The right gives up on Bolsonaro’s fraudulent presidency

How could a president elected by more than 50 million votes be so incapable of running a country? Simply because the only goal of the right in last year’s elections was to block PT from returning to power. 

By Emir Sader*

As quickly as it set up the monstrous fraud operation that delivered the Brazilian presidency to a group of opportunists, the right now gives up trying to transform the captain into a president. The old media groups have unanimously come out and said, “this guy does not work anymore”. They now argue that instead of aggregating, uniting and joining forces, he only disintegrates, destroys and generates chaos. Some of them are even saying that the same government they elected is now melting. The problem is that it is dragging the nation down with it.

How could a president elected by more than 50 million votes be so incapable of running a country? Simply because the only goal of the right in last year’s elections was to block PT from returning to power. Everything was permitted. In the same way that Rousseff’s impeachment and Lula’s conviction were enacted through fraud, the elections were fraudulently manipulated. This fraud was widely exposed by the media and then absolved by the Superior Electoral Court.

So now we have the results. They elected the only person who had somewhat of an electoral base to take part in the manipulation which brought him victory and defeated the PT. It did not matter if he had any qualification whatsoever to govern. Now the same media that supported him says that he is a failure on the economy, education, international relations and everything else. This after a 30 year political career that was innocuous and full of irregularities, which was accompanied by his sons. This after his son Carlos became a Rio city councilman notoriously tied to the organized crime militias that have clear signs connection to the assassination of Marielle Franco.

But they preferred this, someone like this, anything that could guarantee, through the defeat of the PT, the maintenance of the neoliberal model which is the only project that the conservatives have for Brazil. They have no right to act surprised at the liberalization of gun ownership and with the policy to strangle the public education system through gigantic funding cuts and liquidation of autonomy for public universities. This was all promised during the campaign with Bolsonaro’s gunshot hand gestures and  attacks against teachers.

A fraudulent candidate – the first candidate to ever refuse to participate in public debates – elected through a media operation of manipulation of public opinion using forged images that were disseminated by millions of social media robots, could only result in a fraudulent presidency.

Those who feel deceived by him and who now want to substitute him have to ask why they elected him, why they preferred him, why they ignored everything they knew about him and why they tolerated a fraudulent electoral operation.

They can try a substitution operation, since he has not been able to fulfill what he promised. The truth is that the right’s disappointment has really come from the incapacity of the Bolsonaro government to set up a majority in Congress to approve the continuation of the neoliberal program, especially pension reform. They are willing to tolerate everything except that which distracts the efforts of the government and weakens its support for neoliberal structural adjustments. It does not matter to them that they are liberalizing the use of guns, that state governments are implementing genocidal policies against their population, that they are destroying Brazil’s public education system. They don’t care that Brazil’s image abroad has absolutely deteriorated. But they do not forgive the blockage of approval of neoliberal structural adjustments.

The democratic opposition should not just sit there watching the right. It should not say that the alternative – disastrous continuity of the current presidency through a takeover by the Vice President and increasing role of the military – would be the lesser of evils. None of this benefits the country, democracy or the Brazilian people. None of this will correct the electoral farce which blocked the democratic expression of the people, who would have elected Lula or Haddad.

We have to denounce the electoral farce, the falsification of popular will through a monstrous operation of WhatsApp and robots. The right has to pay the price for electing a candidate who himself has admitted that he is incapable of governing the country. They cannot simply substitute him for someone who accompanied him during this criminal operation.

The people need their voice back, in transparent and democratic conditions. The operation which pulled the nation off the track which all polls showed was preferable and would have won in the first round, has to be denounced. The left has to polarize against all of the right’s alternatives and not root for any “lesser of evils”. The contradictions that sit in center of the right are occupying the center of the political conjuncture. It is time for the left to return to presenting itself as an alternative, so show the the country is viable, it is governable and that it was governed very well by the left when we had democratic elections.

*Emir Sader, 75, is a sociologist, author of 35 books, and one of Brazil’s most renowned intellectuals.

This article originally appeared in 247, was translated by Brian Mier and can be seen in its original form here.