Brazil's Bolsonaro Takes a Chapter Out of Trump's Apocalyptic Playbook
America has always been known for its cultural exports, and that gallery of amusements now includes "spewing insane lies when you lose an election." In fairness, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has not yet lost his bid for re-election. He came second in the first round of voting, but leader-of-the-pack Lula failed to crack 50 percent so the two are headed to a runoff. And Bolsonaro is correct, as Donald Trump once was, that polling agencies have underestimated his support through some flaw(s) in their methodology. Still, the fact that pre-election polls undercounted Bolsonaro voters is not proof that he actually won, and actually he got 6 million fewer citizens' votes.
Now things are really starting to sound familiar, and it doesn't stop there: Jair, you see, is definitely going to say the election was rigged if he loses. In fact, like his good pal Don in both 2016 and 2020, he started saying it before the election even happened. Bolsonaro has said it's "easy to rig" voting machines, that votes are counted in secret rooms, that "it's impossible to audit elections in Brazil." There is no evidence to support any of this, but what did you expect? This is how the global right does things now. Well, they also invade their neighbors. But mostly, they like to lie to their own supporters, whom they disdain. Now, almost a third of Bolsonaro's supporters don't trust the electoral system "at all."
In the end, reality pales in comparison to grand narratives of victimhood and thievery, of a birthright stolen away by Those People, or the United Nations, or whoever else made today's list of villainous traitors to the One True People. It's no coincidence that Bolsonaro and his supporters have adopted the national soccer team's jersey as a uniform. To support Brazil is to support Bolsonaro, just as voting for Donald Trump—and then storming the national legislature on his behalf—was to do the work of Saving America. Never mind the details. Shamelessness is the superpower, and admitting defeat—or even that you could ever, even in theory, have made a mistake—is unforgivable, a surrender to the mob of undesirables trying to destroy the nation itself. The method of choice for those people? Beating you in an election.
From: Esquire US