Brazil’s Trumpian Turn

Liberal cranks over the years have hissed that Republicans in the United States win on “God, guns, and gays.” In Brazil, notes the UK Spectator, they hiss that “fascists” have returned to power on a platform of “beef, bibles, and bullets.”

Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is the “Trump of the tropics,” warns the media. But Brazilians, exhausted by years of failed leftism, don’t appear too worried, according to the Spectator, which noted this telling anecdote:

When Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters gave a concert in São Paulo recently and broadcast an anti-Bolsonaro message to his audience, they booed him roundly for a quarter of an hour. He had miscalculated: fans wealthy enough to afford a ticket for his show would be Bolsonaro voters. Brazilians feel that only they can understand the peculiar afflictions of their country and there is irritation that others should see fit to give them a homily. Hard times call for strong measures. The country has made its choice, and it has voted for military discipline over a corrupt leftwing regime with no answer to the gang-violence of its streets. It has been easy to play on voters’ fears: the homicide level in some Brazilian cities is high enough to meet the UN’s criterion for low-intensity civil war.

Most of the news coming out of Brazil in recent days sounds promising: Bolsonaro has canceled a climate change summit for next year in Rio, seeing it as costly and an ideologically histrionic waste of time; he has named a foreign minister who forthrightly rejects the pro-abortion claptrap of the international community and dismisses enviro activism as Marxism by other means; Bolsonaro is getting into squabbles with Cuban and Venezuelan commies, signaling that the country will unlatch itself from the region’s vest of suicidal leftism.

Naturally, this leaves the Western liberal elite fretful. It had grown accustomed to Brazilian leftism. How dare Bolsonaro’s aides stain the honor of China — that was the ludicrous tone of the media’s coverage of his appointment of a top diplomat who dared to blog that China’s climate change activism is a Marxist crock of the first order, an obvious attempt to goad Western economies into destroying themselves on the altar of idiotic and ineffectual “green” sacrifices. The lefty Guardian harrumphed that “South America’s biggest nation,” with, my gosh, “the greatest and most biodiverse forest on Earth, the Amazon,” has now fallen into the hands of such right-wing cretins as Ernesto Araujo, Bolsonaro’s choice for foreign minister. We are supposed to be very frightened that Araujo considers the greenies “anti-Christian” and useful idiots for anti-Western countries, who peddle a dogma that “has been used to justify increasing the regulatory power of states over the economy and the power of international institutions on the nation states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and to promote the growth of China.”

Sounds about right. Kudos to Bolsonaro for selecting him. One can only laugh at the headlines the media has been putting on “bad news” stories in Brazil lately, such as this Reuters gem: “Brazil’s Bolsonaro names Trump fan top diplomat as Cuba relations sour.” Oh my. What will Brazil do now that Cuba relations have soured? How irrational of Bolsonaro to throw Brazil’s lot in with the most powerful economy in the world over regional communist ones. Why, he is even holding pre-inauguration meetings with John Bolton!

While France goes up in flames due to his environmental Marxism, President Macron is threatening to retaliate against Brazil if it pulls out of the Paris climate accord. Bolsonaro isn’t exactly flinching. He says that he will not risk the country’s agribusiness for the sake of bowing to green novelties and alarmist conjecture. Araujo, the media disapprovingly reports, won Bolsonaro’s confidence with an article urging Trumpian “Brazil First” policies. Imagine that.

The media casts that attitude as monstrously odd — as if Brazilian leaders consulting with Raul Castro is more natural than nationalism — but to many Brazilians it sounds like long overdue common sense. Beef, bibles, and bullets don’t seem so bad as they look across the border to a country Hugo Chavez, who deprived his people of all three, reduced to hellish shambles.

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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