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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Di*k-tator In The Tropics

“Brazil before everything, and God above all,” are words you’d think would be enough to convince a populace that the source has an intimate connection to nationalist sentiment. But in Brazil, such words allowed one man to dominate politics and grasp the country in a move that whispered of power, influence, and global trepidation. Indeed, Jair Bolsonaro grabbed 55 percent of the vote, proving that the new global wave of far-right candidates gaining a foothold in influence is far from over.
Bolsonaro’s controversial emergence arrived just like any other dictator’s: he swept into Brazilian politics in a country that suffered a deep recession in 2016, with grand promises to “break the system” and the status quo. His history as an ex-military officer in a country that has seen a surge in violent crime gave him the evidence for voters who wish for more security. But what underlines this stance of ordered law is an expressed fondness for past dictatorships of Brazil and rhetoric that is anti-democratic and incredibly alarming.
His misogyny is one aspect to be alarmed about. In 2003, Bolsonaro told a congresswoman, “I would never rape you because you do not deserve it.” At an event in 2017, he said that having a daughter after four boys was a “weakness.” My disgust over the first comment is similar in magnitude to the Hollywood Access tape that was released of our current president; rape is a violent and abhorrent crime and to suggest to a woman that she is not deserving of rape is a disgusting statement made in the tones of toxic male privilege and the slimy grip of power by a person who is incapable of understanding just how horrible their comment was. To the second, having a girl is, and never was, a weakness. And to say such a thing makes you a weak individual and father.
And yet Bolsonaro still thrives on controversy. Besides misogyny, he has also expressed homophobic rhetoric. His statements, “If I see two men kissing in the street, I will hit them” to “I would not be able to love a gay son. I would rather he die in an accident,” are comments that are small-minded and show he is unfit to lead a nation. To this I say, people like him may fear the love between two individuals, but that love will never cease. In defiance, we will continue to throw this love around like the fall of confetti. For a man who is in a position of power to have a problem with whom one chooses to love is a man who is unfit to be in this position.
Bolsonaro’s comments are controversial, disgusting, and prompt wonder at how he even managed to get elected. But he did. And this is the reality Brazilians will have to live with. In the following months, I encourage them pay attention to his rhetoric that is reminiscent of a dictator. Maybe one day, such a disgusting individual will be ostracized from the political throne he now sits in.