Brazil's Bolsonaro joins Trump in Ron DeSantis's Florida
So with remarkable symmetry to President Trump's exit, Brazil's populist and conservative President Jair Bolsonaro, a man who's been called President Trump's South American doppelganger, also left office after a close election marred by a belief, of his own and of millions of voters, that the election, was full of fraud.
Bolsonaro ended up succeeded by a far-left dinosaur, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and violence ensued -- roads blocked, trash cans set on fire -- to little avail. Like Trump, Bolsonaro departed before his fossilized successor could take office. Also like Trump, the left screamed for blood as he went, yelled about mishandled classified documents, same as happened to President Trump, and vowed to throw him in jail. Sound familiar? The motivation of Bolsonaro's opponents was a little stronger than it was in Trump's case as Lula had done time in prison for corruption in the run-up to Bolsonaro's election, which like Trump's, came as a surprise to the establishment. In the Lula crowd, the desire for payback remains strong.
After that, Bolsonaro landed in Florida, the historic exile paradise of the Americas -- many Latin American presidents, both good ones and bad ones are driven from their countries to various places as they exit office in a strange Latin American tradition -- Mexico's Luis Echeverria, Jorge Lopez Portillo, Miguel de la Madrid, Carlos Salinas all spring to mind, as does Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Colombia's Alvaro Uribe and Juan Manuel Santos, Peru's Alejandro Toledo, to name some recent cases. Often, they fled one step ahead of imprisonment with a few unlucky ones, such as Lula and Peru's Alberto Fujimori, ending up in prison anyway, and Uribe escaping it by a hair.
Trump is facing the same dynamic from the Bidenites, who have gone out of their way to imitate the banana republic folkways of our neighbors, yet Florida was the last landing spot of President Trump's, too, same as Bolsonaro.
They aren't too far away from one another, about 171 miles, or a two and a half hours' drive with Bolsonaro staying at the home of a Brazilian mixed martial arts champion in Orlando, while Trump is ensconced at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
It's hard to think there won't be a couple of interesting conversations between the two -- and that Lula's and Biden's intelligence apparats aren't going to be watching them both closely as well, given what we have seen from them with the Twitter files revelations.
It calls to mind Vienna or Zurich at the turn of the century.
It's fascinating that both Trump and Bolsonaro landed at the home base of the GOP's brightest star in office, Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis, a man who himself may either want to run for president or be drafted for president. If Trump and Bolsonaro meet to plot their comebacks, or to discuss how to thwart election fraud, it would be even more electric if DeSantis were invited to the party, too.
It's hard to say what the dynamic between the two will be -- perhaps they won't talk at all, but it would be nice if they did. Maybe they can reinforce and support one another as they consider the kinds of underhanded forces against them. Both could use familiar company. If they do, it will be a good thing.