Brazil’s President Bolsonaro takes office today with what journalists warn is a ‘far right agenda’

The global rejection of elite progressivism though populist revolt has reached Brazil, the giant of South America, and Western journalists are freaking out. Jair Bolsonaro is being inaugurated today in Brasilia as president of the nation of 220 million, and he is not shy about laying out his agenda.

I am wary of calling him the “tropical Trump” (as some do) because he is unconstrained by our Constitution or political tradition, and Brazil does not have a spotless record when it comes to governance. Nonetheless, there are some pretty attractive planks in his platform, as he announced it yesterday on social media.  

Jair Bolsonaro (photo credit: Agência Brasil Fotografias)

Eugenia Logiuratto, with Jorge Swartzman report for AFP:

Bolsonaro on Monday tweeted that he was going to direct the education ministry to "fight the Marxist trash that has been installed in teaching institutions" and lift Brazil's poor educational standards.

The journalists at AFP seem to find this scary:

He and members of his incoming government, notably his new foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, use the word "Marxist" to refer to the Workers Party and other left-wing groups.

Even scarier:

On Saturday, he tweeted that an imminent decree would make gun possession a lot easier for adults over 25 with no criminal record.

He maintains that allowing "good" people to own guns will deter criminals, as well as bring down Brazil's record number of homicides, which reached nearly 64,000 last year.

The journalists warn:

However, observers [cough! Journalists?] fear that will usher in vigilante justice, and a poll by the Datafolha institute published Monday found 61 percent of Brazilians were against the idea.

Brazil does have a history of death squads, and no doubt many people are fed up with the rampant violence in major cities. But legal guns in the hands of good citizens does tend to reduce crime, as John Lott’s pathbreaking study revealed.

Brazil also has a history that includes military rule. So, the journos are worried:

Nearly a third of the 22 ministerial posts have gone to ex-military men, while the economy has been handed to a US-trained free-market advocate, Paulo Guedes, and justice to a star anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro.

We wish President Bolsonaro great success as the new leader of Brazil, a nation that even these AFP journalists recognize suffered under leftist rule:

[T]he left-wing Workers Party… held the presidency between 2003 and 2016 before graft and financial mismanagement soured its image with voters. A tepid exit from a record-busting recession also spurred appetite for change.

Worst of all (for prog journalists)

 As he reaches out for the presidential sash, Bolsonaro is buoyed by a 75-percent approval rating that could help him push through the major reforms he promised for Latin America's biggest economy.

The global rejection of elite progressivism though populist revolt has reached Brazil, the giant of South America, and Western journalists are freaking out. Jair Bolsonaro is being inaugurated today in Brasilia as president of the nation of 220 million, and he is not shy about laying out his agenda.

I am wary of calling him the “tropical Trump” (as some do) because he is unconstrained by our Constitution or political tradition, and Brazil does not have a spotless record when it comes to governance. Nonetheless, there are some pretty attractive planks in his platform, as he announced it yesterday on social media.  

Jair Bolsonaro (photo credit: Agência Brasil Fotografias)

Eugenia Logiuratto, with Jorge Swartzman report for AFP:

Bolsonaro on Monday tweeted that he was going to direct the education ministry to "fight the Marxist trash that has been installed in teaching institutions" and lift Brazil's poor educational standards.

The journalists at AFP seem to find this scary:

He and members of his incoming government, notably his new foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, use the word "Marxist" to refer to the Workers Party and other left-wing groups.

Even scarier:

On Saturday, he tweeted that an imminent decree would make gun possession a lot easier for adults over 25 with no criminal record.

He maintains that allowing "good" people to own guns will deter criminals, as well as bring down Brazil's record number of homicides, which reached nearly 64,000 last year.

The journalists warn:

However, observers [cough! Journalists?] fear that will usher in vigilante justice, and a poll by the Datafolha institute published Monday found 61 percent of Brazilians were against the idea.

Brazil does have a history of death squads, and no doubt many people are fed up with the rampant violence in major cities. But legal guns in the hands of good citizens does tend to reduce crime, as John Lott’s pathbreaking study revealed.

Brazil also has a history that includes military rule. So, the journos are worried:

Nearly a third of the 22 ministerial posts have gone to ex-military men, while the economy has been handed to a US-trained free-market advocate, Paulo Guedes, and justice to a star anti-corruption judge, Sergio Moro.

We wish President Bolsonaro great success as the new leader of Brazil, a nation that even these AFP journalists recognize suffered under leftist rule:

[T]he left-wing Workers Party… held the presidency between 2003 and 2016 before graft and financial mismanagement soured its image with voters. A tepid exit from a record-busting recession also spurred appetite for change.

Worst of all (for prog journalists)

 As he reaches out for the presidential sash, Bolsonaro is buoyed by a 75-percent approval rating that could help him push through the major reforms he promised for Latin America's biggest economy.