It will take time to dispel the poison that has permeated Brazil’s political atmosphere in recent years. Good economic management by the future government is a prerequisite for this. But this is not a sufficient condition.
Fertilization comes from afar, at least since 2014, when the “devil” did the re-election of Dilma, and then her removal from power. The process has gained unprecedented intensity and scale over the past four years and has reached its maximum saturation in this election campaign. The scenes seen in recent days show how far the delirium promoted by Bolsonaro’s authoritarianism has reached.
The snake’s egg began to hatch when the usual dispute between democratic forces turned into a destructive struggle between “us” and “them” and competition for additional private resources to finance political activities intensified, with known consequences. Jato’s lava went off the rails, but the corruption schemes were real. The difficult transition of the presidential term, which is now ending, should serve as a final lesson so that the mistake and sin will not be repeated.
In addition to anti-politics, Bolsonarism mobilized primitive anti-communism and fear of the destruction of traditional values and the family, instrumentally using Christianity for both purposes. He created ghosts, inflated on the basis of false news and distortions of factual reality, to arouse a paranoid sense of menace. The disinflation of these ghosts is necessary to bring the country back to normal.
Every paranoia needs a grain of truth to gain wings and break away from reality. The PT’s reluctance to call the so-called left-wing authoritarian regimes in Latin America for what they are (dictatorships in the case of Cuba and Nicaragua and quasi-dictatorships in Venezuela) and criticism of human rights violations in these countries as fuel for the unsubstantiated message that with Lula Brazil will move to socialism. To make matters worse, government loans were given to major Brazilian contractors to carry out work in those countries. Putting one against the other, the far right formed a duo to attack communism and corruption. Its elimination requires that the new government make it clear in word and deed that it will not be driven by old passions or possible ideological sympathies in foreign policy (contrary to what the Bolsonaro government did).
Also in relation to moral conservatism, it is about throwing the ball into the ground. In reviewing longstanding qualitative research with evangelical groups, sociologist Esther Solano notes that opinions about gender, sexuality, and family are far from uniform among them. There is unanimous opposition to what in the eyes of poor conservative women is perceived as an attempt to impose moral standards that are alien to the universe to which they belong. But there is plenty of room for dialogue on topics such as violence against women, gender inequality in the labor market, and women’s overburdened care of children and the elderly in the family. Increasing government policies to mitigate or address these issues will limit the far right’s ability to deal with moral fears. In addition to implementing them, the new government should mediate politically between progressive gender, sexuality, and reproductive rights groups and the more conservative majorities in society, and mainly in Congress, to avoid falling into traps such as the inappropriately named “gay recruitment.” “.
Another inevitable task will be to restore normal relations between civilians and the military, which began to spin out of control under the government of Dilma Rousseff and faltered under Bolsonaro. On the one hand, it is necessary to demilitarize the government, and on the other hand, to respect the Armed Forces as an institution of the Brazilian state. The wounds left by the 1964 coup and the abuse of human rights under the authoritarian regime will take time to heal. This is not about forgetting what happened in the past, but about focusing on what needs to be done now without exacerbating counterproductive tensions.
In the same vein, it is important to depoliticize the federal traffic police, strengthen the professional management of the federal police, and restore the autonomy of the Attorney General’s Office. More or less instrumentalization of these state bodies in favor of Bolsonaro’s political project was a central part of the strategy of attacking democratic institutions. The fact that the project failed does not absolve those who participated in it from responsibility. Anyone who has proven his involvement in financing and organizing actions aimed at threatening the democratic order and the physical integrity of STF ministers, coercing voters and journalists, among other crimes, must bear the consequences of what he did, with a guaranteed full right to defense and the presumption of innocence .
The vast and complex program of normalization in the country must be tackled with calmness but firmness.
FHC FUND GENERAL, GACINT-USP MEMBER