Brazilian Trump Is Closing the Gap

Brazilian Trump Is Closing the Gap. By Micah Meadowcroft.

The pollsters were wrong again, hugely. Though former president and jailbird Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — usually just Lula — still emerged from Brazil’s Sunday election with a five-point lead ahead of an October 30 runoff with President Jair Bolsonaro, recent polls had suggested he might win outright, garnering the necessary 50 percent of the vote.

Lula’s final 48.4 percent was an underperformance, but the real surprise, and perhaps a familiar one to U.S. observers, was Bolsonaro’s stronger-than-expected 43.2 percent and his party’s trouncing of the liberals and leftists down ballot. The last polls of the cycle, from apparently respectable institutions, had placed Bolsonaro’s share closer to 36 percent, along with predicting Lula getting past the post.

Trust, once lost, is difficult to regain:

Like last week’s general election in Italy, where Giorgia Meloni appears set to become the nation’s first female prime minister and a conservative counterweight to E.U. globalism, Brazil’s first-round results suggest that the respectable sorts still don’t know who these right-wing populists actually are. That’s not entirely their fault; the polling and sociology toolbox was built in an era of widespread trust in technocrats and expertise.

Bolsonaro warned his voters not to believe the polls; why would they trust the pollsters enough to tell the truth? …

How can you measure a faction that doesn’t want to be measured and stands against measuring?

You see the same problem in attempts to describe Bolsonaro himself, almost invariably by employing whatever label is used for Trump. (“Many people are saying he’s the Brazilian Trump.”) But the fundamental temptation is to interpret a man as an ideology, a set of doctrines that can be labeled, forgetting that labels follow their leaders. It is to confuse a man with an idea, a man with an institution. Prudence is what the prudent man does. …

Brian Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly described the situation this way in a roundup of reactions to the election results: “Some people believed Bolsonaro would lose big, and he would go down in Brazilian history as a kind of aberration. That’s over now. Bolsonaro and bolsonarismo are here to stay, even if Lula does win the runoff. With yesterday’s results, and the wave of pro-Bolsonaro figures elected to Congress and governorships, the president can credibly claim to be the leader of a conservative movement with energy and staying power. Brazil’s Evangelical Christian community is growing, society overall is more conservative than it was 20 years ago, and I think we are still trying to understand the implications of this going forward.”

The globalist ruling class are taking too much, and it’s unfair:

Four years ago, the London School of Economics’ Matthew A. Richmond attempted to describe the working-class Brazilians attracted to Bolsonaro, Bolsonarismo popular, for the Sociological Review’s monthly magazine. Richmond wrote, “Ultimately, it is about correcting what is viewed as a profound injustice — that those who work hard do not get what they believe they deserve — like education, healthcare and security – and those who do not work hard get things they don’t deserve.”

He went on to write, “It is no coincidence that Bolsonaro centres his discourse on the figure of the cidadão de bem, the upstanding, law-abiding citizen. Many in the peripheries recognise themselves in this ideal-type.” …

A victory for Bolsonaro represents a defeat for the international left, a blow to the same coalition of Big Philanthropy, NGOs, and globalizing bureaucrats that undermine truth, justice, and the American way.

An October 30 runoff in Brazil, likely to be contested, a week and a half before a midterm election in the United States—early November in the Western hemisphere could be very interesting indeed.

hat-tip Stephen Neil