AP Explains: How Brazil’s Bolsonaro used Trump tactics
By SARAH DILORENZO and PETER PRENGAMAN
Sunday, October 28
SAO PAULO (AP) — Observers have long flirted with the idea that far-right Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in Sunday’s presidential runoff, was a “tropical Trump.” Bolsonaro has presented himself as someone who tells it like it is while promising to dismantle a dysfunctional political system, and who seeks to capture the imagination of many citizens afraid of losing their place in an increasingly diverse and inclusive society.
While U.S. President Donald Trump and Bolsonaro have many differences — before running, Trump was a billionaire businessman while Bolsonaro was long-time congressman with few legislative victories — many tactics used in their campaigns were remarkably similar.
Perhaps the biggest similarity and likely the one that initially gave rise to the comparisons between Bolsonaro and Trump is that neither man appears to measure his words. In the 2016 U.S. elections, Trump often billed himself as the man who wasn’t afraid to say what everyone else was thinking. Bolsonaro shares the same lack of filter. Some of the comments that have gotten him in trouble reflect longstanding ideological positions, like his repeated praise for Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship. Other comments may be more off the cuff and a wink at his reputation for shunning the “politically correct,” like when he told an audience that he had a daughter “in a moment of weakness” after four sons. Both men “enjoy being outrageous and making statements for shock value,” said Paulo Sotero, the director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington.
BASH MAINSTREAM MEDIA
Bolsonaro and his three oldest sons, who are also politicians, have hammered away at Brazil’s main media organizations, accusing them of everything from telling outright lies about the candidate to ignoring his rise in the polls and endorsements from other politicians. Like Trump, they accuse the media of propping up the country’s traditional elite and of trying to derail a campaign that might threaten it. Earlier this month, daily Folha de S. Paulo reported that Bolsonaro’s campaign may have broken campaign finance laws because friendly businessmen were allegedly bankrolling blast messages on WhatsApp. Bolsonaro has responded by repeatedly calling Folha “fake news” and promising to punish it by cutting off government advertising.
SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING
For candidates who don’t trust the media, social networks provide the perfect outlet. Bolsonaro, like Trump, has made heavy use of Twitter and Facebook to talk directly to voters. That became especially important after the candidate was stabbed on Sept. 6 and confined to the hospital for more than three weeks. Even after being released from the hospital in late September, Bolsonaro has skipped all the debates the last month, citing his doctors’ orders. Instead he held nightly Facebook live sessions with political allies and did interviews with friendly stations. “The idea that you would skip the debate on health grounds but then have three 10-minute interviews with a friendly TV networks is very Trumpian at its core,” said Matthew Taylor, associated professor of Latin American politics at American University, adding that a heavy reliance on social media helped both men overcome initial resistance to their candidacies.
Bolsonaro has raised the specter of fraud and said it could rob him of the election. A week before the first round on Oct. 7, he told a television station he would not accept any result but his own victory, implying that the size of support he had seen at street rallies indicated he would win, even though the polls were close. A few days later, he backed off those comments, saying he would accept the election results but wouldn’t make a call to his rival to concede. Trump trod a very similar path. “Bolsonaro is essentially saying, ‘Fairness means that I win. Anything else is fraud,’” said Jason Stanley, author of “How Fascism Works: The politics of us and them.”
USE OF PROXIES
Similar to how Trump’s campaign had Donald Trump Jr. and other children sometimes speak for their dad, Bolsonaro has often depended on his three eldest sons to float ideas, deny critical press reports and make outlandish claims. On Oct. 7, as Brazilians were going to the polls in the first round of voting, Senate candidate Flavio Bolsonaro shared a video on Twitter that purportedly showed a voting machine that had been tampered with. Within hours, the country’s electoral court announced that it was a false report. However, by then it had surely been seen by millions of people on Twitter and the messaging group WhatsApp. “The technique is to use people who speak for you but don’t speak for you,” said Taylor. “Trump or Bolsonaro can always say, ‘I didn’t or would never say that.’”
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Bolsonaro wins Brazil election, promises to purge leftists from country
October 28, 2018
Author: Helder Ferreira do Vale, Associate Professor, Graduate School of International and Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Disclosure statement: Helder Ferreira do Vale does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
After the most polarized and divisive campaign in its modern history, Brazil has elected as its next president a right-wing politician who openly disdains human rights and admires military dictators.
Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old congressman who had strong evangelical backing for his law-and-order stance on policing, support for gun rights and opposition to abortion, won 55.7 percent of votes. Bolsonaro’s leftist competitor, Fernando Haddad, a former education minister and ex-mayor of São Paulo, received 45 percent of the roughly 100 million ballots cast.
