No forgiveness for those who now regret helping Bolsonaro

Regardless of whether they regret it, we are in this situation because of people who knew perfectly well what the risks of supporting Bolsonaro were.

By Esther Solano*

First there was José Padilha. The director of the The Mechanism which,  during season 1, introduced Netflix viewers to a complimentary and glorious description of the magnificent Lava Jato investigation, now says he committed an “error in judgment” regarding Sérgio Moro. Poor thing. I almost cried when I read his interview. Tricked, fooled, deluded, cheated. He, who in all sincerity and good faith believed that Sérgio Moro was the Mother Theresa of the anti-corruption war, the Nelson Mandela of the judiciary, the Mahatma Gandhi of the courtroom, the illustrious national hero in the tireless fight against a cancer on public life in the name of a better Brazil for everyone. Sure.

A few days later, one of the authors of the impeachment motion against Dilma Rousseff, Miguel Reale Júnior, took his turn. Reale Jr. said, “We are really in a scenario of total insanity. It is no longer a case of impeachment but of committing him to a mental institution… I have been saying that whoever is democratic shouldn’t vote for Bolsonaro for over a year.” Ahhh… The impeachment was so ethical, it had so much integrity, it was so decent, right? If someone couldn’t dare think that it was related to a coup, he wouldn’t be capable of imagining that Dilma’s removal would provoke an institutional crisis that would lead to a monster taking over the Presidential Palace. These are certainly unpredictable things. Poor Reale Júnior. He just didn’t know.

Even São Paulo Governor João Doria recently said that he had never “aligned with the Bolsonaro government”. Was I just dreaming when I saw all those “Bolsodoria” campaign commercials last year? Did that not actually happen? Apparently millions of Brazilians had the same hallucination and heard the “Bolsodoria” slogan innumerable times during the election campaign. Well, I don’t know but if Doria says he never aligned with Bolsonaro, who am I to doubt the sincerity of our cashmere governor.

We can’t forget the media and all of the recent editorials in the Estadão and Folha de São Paulo newspapers. An unsuspecting person who was unaware of the reality of the Brazilian media or politics might now think the Estadão op-ed piece she is reading was by a left-wing journalist who supported Fernando Haddad or even Guilherme Boulos in last year’s presidential elections.

Estadão, the warrior of the Brazilian people.” A fist full of journalists are writing more and more columns. They complain and denounce and are shocked at the horrors committed by Bolsonaro. Who would have thought that the cynical decision to treat the ex-Captain’s candidacy as normal and natural, that false asymmetrical game of extreme left versus extreme right, that rabid and devastating anti-PT-ism, would lead us to the sea of mud we are now all bogged down in?

We are dealing with a politician who was horrible, violent and repugnant for 30 years, who was horrible, violent and repugnant as a candidate. Who would imagine that he would transform himself into a President who is horrible, violent and repugnant? I would have never suspected it.

Disgust. This is what I feel. Disgust for those who are now raging against Bolsonaro’s barbarities but who helped, in one way or another, directly or indirectly, bring him into power. Disgust for those who had access to all of the information and, even so, opted for the path of hatred and destruction. Disgust for those who finally, today, faced with the intolerable stench of national excrement, go around saying, “it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me.”

Regardless of whether they are now sorry about it, we are in this situation because of people who knew perfectly well what the risks of supporting Bolsonaro were. They knew the risks and didn’t care because, when it all comes down to it, they never cared about Brazil, its pain or its suffering. They couldn’t care less about the slaughter of indigenous people, about the poor and Afro-Brazilian population on the periphery, about deforestation, about the incremental pauperization of their countrymen.

There is so much dishonestly, so many lies, it is so obscene. All I ask for is a minimum amount of dignity. Don’t come around trying to fool us with your phony regrets. We are not idiots.

*Esther Solano is a Professor of International Relations at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)

This article originally appeared in the news magazine Carta Capital, was translated from Portuguese, with permission, by Brian Mier, and can be read in it’s original form here.


By Esther Solano

Esther Solano is a Professor of International Relations at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP).