Jair Bolsonaro is leading the charge to become Brazil’s next president, and it turns out he reminds us of someone.
Oh, yeah, that toolbox running the show over in America.
The Guardian followed Jair around during a recent appearance at an Amazonian airport, where adoring fans chanted the name of the man they’ve dubbed “The Legend”.
I feel like this pretty much sets the scene:
There, Bolsonaro boarded a carnival float painted like a leopard and began an ear-splitting, hour-long procession through town.
“The Legend has arrived! The Legend is in Roraima! The big democracy party has begun!” bellowed an MC as the rally crept south, pursued by a honking tide of SUVs and motorbikes.
Now it’s not just his affinity for such public displays that has earned him those Trump comparisons, but rather some of his past deeds.
NewsAU with a quick rundown of some of those standout moments:
“This idea of oh poor little black person, oh poor little poor person, oh poor little woman, oh poor little indigenous person, everybody’s a poor little something!” he told Vice News. “I don’t try and please everybody.”
Then there were his crude comments made to female politician Maria do Rosario:
Do Rosario had been protesting human rights violations committed during the military dictatorship Bolsonaro publicly supports – violations which included torture, rape and murder.
“Stay here, Maria do Rosario,” he said. “A few days ago you called me a rapist.
“And I said I wouldn’t rape you because you’re not worthy of it.”
After being met with criticism, Bolsonaro uploaded footage of the incident to Twitter and said he was putting Maria in her place.
Which, I’m willing to bet, he believes is the kitchen and the bedroom. Preferably barefoot.
When asked what he would think about his child dating a black person:
He said he would “never allow this kind of promiscuity”, but added that his “children were very well-educated”, as if to suggest it would therefore not be an issue.
And of course, like a true bigot, he despises the LGBT community:
In 2011, he said he would rather his son die in a car accident than be gay. He also said the presence of a gay couple at his house would cause the value of his house to depreciate.
There are even reports he has compared same-sex marriage to paedophilia, and encouraged the physical abuse of children believed to be gay…
“No father would ever take pride in having a gay son. Pride? Happiness? Celebration if it turns out his son is gay? No way.”
Upon further questioning, he even compared his dislike for homosexuals to the public’s dislike of the Taliban.
He’s not very popular on The Intercept, either – their December 2014 story on him was titled “The most misogynistic, hateful elected official in the democratic world: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro”.
Take a guess what term he loves to throw in the face of journalists who criticise him?
He accuses critics of peddling fake news, vows to be tough on crime and repeatedly bashes China. “We will do business with the Chinese – but we will not hand our territory over to anybody!” he told supporters in Boa Vista, to loud cheers.
And his speeches:
His speeches, like Trump’s, are often rambling, fact-light assaults on syntax that appear nonsensical when transcribed but are strangely captivating when watched up close.
Someone should ask him about uranium, just for a point of comparison.
Those in the know believe Bolsonaro is openly copying Trump, including Brian Winter, the editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly:
Winter said he was convinced Bolsonaro was “openly copying aspects of the Trump strategy” and believed it could prove a winning formula.
“Donald Trump got elected saying that crime in the inner-cities was out of control, that the economy was a disaster and that the entire political class was corrupt … All three of those things are indisputably true in Brazil. So if Trump could get elected, imagine what is possible in a country like Brazil right now.”
He even has an idiot son who loves to run his mouth, just like Don Jr. Get a load of Eduardo:
The Brazilian version of MAGA, folks.
Winter believes that it’s unlikely, but also very possible, that Bolsonaro will win. Of course if he fails to do so, he will go full Trump on that front, too:
Salvation for Bolsonaro’s detractors seems likely to come in the form of Brazil’s electoral system, which requires a second-round runoff if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in the October election.
Winter said polls showed support for Bolsonaro had plateaued at about 18%, indicating many voters considered him “crazy and dangerous”.
For this eventuality, too, the Bolsonaros appear to be preparing a Trumpian tactic, raising the spectre of electoral fraud just as the US president did in 2016.
Eduardo Bolsonaro said he was convinced his father would win in the first round – unless his fears of a rigged vote were confirmed. “As we say around here, there’s a dog in that there forest,” the 33-year-old said.
Fake news, fraudulent voters, bigoted views, an idiot son, riled-up supporters turning their backs on common decency – yep, straight out of the Trump playbook.
If he doesn’t land the Brazilian gig, he might want to give the Philippines a bash.
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