A President Against His Own
The Federative Republic of Brazil is going through dark times. Since the beginning of Jair Messias Bolsonaro government, the entire country has been dying in different ways. The attempt to forfeit workers’ rights, indigenous rights, the uncontrolled fires of the Amazon Rain Forest for the benefit of his allies, and the clear and undeniable involvement of the president’s family with militia are examples of how things are going on there.
As if all those problems were not enough for one government mandate, we see every day how Brazil is dealing (or not dealing at all) with the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil had the first case of COVID-19 in the end of February 2020, when Europe was already full of it. Bolsonaro chooses not to close the country, not to wear masks, to call the disease “a little flue”.
He chooses to deny the obvious existence of the virus and to spread poverty and the dead bodies of his own people. By saying these terrible things, people might think is too rough sort of speaking, but is nothing but the reality. Over 12.227,179 cases were registered by 24.03.2020 and 301.087 deaths, and Bolsonaro was saying to the media: “So what? Sorry. What do you want me to do? I am Messiah, but I don’t do miracles” when questioned about the amount of deaths and the lack of governmental actions regarding the control of the pandemic.
Even in dark times, it is important to think about what surrounds this entire situation and what can be extracted from it. How is the situation so bad if Brazil has one of the biggest and more complex public health care systems in the world, named SUS – Sistema Único de Saúde? How the country’s image was destroyed in such little time? How is Bolsonaro able to influence so many people?
Leaders have the power to influence the mindsets and behavior of those who are lead, and Jair Bolsonaro is no different in this aspect. “Leader” would never be a suitable word to characterize Bolsonaro, but is undeniable that he is able to convince people to follow him. Bolsonaro has no leadership skills and no proper oral communication to be in the position he is in. He is often cursing and performing hate speeches and his supporters keep laughing, at least until one of their family members is in a hospital bed due to COVID-19. The study “More than words: Leader’s Speech and Risky Behavior During a Pandemic”, by Ajzenman, Cavalcanti, and Da Mata, states that social distancing fell drastically in municipalities with more Bolsonaro supporters, after his following public speeches opposing social isolation policies.
The President started to obtain his influence in Brazil years ago with his neo-Nazi right-wing mind. Unfortunately, influential segments of Brazilian society, like powerful landowners and religious leaders, saw an opportunity in Bolsonaro’s speeches, which was the way for his election as President. Something to remember is that a big part of Brazil has no access to a proper education. Along with a super inflamed and conservative speech, he was able to construct his image on everything that opposes Human Rights, demonized the bigger left-wing party, which was the one that took Brazil out of the “hunger map”, for example, and now Brazil has come back purely because of Bolsonaro.
Jair Bolsonaro was already a joke on the news all over the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic only emphasized his terrible governance and increased the catastrophe that was about to come anyways. The country now is completely discredited in the eyes of any person with the least of common sense and of course, political leaders and the economy in general. The economic and political relations are fragile now due to Bolsonaro’s incompetence. Brazil’s most important commercial partner, China, has been publically pointed by him as the one who might have probably created the coronavirus since China has actually registered economic growth in 2020. In retaliation, China decided to send fewer inputs to Brazil for vaccine production.
Brazilians’ well-being and the economy were destroyed in the past year and at this exact moment, this massive destruction of a country’s morals continues to happen. All those factors contribute to Bolsonaro’s craziness and selfishness when leading. Nobody can say he is an actual leader, because the only thing he did was collapse a country with his irresponsible words.