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2018 Brazilian presidential elections inevitably put Brazil’s democracy in danger

Bolsonaro+won+the+presidency+55.2+percent+to+44.8+percent.
Bolsonaro won the presidency 55.2 percent to 44.8 percent.

Bolsonaro won the presidency 55.2 percent to 44.8 percent.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Bolsonaro won the presidency 55.2 percent to 44.8 percent.

Rafael Murtinho

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Jair Messias Bolsonaro was, through the fair process of democratic elections, voted to be the next Brazilian President. A sexist, LGBTQ+phobic, racist and sad excuse of a man will now represent the fifth largest country in the world and one of the biggest developing nations on Earth.

This incapable drag of a human will now lead MY country. A country that has a past, a present and possibly a future endangered democracy. In order for any of this to make sense, here’s a quick history lesson on why Bolsonaro poses a terrifying threat to my country.

Let’s start by looking at the past: it was Apr. 1, 1964 when the military took over our government to stop a rumored and still unproven, might I add, communist threat. They deemed our democracy to be in danger, so they took the obvious course of action to protect said democracy: they turned the government into a dictatorship.

For 20 years the military dictators stood in power, tortured and killed thousands of innocent people, leaving many families wondering, to this day, what happened to their loved ones. They wrote up new laws, censorship laws. They instilled such terror that people walked around in fear of what might happen tomorrow. It took Brazil years to recover from that, but eventually we did. Kind of.

The second coup d’etat happened somewhat more inconspicuously and very, very recently. In 2014, Dilma Rousseff was elected for her second term as president of Brazil. She was fine while in charge, though nothing truly outstanding was accomplished, except for the fact that many gigantic corruption scandals were uncovered, including one that involved hundreds of politicians in positions of power.

As a multi-partisan country, both the House and the Senate are comprised of a myriad of parties, all with their own private agendas to fulfill – and now, their utmost priority was to move the spotlight elsewhere.

Rousseff, being from a not-so-loved party, was somewhat of an easy target; they looked for the tiniest of mistakes she’d made, filed to impeach her and ultimately won. They won with the support of millions of Brazilians who wanted her out, many of which didn’t actually know why they wanted her out.

In power now was her VP, a mere pawn in the much larger scheme to deflect the attention from those who were truly ravaging the country of its wealth. Some of those men and women have gone to jail since, but many are still sitting high and mighty in power.

That brings us to 2018, the year Brazilians threw the remainder of an already weakened democracy down the drain. Bolsonaro won the presidential election with 55 percent of valid votes, against the 45 percent of his opposing candidate, Fernando Haddad.

A wave of hatred towards the latter’s party, which happens to be that of Dilma Rousseff, fueled the Bolsonaro campaign. I won’t be naïve, however, and assume that his supporters based their vote exclusively on political convictions. No. A similar wave that hit the United States in the 2016 elections found its way in Brazilian politics; a wave of intolerance, a wave of hatred, a wave of disregard towards minorities.

Bolsonaro is a dangerous man of poor political history, with a sharp tongue and absolutely no sense of decorum. In his 26 years as a Congressman, he presented 171 projects, but only two were actually approved. On top of that, he has made many unfortunate comments in interviews and rallies: he’s said that he’d rather have a dead son, than a gay son.

He told a fellow Congresswoman on National television that he wouldn’t rape her because she “isn’t worthy of it;” he then proceeded to slap her. In addition, he’s made racist, transphobic and xenophobic remarks, as well as several attacks on Brazilians of opposing parties and of Northern states because they tend to lean more towards leftist parties.

The most infuriating lie he’s told is that Haddad, in his time as Minister of Education, started a program called the “gay kit,” in which a book titled “Willies: a User’s Guide was to be distributed to public schools around the country in an attempt to end homophobia.  In his opinion, he said the book would encourage pedophilia and was unacceptable as a subject to be talked about in school. After speaking of this in several interviews, Bolsonaro was forbidden by The Superior Electoral Court of using this false claim against Haddad during the second term of elections.

Bolsonaro appeals to the politics of ignorance. He appeals to the ugly side that people try to, but don’t succeed in hiding. And even warnings from all over the world weren’t enough to dissuade Brazilians from voting for him.

Warnings have surfaced throughout the media like, “Brazil’s version of Trump makes Trump look like Mr. Rogers” from The Washington Post (USA), “The popular fascist” from the Handelsblat (Germany), “Is this the world’s most repulsive politician?” from News.com (Australia) and my personal favorite, “A look at offensive comments by Brazil candidate Bolsonaro” from FOX NEWS (USA). He also refused to participate in any presidential debates.

Now, you might be asking yourself the million-dollar question: why should any of this matter to me? Well, technically, Brazilian politics shouldn’t majorly affect your life any time soon, though, we have a saying back home that sure applies to this: you never know the day of tomorrow.

The lesson is to use your power and vote for change. You, as an individual, hold more power than you can possibly fathom – so use it. Brazilians from all walks of life have started the much needed opposition to Bolsonaro’s possible reign of terror. We won’t allow him to get away with taking rights from minorities, and you shouldn’t either. Fight. Resist. Win. So even if your candidate doesn’t win, make sure your voice is heard.

You hold the power for change in your hands. Don’t allow it to fall in the hands of the wrong people. Do your part. And As for us, Brazilians, we’ll keep fighting. We’ll keep resisting. We’ll make sure democracy lives.

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2018 Brazilian presidential elections inevitably put Brazil’s democracy in danger