Bolsonaro’s angry, populist campaign rhetoric led many newspapers and public figures worldwide to declare his candidacy a threat to democracy. But 55 million Brazilians on Sunday showed less concern about Bolsonaro’s message.
Haddad, his opponent, joined Brazil’s presidential race less than a month before the first round of voting. The Workers Party, which has run Brazil since 2002, tapped Haddad to replace front-runner Inacio Lula de Silva, a wildly popular former president jailed on corruption charges in July. Haddad was unable to retain Lula’s lead.
Brazil’s politics of disillusionment
Bolsonaro’s victory will likely worsen an already acute crisis in Brazil, the second-most populous nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Once a rising star in the developing world, Brazil has been mired in severe recession and political turmoil since 2015. Hundreds of politicians, including former President Lula, have been arrested and jailed in a judicial investigation that has exposed corruption at the highest levels of government.
That corruption has consequences: A survey conducted in August by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics showed that only 25 percent of citizens trusted their federal government and 18 percent trusted Congress.
In such circumstances, Bolsonaro’s win as an anti-establishment candidate was predictable – and not just because Bolsonaro had maintained a clear lead in the polls ever since Lula withdrew in September.
When voters don’t believe in their politicians or government institutions, candidates who tap into voter disdain for the political system can find success. In my scholarly research on democratization, this is what I call the “politics of disillusionment.”
This phenomenon helped conservative outsiders to win in the United States, Italy and Hungary.
Now, disillusionment in Brazil has handed victory to a right-wing populist who promises to purge the country of his leftist opponents.
“Either they go overseas, or they go to jail,” he told a huge crowd in São Paulo in one of his last appearances before Sunday’s vote.
Inflammatory rhetoric and militarism
Bolsonaro has been in Congress for three decades. But to harness popular rage against the system, his campaign offered an outsider’s scathing critique of Brazilian society.
In response to rampant political corruption and extreme violence in Brazil, Bolsonaro defended military dictatorships like the one that ran Brazil from 1964 to 1985. The only problem with Brazil’s former authoritarian leaders, Bolsonaro said, was that they “tortured rather than killed” dissenters.
Critics say his adulation of the military raises serious doubts about the future of Brazil’s 33-year-old democracy.
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, regularly uses homophobic, misogynistic and racist rhetoric against large swaths of Brazil’s population. He has said that he would “never allow” his children to get romantically involved with a black person and that he was “incapable of loving a homosexual son.”
Bolsonaro also once told a fellow congressional representative that she “did not deserve to be raped” by him because she was “terrible and ugly.”
His candidacy was met by outrage and mass protest by women.
The president-elect’s ambiguous policy agenda
Beyond his inflammatory rhetoric, Bolsonaro has offered few specifics about how he would govern Brazil.
He skipped presidential debates and avoided tough questions about whether he would make economic and political reforms to help get Brazil out of its three-year-long crisis.
To tackle record-high crime, the president-elect has said he will ease gun laws and reduce the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16. He is a staunch proponent of restarting the death penalty in Brazil, saying he would “volunteer to kill those on death row” himself.
Brazil has the world’s third-largest prison population. Sixty-four percent of those incarcerated are black.
Bolsonaro also wants to end affirmative action at Brazilian public universities.
He considers abortion to be murder. The procedure is banned in Brazil, but in recent years women’s groups have been pushing to liberalize abortion laws. That is unlikely to happen under Bolsonaro.
Some analysts have suggested that Congress may rein in Bolsonaro’s more radical tendencies. But evidence from the United States and elsewhere suggests that in the politics of disillusion, presidents who campaign as extremist govern as extremists.
Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1. Brazil’s political institutions, already weakened by corruption and public outrage, will face great pressure to show that they can withstand the new president’s populist ambitions and militaristic instincts.
It is a daunting challenge for Brazil’s young and, I fear, faltering democracy.
What Bolsonaro’s presidency means for Brazil: 5 essential reads
October 29, 2018
Author: Catesby Holmes, Global Affairs Editor, The Conversation US
Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist who cruised to victory in Brazil’s presidential election, is notoriously outspoken about his dim view of Afro-Brazilians, women, gay people, leftists and human rights.
The 63-year-old retired army captain and longtime congressman has said far less, however, about his agenda for Brazil. He skipped presidential debates and avoided policy questions on the campaign trail, making vague promises to “transform” the crisis-stricken country.
Here, five Brazil experts lay out what to expect when Bolsonaro takes office on Jan. 1.
1. Social conservatism
Bolsonaro’s polarizing presidency is likely to “worsen an already acute crisis” in Brazil, a country deeply divided over major problems like crime, political corruption and economic stagnation, says Brazilian political scientist Helder Ferreira do Vale.
Bolsonaro opposes abortion – which is banned in Brazil – and gay marriage, which became legal in 2013.
Believing his country, the last Western country to abolish slavery, owes Afro-Brazilians no “debt over slavery,” he has promised to roll back affirmative action at Brazilian public universities.
To tackle Brazil’s record-high violence, the president-elect has said he will ease gun laws, reduce the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 and legalize the death penalty in Brazil.
Bolsonaro has also lauded the law-and-order governing style of military dictatorships like the one that ran Brazil from 1964 to 1985.
“His adulation of the military raises serious doubts about the future of Brazil’s 33-year-old democracy,” warns Ferreira do Vale.
2. A free market economy
Bolsonaro’s presidency will certainly “mark a significant shift for Brazil’s economy,” writes Arthur Gomes Moreira at England’s University of Sussex.
Run by the left-wing Workers Party since 2002, Brazil’s economic strategy centered on developing infrastructure, redistributing wealth and exporting commodities like oil and corn. Minimum wage grew almost 5 percent annually and poverty dropped by half.
But the country has been in recession since 2015, due in large part to plummeting commodity prices. And a judicial investigation has exposed bribes between high-ranking government officials and the construction companies hired to build Brazil’s key infrastructure.
Fury over the Workers Party’s perceived role in corrupting the Brazilian economy helped propel Bolsonaro into office.
Bolsonaro favors a “much more neoliberal approach” to Brazil’s economy, writes Gomes Moreira, in which the free market drives growth – not government spending.
Bolsonaro’s pick for finance minister, the University of Chicago-trained economist Paulo Guedes, favors extensive cuts in public spending and privatization of all state-owned companies. A proposed tax reform would leave all Brazilians, regardless of income, paying the same level rate of tax.
Gomes Moreira says that the combination of social conservatism and economic liberalism is too extreme even for the pro-free market Economist magazine. It has characterized Bolsonaro “as a populist menace to Latin America.”
3. A fight for women’s rights
Women are among those feeling nervous about Bolsonaro’s presidency, says professor Selina O’Doherty, who researches activism at Swansea University.
The president-elect, who once told a fellow congressional representative that she “didn’t deserve” to be raped, has said women should be paid less than men, and he opposes legalizing abortion.
Concerned about what these stances mean for their rights, hundreds of thousands of Brazilian women protested Bolsonaro’s candidacy, declaring “#EleNao” — #NotHim.
Just 1 in 3 women voted for Bolsonaro in Brazil’s first-round presidential election, in early October. Two in 3 men did.
More women appear to have supported Bolsonaro in Sunday’s runoff. But the #EleNao protests will likely continue, O’Doherty says.
“The slogan ‘not him’ may need to be replaced … but the sentiment and political agency that these women have harnessed is unlikely to go anywhere,” she says.
4. Environmental deregulation
Environmentalists are also preparing for a fight.
According to Ed Atkins, a University of Bristol geographer, the president-elect wants to withdraw Brazil from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, arguing that global warming is nothing more than “greenhouse fables.”
Bolsonaro has called for the closure of Brazil’s environmental protection agency, which monitors deforestation and environmental degradation.
“This would eliminate any form of oversight of actions that lead to deforestation” of the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, Atkins says.
A recent study revealed that the Brazilian Amazon is disappearing faster each year. In August 2018, 134,672 acres of forest were cleared – three times more than the previous August.
5. A starring role for evangelical conservatives
Finally, the 2018 election solidifies the political power of Brazil’s conservative evangelical Christians, who backed Bolsonaro’s candidacy.
The president-elect is Catholic, but he campaigned with evangelicals and shares their conservative social views.
In 1970, 90 percent of Brazilians were Roman Catholic. Today, evangelicals make up nearly 30 percent of Brazil’s 208 million people.
“As their numbers have grown, so has the evangelical influence over Brazilian politics,” tilting the country rightward, says the Brazil-based demographer Peter David Arnould Wood.
Evangelicals in Brazil’s lower house of Congress – a 326-member bloc known as the “bullets, beef and bibles” alliance for its support of guns, agribusiness and Christianity – are “ardent opponents of abortion and LGBTQ rights,” explains Arnould Wood.
Bolsonaro’s presidency will empower evangelicals, who now have a majority in the highly fragmented lower house. They, in turn, are unlikely to check the power of their like-minded leader.
This article rounds up articles from The Conversation’s archives.
Fall Vegetable Guide for Eco-Friendly Gardening Cabbage, Carrots, Zucchini, Oh My!
October 22, 2018
Even though the temperatures are starting to cool down across most of the country, there is plenty of time to harvest vegetables this fall. Cool season vegetables are primarily grown during the fall season including some warm-season vegetables are mature for harvesting. Similarly to any fall lawn care needs, for growing healthy vegetables, your garden will still need regular maintenance to reuse your garden bed properly from the summer season. Check out this quick guide on when to harvest vegetables in your eco-friendly garden this fall.
