Brazil: The Ultimate Proof of Liberal Failure
If you think America is a mess right now, wait until you see Brazil, the largest country in South America and the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil, best known for its soccer, beer, and carnival, has now entered the global spotlight due to the huge amount of corruption that has led the country to an economic and moral crisis.
Almost the entire political class is now under federal investigation – an appalling development in a democracy. Since Brazil once again became a democratic republic (it was a dictatorship from 1964 to 1985), two out of the five elected presidents have already been impeached. Three of the five elected presidents, José Sarney, Fernando Collor, and Luiz Ignacio Lula, are under federal investigation. In the meanwhile, thirteen of two hundred and ten million Brazilians are unemployed, and the homicide rate is over sixty thousand per year. Yes, we kill three times as many as America does, at least in our own territory. Corruption is something that happens in all countries, but, as a Brazilian citizen, I must say that nobody has ever seen anything like this. Most members of Congress are under investigation as well. Not some of them -- most of them. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost, and the only thing we can feel here is chaos.
The liberals dominated the post-dictatorship period, because the dictators were conservative generals. The army took office in 1964 because of the threat of socialism in Latin America (Cuba had recently become communist). While it is true that the army killed a few hundred enemies, it is also true that there was a huge economic boom, when we could grow up to 14% per year. Security for normal families was also ensured, as there were no more than ten thousand murders per year (six times less than today).
In 2018, Brazilians will once again cast their votes for president. Considering the quality of many past elections, a huge percentage of the voters cannot see how the country can overcome all this darkness. Here comes the interesting thing: in many past elections, there was no true conservative running for president. The parties that have run the country over the past three decades are either center-left (PSDB and PMDB), or extreme socialists (PT). We had only Hillary and Sanders to choose from, for thirty years. How painful is that! Let’s take a look at the numbers. According to R7, as of 2016, 49% of Brazilians support the death penalty, 78% support arresting people under the age of 18 (which is still illegal), 78% oppose abortion, and half of the country still oppose gay “marriage”. In an overwhelmingly conservative country, comparable perhaps not to Poland, but certainly compared to France and Canada, how is it possible that we have not elected a conservative for decades?
However, the right might finally be making its comeback. Senator Ronaldo Caiado, a center-right man, is probably going to run again (he lost by a large margin in 1988), and retired Captain Jair Bolsonaro, "Brazil's Trump", has also declared that he is in the race. Bolsonaro, who is a member of the House of Representatives, has indeed made some controversial comments against homosexuals, but he has fought hard to protect children from “Gender Theory”. He also is promising to give back our guns, literally taken from us by law enforcement (no wonder why we have sixty thousand murders annually). He will also act to secure the border and some conservative actions to fix the economy.
I believe that Donald Trump could undertake some great deals with Bolsonaro, and we would be better off. We now have a chance to begin a process of fixing the huge mistakes that began in the 1960s and 70s. We have a chance to recover what has been lost of our Christian identity and, only by that, avoid the growth of Islam and cultures that lead to an anti-Christian society.
Contrast Brazil with Russia. Russia’s liberal past is still in our recent memories, and most of Putin’s friends were members of the KGB. But could it be that the Russians have decided to reestablish real conservative values? If so, how is that going to impact the West? Is 2017 going to be decisive? Remember that this year is the 100th anniversary of the famous apparitions of Mary in Fatima, Portugal. In that case, Mary warned us of the evils appearing in Russia -- communism. To answer that question as a Catholic, I believe so. This can be a very decisive year, and that brings hope to all of us.
Iohanan A. Carvalho is a Brazilian writer