The American Interest

Brazil’s Exceptional President

Jair Bolsonaro won the presidential election in Brazil on October 28 with 55 percent of the vote.  The former army captain triumphed over Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers’ Party pledging to fight crime and corruption, to end affirmative action for “disadvantaged minorities,” and to shatter the straitjacketed discourse on race and sexuality.  The leader of the fourth-largest democracy has vowed to uphold traditional family, patriotism, Christian faith, and law and order.

From the standpoint of the Western elite, Bolsonaro’s views are beyond the pale.

“I will not fight nor discriminate,” he said in 2002, “but if I see two men kissing in the street, I’ll hit them.”

“I’m homophobic, yes,” he reiterated some years later, “and very proud of it if it is to defend children in schools.”

“I’d rather have my son die in an accident,” he declared in 2010, “than show up with some mustachioed guy!”

“Brazil is a Christian country,” Bolsonaro insists.  “God above everyone!  It is not this story, this little story of secular state.  It is a Christian state, and if a minority is against it, then move!”

What would he do if his son fell in love with a black woman?  The question was put to Bolsonaro in 2011.  “I do not...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here