Cool Season Vegetables to Plant
Planting cool season vegetables all depends on your location and when the first frost arrives. Cities in the North may see frosts in the middle of fall while cities in the South may not see their first frost until well into winter.
Known as one of the best producing fall vegetables, cabbage grows exceptionally well during the fall season. You’ll know that they are ready to harvest when the heads are firm. Use them in soups or stews or shred them for a healthy side of coleslaw to a heavy fall dish.
Any kind of leafy green variety is great to plant in the fall. This cool season vegetable loves cooler temperatures and is quick to germinate and harvest. Plant lettuce, arugula, and spinach varieties by seed in order to harvest fresh leafy greens from the garden within a few weeks. Plant rows every week in order to have a continuous harvest of salad for your fall meals. Many leafy green varieties can also withstand a light frost, making it really easy to grow in the fall.
This popular vegetable is another great option for fall in that it germinates quickly and can be harvested at virtually any size. Grow radishes in the garden next to the lettuce in order to remember to pick them for a fresh salad. Slice radishes thinly in order to not overpower a salad with their zesty and unique flavor.
As a root vegetable, carrots can be grown during the fall given their ability to ward off a light frost under the soil. Plant carrot seeds about three months before the first frost in your area to harvest juicy carrots. Keep track of where you planted them and use fencing or other insect repelling plants around it to block off the areas from any wildlife that can reach it.
Warm Season Vegetables to Harvest
These vegetables are going to the ones that you planted earlier this summer. Warm season vegetables need a lot of hot weather as well as room to spread out and grow. Make sure to check these vegetables in your garden in order to harvest them while they are still edible.
This dark green vegetable has most likely been producing for much of the late summer already. However, plants are still going strong into the fall and can produce huge zucchini if you don’t harvest for a few weeks. Make sure to pick zucchini when they are small and firm for less chance of seedy centers. If you do happen to miss one that grows too large, consider shredding the zucchini and freezing it for use in loaves of bread and casseroles this winter. Finding ways to use zucchini, instead of tossing it out, is a great way to use what the environment has provided. The continued blossoms of the zucchini plant also help support local pollinators in your community like butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees throughout the season.
A fall favorite is harvesting pumpkins that were planted during the summer. Pumpkins are a great decoration but don’t forget that they can also be harvested and eaten. You’ll know that the pumpkin is ripe when it turns the desired color: different pumpkin varieties have different colors at maturity. Cut open pumpkins to use the squash for dinner and bake the seeds for a snack packed with an extra punch of protein. Any decorative pumpkins that get mushy can be thrown in the compost pile or fed to backyard chickens for a tasty treat.
Another popular fall vegetable is winter squash that can last all throughout the winter season. Butternut and acorn squash are common varieties that should have been planted earlier in the year. Harvest winter squash when they are firm and have turned the right color according to their variety. Use them in soups, stews, and baked goods for a delightfully cozy meal. Process and freeze soups to last you all winter long with the fresh taste of fall.
Fall is a great time to harvest your warm season vegetables as well as grow cool season varieties. Make sure to use all of the produce from your garden and minimize use of harmful lawn care chemicals in an effort to reduce use of harm support the environment. Any scraps can be used in a compost pile or given to livestock as well. Consider all of these vegetables to enjoy this eco-friendly fall gardening season.
Kelly Holland is a gardening and landscape design writer who loves experimenting in her kitchen. Her quirky nature loves a bright color palette so naturally, her coveted garden is covered in a rainbow of fruits, vegetable, and flowers.
Ohio’s 2018 Fall Acorn Crop
The 2018 acorn mast survey conducted on 38 wildlife areas throughout Ohio shows a well above average year for white oaks and below average red oak acorn production, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Ohio’s fall crop of acorns is an important food source for more than 90 forest wildlife species, and mast crop abundance can influence hunting plans.
ODNR Division of Wildlife employees scanned the canopies of selected oak trees on wildlife areas to determine the percentage of trees that produced acorns and the relative size of the acorn crop.
Fear is freaky fine
The spookiest time of the year has arrived. From haunted houses to horror movies, Halloween is all about facing our fears. We all know what it feels like to be scared, but what about the science behind it?
Dr. Katherine Brownlowe, a psychiatrist with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, studies the science of fear:
The Benefits of Fear: It’s true – fear isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, the emotion is a normal and healthy response that can have psychological benefits. So how can our deepest fears be used for something positive?
What Scares Us and Why: Sure, zombies are scary. But things like the future, politics, and climate change can be just as frightening to some people. What influences our unique fears and how can we overcome them?
Fear or Phobia: Just because you’re afraid of spiders doesn’t mean you have arachnophobia. So when does that fear become a phobia, and what’s the difference between the two?