Monday, October 31, 2022

Brazil's Election is a Major Step Backward for Brazil--and the Rest of the World

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has won a tightly contested Presidential election in Brazil, defeating incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Left-wing media outlets around the world are gleeful about this result, because they never miss an opportunity to praise left-wing politicians no matter how deplorable the personal and political records of those politicians. Da Silva was Brazil's President from 2003-2010, but then he served time in prison after being convicted of money laundering and corruption in 2017. He not only has a checkered personal record, but his political record should concern not just Brazilians but the whole world. During da Silva's time as President he embraced then-Iranian ruler Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an outspoken Holocaust denier whose regime terrorized dissidents and members of minority groups. Da Silva and his party believe in the twisted thought process that the United States is responsible for most of the problems ailing South American countries (sadly, American leftists also embrace anti-American thinking, which is why leftist media outlets are so happy about the Brazilian election results). 

You will lilkely read headlines stating that da Silva's win is a great triumph for democracy over fascism. Unless you support Iranian tyranny, Holocaust denial, and the notion that the United States is the primary source of evil in the world, be smart enough to not believe those headlines.


  1. I suppose meeting with Ahmadinejad is somehow more dangerous than supporting the destruction of the Amazon.

  2. Anonymous: Meeting with a Holocaust denier who sponsored terrorism around the world and actively worked to arm Iran with nuclear weapons is unquestionably dangerous. If you can cite a credible source regarding someone supporting the destruction of the Amazon, then perhaps we can talk about which is worse. That being said, even if you have a credible source, I am not sure that one person, even the President of Brazil, can singlehandedly destroy the Amazon. I am sure that one tyrannical leader supported by other leaders can cause a lot of suffering and possibly even start a nuclear war. If you lived in Germany in 1933 and thought that Hitler would be good for the environment would you have voted for him despite his main policy objectives? I am skeptical that a leader who openly courts dictators somehow magically makes sense on other policy issues.

  3. Is it not rather extreme to compare Lula to Hitler? From what I understand of your critique, you are unhappy with Lula "embracing" Ahmadinejad. Has Lula himself said anything antisemitic or denied the Holocaust? I am not aware that he has, but please correct me if I am wrong.

    Sadly, democracy often comes down to choosing between the "lesser of two evils." Donald Trump has heaped praise upon numerous despicable people with blood on their hands (including some who you have condemned). But that does not stop you from supporting Trump. Surely we can try to understand why people end up voting for who they do without having to invoke Hitler.

  4. Anonymous: A person is known by the company he keeps/embraces. A leader who embraces a Holocaust denier (who also sponsored terrorist attacks against Jews and others around the world) is a dangerous person. I did not "compare" Lulu with Hitler in the sense of saying that Lulu is as bad as Hitler; my point is that leaders who openly court dictators tend to not make sense on other issues, which is my response to the notion that Lulu's election will somehow curb the destruction of the Amazon. I consider Ahmadinejad and leaders of his ilk to be a major threat to world peace and to freedom, so I am not particularly interested to know why people voted for a candidate who embraced him. They are free to vote how they choose, and I am free to label their choice as misguided.

    If you can find a quote from me "supporting Trump," please let me know. I have not publicly endorsed a U.S. presidential candidate in decades, because the candidates set forth by both main parties are so deeply flawed. I have critiqued (and occasionally praised) specific policies of various Presidents, but that is not the same as "supporting" a particular President. I vote for the "lesser of two evils" but I do not like any candidate enough to "support" him. It is bizarre to watch diehard supporters from both sides who are blithely unaware of the significant defects of the "evil" who they support.

    From what I can see, the choice in Brazil was more clear cut, protestations from certain quarters of the media notwithstanding.

  5. Anonymous: I asked you to provide a quote from me "supporting Trump." I did not ask you to speculate about my voting practices, nor will I divulge them. This country has a secret ballot for good reason. Kyrie Irving can vote for any candidate he wants, and he will never face a problem for his voting preferences. However, if he openly endorses an antisemitic or racist candidate, he will likely face consequences. A WNBA owner who ran for public office was pressured into selling her ownership stake because players preferred the policies advocated by her opponent. There is a difference between voting for someone and publicly supporting/endorsing a candidate. In a previous article, I quoted Garry Kasparov's lament that American politics has descended from a quest for excellence to choosing the lesser of two evils.

    I agree with you that it would be more productive if people focused on having substantive conversations about policy issues as opposed to just vilifying anyone who voted for a particular candidate.

    I agree with you that conservative is not equivalent to racist. I agree with you that someone who supports some sort of social safety net is not equivalent to being a Marxist. However, a person who makes racist statements or supports racist policies is a racist. A person who self-identifies as a Socialist or supports policies that can only accurately be described as Socialist is a Socialist.

    A person who claims to be an advocate for justice for all but only speaks out about select issues is worthy of being tagged a "social justice warrior." Perhaps sarcasm seems harsh, but there are harsher and worse things that could be said about powerful people whose hypocrisy is quite evident. For example, when the NBA tirelessly promotes itself with the slogan "NBA Cares" but then silences any talk about Chinese persecution and tyranny, that is an excellent example of an organization of self-styled "social justice warriors" whose deeds fall well short of their lofty words. Similar hypocrisy is evident in the response to the Kyrie Irving situation. Imagine if a white player tweeted out a link to a film that claimed slavery never happened, Black people worship Satan, and Black people are mostly responsible for the suffering of white people. How do you think the NBA, NBPA, that player's team, and the players throughout the league would respond? The NBA practically begged Kyrie Irving to show some contrition and some sense of the hurt and damage he caused, but Kyrie elected to go "Kanye" and flaunt his apparent belief that he is too big and too good to be punished for something as trivial (to him and his followers) as antisemitism. Now, it looks like the Nets caved to pressure as opposed to doing the right thing from the start, which in turn reinforces some of the antisemitic tropes Kyrie promoted.


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