while Brazil’s economy went to the dump, supported various dictators around Latin America, was corrupt to level surprising even in Latin America (Mensalao and Lava Jato), it interfered with other countries’ elections (including my own) and didn’t address the mind-melting violence that ravages the country.

It’s always easy to have a calm and composed argument while typing and not being a Brazilian constantly afraid of being murdered for a couple of bucks.

Well, he had the March on Rome on 1922 so he already had all the power. Also, he didn’t have to power Mussolini or Hitler had to intimidate other parties and the government or voters. Try harder next time.

Again. Let’s say he is as bad as the media says he is. Why did Brazilians decide on the “fuck everything” candidate? How bad were things that they decided on him? What responsibility do others have in letting a country go to a place where this guy is the best option?

Or to put it another way, as many Pakistanis, military and civilians, killed in the entire 10 years of the Taliban insurgency.

Just figured I’d point out that Hugo Chavez broke democracy in Venezuela. They’re having a hell of a time trying to put it back together.

Bolosnaro’s election is nothing short of an emergency for those who have democratic values, and it’s a body blow for global democracy generally. Brazil is not an insignificant country; it’s the largest and most populous in South America, and despite not sharing the same language with its South American neighbors, it has economic and political influence in the region.

Bolsonaro is not merely a populist; he’s a militarist, who has military experience and enjoys support within the military. He has vowed military solutions to political and social problems. He’s Trump on steroids. He’s what every American should fear beyond Trump.