Brazil Elected An Actual Fascist For President, ON PURPOSE
Last night, Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil, defeating Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party in a runoff election. Bolsonaro is, to understate it, the worst human being you can possibly imagine. He loves Trump, has been endorsed by David Duke, and once called Brazilian Congresswoman Maria do Rosári "too ugly to rape" because she criticized the country's former military dictatorship's policy of keeping communism at bay with rape, torture and murder, and called him a rapist for having participated in it. He also said, to do Rosári, "I'm a rapist now. I would never rape you, because you do not deserve it … slut!"
He was once a joke. Reporters invited him on television, thinking that people would react to his views and ideas and bigotry in horror. That didn't happen. Rather than being repulsed, they were captivated.
He's part of a wave of far-right reactionary politicians coming to power across the globe, from Donald Trump here to Mateo Salvini in Italy and Viktor Orban in Hungary. He campaigned on bigotry, racism, misogyny, political violence, torture, and fear, and he won. He promised an end to "Cultural Marxism," he promised that his political opponents would be sent to prison. He promised to end secularism in government. And he won.
He will take office January 1, 2019.
Bolsonaro is a former military captain turned politician. Earlier this year, he took over leadership of Brazil's small Social Liberal Party (PSL) -- formerly a left-wing party -- and turned it into a far-right party. He is known to be a very big fan of Brazil's former military dictatorship, having said that the real problem with the dictatorship is that they mostly just tortured people instead of killing them. He has also said that the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile "should have killed more people." He has said that "a policeman who doesn't kill isn't a policeman" and has encouraged police to use lethal force more often, in a country where 5,000 people a year are already murdered by police.
He really, really likes killing people, in case you hadn't gathered that.
He has promised an "historic cleansing of the left," which will involve throwing his political opponents in jail or banishing them from the country, and declaring opposition parties, such as the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), terrorist organizations.
Bolsonaro is also an anti-LGBT extremist and a "proud homophobe," who once told a magazine that "If I see two men kissing in the street, I will beat them." He has said that if his child were gay, he would beat them. His supporters recently beat a trans woman, Aretha Sadick, with a lead pipe. A few weeks after that, another trans woman, Jessica Gonzaga, was brutally murdered by people chanting his name. It is likely that with his election, things will get worse. One of the main things Bolsonaro campaigned on was ridding the country of "gay kits" -- imaginary kits supposedly given to kindergarteners and meant to turn them gay, supposedly containing baby bottles shaped like penises.
His election isn't just terrifying for Brazil, it's terrifying for the entire world, and not just for social reasons. Bolsonaro is fiercely opposed to environmental regulations and is eager to destroy the entire Brazilian rainforest as soon as possible.
Despite his plans to jail anyone who disagrees with him, left-wing activists in Brazil say they will not be deterred, and that they will continue to protest his regime regardless of the consequences.
Prior to Bolsonaro's rise, Brazil had been going through a lot. An economic recession, their former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the left-wing Worker's Party in jail for corruption and money laundering, and high levels of crime plagued the country. People were angry and frustrated and scared and vulnerable, making Bolsonaro's authoritarian nature seem both comforting and necessary. It was a ripe environment for a fascist to take hold, and now it has.
Unsurprisingly, Bolsonaro is already being hailed as a hero on pro-Trump message boards, where commenters are thrilled by his admiration of the Pinochet regime and the fact that he called Middle Easterners the "scum of humanity." He is being cheered by Trump himself on Twitter.
Comments on Breitbart were similarly supportive of the new regime.
This isn't just something horrible that happened abroad. This is something that people here want as well. Quite desperately, in fact.
Things are going to get very, very bad all over before they even have a chance of getting better.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse