Like Mexico, this is election year for Brazil. This country has been through quite a lot since the previous one in 2014 (dubious impeachment, enormous political and economic crisis, surge of violence in some states, austerity reforms, and a very long etc) and this will be the first election I will be eligible to vote (thank fucking god for that).
Unlike previous years, where the elected party was almost always either the Worker’s Party (Left, elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014) or from the Social Democratic Party (Centrist, elected in 1994 and 1998, lost the 2014 election by only 1,6%), both parties were heavily damaged by the ongoing corruption investigation, and for the first time in decades the new elected President will likely be from a less major party.
The end of this duopoly is likely to be good a thing (both of the aforementioned parties are deeply corrupt), if only it wasn’t accompanied by the popularization of the far-right: An officially laic country, the Brazilian government is deeply influenced by the Evangelic Caucus, which is both very conservative and very powerful, constantly holding back progressive laws (homophobia still isn’t a federal crime because it will “hurt religious freedom”, oh fuck off). It was bad enough when the caucus was just that, a caucus, but now they have a candidate with actual chances of winning, Jair Bolsonaro.
Running by the Social Liberal Party (don’t let the name fool you, it’s a conservative right party), Bolsonaro is a now a distant first-place in the latest polls: the previous first-place, leftist ex-president Lula, was condemned of corruption and is ineligible, while the third-place, ex-Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbosa decided he won’t run. According to the polls he has around 27,4% of the votes, while the closest candidate is now Marina Silva (left, Sustainability Party) only has 13%.
Bolsonaro is the worst of Trump, Duterte and Putin together: as stupid and sexist as the former, a fan of a Police State, gun access and murder like the second, and as homophobic and conservative as the latter. He openly defends:
- The return and extensive use of the death penalty (abolished in 1876)
- Ease of access to guns (we have almost 60k murders yearly with them restricted, I can only imagine what would happen if the average citizen could be armed)
- Mandatory 10 year minimal sentence to any criminal that was convicted three times (our prisional system is inhumane, ridiculously overpopulated, violent and unfair and he wants to make it much, much worse)
- A militaristic educational system, with a general as the Minister of Education
- The end of marriage and adoption equality for LGBTs (first proposed in 1995, but held back by the Evangelic Caucus until 2012)
- More military folks in the Congress and Senate (Brazil suffered a violent, oppressive and damaging military dictatorship from 1964 until 1985)
Not only that, he doesn’t seem to bother keeping all his hateful prejudice to himself at all:
- “I don’t rape you because you aren’t worthy”, he said to politician Maria do Rosário during a Congress session
- “If the son becomes a little gay, beat him that he will change his behaviour, become a man”
- “I’m favourable to torture, you know that”
- “The dictatorship’s mistake was to torture instead of kill” he said in a radio show, in 2016
- “I’m not going to fight against nor discriminate, but if I see two men kissing on the street, I’m going to beat them”
- “90% of those boys adopted (by LGBTs) will be homosexuals and prostitutes with absolute certainty”
- After being asked by famous Brazilian singer and actress Preta Gil what would he do if one of his sons fell in love with a black woman: “Preta, I’m not going to discuss promiscuity with whoever. I don’t suffer this risk (having a black daughter-in-law) because my sons were very well educated and didn’t lived in lamentable places like yours”
- “Women deserve to win a smaller salary because they can get pregnant”
On the surface I’m the voter Bolsonaro most want: white, cisgender male, upper-class. But even if I was heterosexual (I’m not), he will never have my vote, because unlike his supporters I’m (at least think of myself as) empathetic, and I’m not an ignorant: I don’t want more guns on the street, I don’t want the military politically powerful again, I don’t want the end of social support for the poor, I don’t want people getting killed because they were poor, black, female or LGBT, I don’t want people getting tortured and killed in prisons instead of getting the rehabilitation they deserve, I don’t women being treated as an inferior being with fewer rights and suffering more violence, I don’t want tyranny
I love Brazil, I have hope for it, and I’m proud to be Brazilian, but that sentiment will die if this vile man becomes president. I feel hopeful because most people I interact, almost all of who are of the same generation as I, share the same feelings and thankfully the same hatred for this piece of shit, but I’m afraid we won’t be enough to save our nation.