And what comes next for Brazil.
It's great to see you writing for Persuasion. I loved your work for Caracas Chronicles!
So much to be thankful for about this outcome. I used to read Caracas Chronicles.
Very helpful to understanding what outsiders considered an impossibly good outcome. Gives us in the US a few potential tactics for staving off a potential coup in 2024, although I know we have different institutional challenges to deal with (the electoral college for instance).
Poor Brazil. Now headed by a puppet of China.
I suspect there will massive voter disapproval with the new guy. His administration will then claim his opponents are violoent, fascists and a threat to democracy and that the press will need to combat disinformation.
I know very little about Bolsonaro or Brazilian politics. My conclusion - from the perspective of a more or less neutral, disinterested party - is that Toro Francisco's rather convoluted explanation for why Bolsonaro did not live up to his detractors' expectations of violence says more about Mt. Bolsonaro's detractors than it does about Mr. Bolsonaro. Serious commentators assured the US public that Donald Trump's election was "an extinction level event" for our constitutional order, and that once in power he was highly likely to seize dictatorial power. Nothing even resembling such a thing happened in the US. Rather than revise their opinions, many doubled down, certain they could read the cold dark heart of their feared and hated enemy. Few had the decency or intellectual honesty to admit that their estimation of Mr. Trump's character and intentions may simply have been mistaken and skewed by their visceral dislike of the man.
I sense the same thing here. The simplest explanation for Mr. Bolsonaro's quite unremarkable behavior after losing the explanation is... the prognosticators were wrong and maybe - just maybe - their entire conception of the Brazilian president was foundationally flawed. I opened the link in Mr. Toro's article which slyly implies that Bolsonaro had repeatedly claimed "prison, death or victory" were the only acceptable outcomes. The linked article, it turns out, claims only one such Bolsonaro declaration. Interesting. It's almost as if the author wants Bolsonaro to be the monster he fears.
I don't know if Bolsonaro is a frustrated dictator. Maybe future events will prove him to be. But the simplest explanation - based on the evidence in this article, based on actual events - is that he is simply a conventional politician who arouses strong feelings, and Mr. Toro happens to belong to the category of people who hate the man. I am not persuaded by this article that Bolsonaro is the villain Mr. Toro makes him out to be.