Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump

With nominating so many people who are anti-LGBTQ, he can’t possibly expect no one to notice that his promise of protecting the community isn’t being kept (although most didn’t expect much from this promise to begin with). In some ways, Bolsonaro seems to be more truthful about his views on gay people than Trump is. Nevertheless, both of their views on the LGBTQ community seem to be lacking and problematic.

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Both Bolsonaro’s toning down of his hate-speech towards gay people and Trump’s supposed support for gay people seem to have been tactics to possibly get more votes during their presidential campaign. Neither seem to really truly advocate for the LGBTQ community, which has been a big issue for the past decade. With this shift to the right for both Brazil and the US, it just may endanger LGBTQ rights all the more, which is why it is important for people to gather supportive groups all the more. Potential Increase of Gun Access In some areas of the world, gun control isn’t even a topic to worry about, as guns aren’t even used in those countries.

However, both the US and Brazil have had debates about this very topic. The US, with its Second Amendment, gives citizens the right to bear arms, but with recent school shootings and massacres Trump proposed having more thorough background checks and raising the age limit to buy such weapons, which doesn’t sound all too crazy in comparison to much of the things he had said during his presidential campaign. While on hind sight Trump seems to be somewhat reasonable about gun control, he added a completely absurd proposal: to arm teachers. In his logic, arming teachers would prevent such shootings, since it would make potential attackers more hesitant and give schools a chance to protect and defend themselves. But to this, many have argued that adding more guns into the equation wouldn’t in fact make schools safer. In such a scenario, the fact that a gun would even be in a classroom is dangerous and sounds like a recipe for disaster. By wanting to arm teachers, he would be wanting to massively arm many more Americans in order to protect themselves.

Bolsonaro slightly differs that he wants to have more lax gun-control laws in general, but this has the similar idea of providing citizens with a way to protect themselves. However, this is much more controversial in the context of Brazil, at least in some people’s opinions, as Brazil has had a record number of homicides last year, amounting to 63,880 people (Sandy). By loosening gun-control laws, this could lead to more crossfire in the long run. Bolsonaro had even said that a good criminal is a dead criminal (Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil’s Presidency). His support for loosening gun-control laws isn’t only applicable for normal citizens. Bolsonaro also wanted to give even more power [to the police] to kill suspects in self-defense, although the police were the cause of 5,144 deaths last year; most who happened to be killed were young, black males (Sandy).

But if the police already kill that many people, they most likely don’t even need more power; this just seems like an excuse for more police impunity and brutality. In general, no one really should be able to take away another human’s life so easily to begin with; it is just morally wrong, as murder takes one’s life against one’s will, denying the individual of their freedom and natural rights. Admiration of the Military Trump again only seems to be all talk about another subject, this time being his admiration for the military. Although he does seem to spend a lot of the budget into the military, Trump doesn’t seem to really respect the military all too much, as there have been a few instances when he should have visited certain places as the President of the United States but did not. Some of those places included a World War I cemetery in France for American soldiers, Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, and war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not only that, but Trump practically isn’t fulfilling his duties as commander in chief. It was said that he seemed to have no clue about the military yet barely asked any questions; the PowerPoint presentation that top military commanders showed Trump only consisted of 3 slides, as opposed to its original 18 slides (Cooper, et al.). Trump clearly doesn’t seem to have any actual interest in the military as he feigns to have, nor did he have any prior experience serving in the military. Bolsonaro, on the contrary, truly reveres the military and has had personal experience in the military, as he had been part of the Brazilian military until he eventually reached the rank of Captain before he retired. In fact, some feel that Bolsonaro is a little too supportive about the military, as it has been known that he supported the military regime/dictatorship that Brazil had been under from the 1960s to the mid-1980. In 2015, Bolsonaro looked back on those days with nostalgia and called it glorious (Kirby). During Bolsonaro’s run for president, his running mate was a retired military general. Bolsonaro’s support of Brazil’s past military dictatorship leaves some especially wary and uncomfortable, for the fear of having a leader with a strong militaristic view. With Brazil’s corruption and crime rate at an all time high, it is understandable that some may agree with such a view. However, Bolsonaro hadn’t really emphasized his reverence of Brazil’s military regime during his campaign, so it hasn’t affected many people’s opinions all too much.

Disregard for Climate Change The Trump administration has been known to consist of a good amount of climate deniers; similarly, Bolsonaro had appointed Ernesto Ara??jo, a climate change denier, as the Foreign Minister, who thinks that climate change was all a Marxist plot. When comparing and contrasting Trump’s and Bolsonaro’s individual views on climate change, Bolsonaro isn’t shown to be as fervent of a climate change denier as Trump is. However, both the Brazilian President-elect and the US President declared they would pull each of their countries out of the Paris climate accords, which is problematic as it had already been a struggle to fight against climate change. Bolsonaro’s decision to pull Brazil out the the Paris climate accords would arguably be even more catastrophic, as Brazil currently has most of the world’s forests which in turn provides the world with oxygen. Bolsonaro, however, has been strongly against the so-called excessive policing of Brazil’s rainforests; he wanted to exploit these areas for agricultural and commercial use. This potentially help Brazil economically by creating more jobs and resources to use but only at the cost of a detrimental environmental decision. Not only would this harm Brazil’s environment and the rest of the world, but it would also endanger indigenous rights, considering that most of the indigenous people of Brazil live in the Amazon. Bolsonaro potentially has the futures of Brazil and indigenous people of the Amazon and global environment at his hands (Tharoor).

Popularity Despite Controversy Anyone can easily see how Bolsonaro and Trump can be so controversial and potentially disagreeable, especially with their discriminatory views on women and certain minorities (including race and sexuality), disregard for climate change, and provocative approaches towards certain topics. Both Bolsonaro and Trump also do not seem to have much of a filter as most people do, as they don’t seem to care that they are being risky by being strongly controversial. However, Bolsonaro and Trump both managed to be elected by their country, despite all of the controversy that surround them and despite that political analysts originally thought they did not have much of a chance to win their respective elections (Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil’s Presidency). One aspect about why they seem to be elected by their country is the fact that they overflowed with confidence and boldness. Although this boldness wasn’t always quite called for, it seemed to have done the job of giving a facade of leadership, as many people tend to attribute confidence or boldness to leadership. In addition to that, both of their platforms heavily involved use of social media in their anti-corruption campaigns. Trump was mostly reliant on Twitter, while Bolsonaro used a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. They both gave newsfeed to the currently discontent masses on what seemed to be their aspiring, new vision of a better country, by radically breaking free from the norm; they seemed to give hope to the mass public that wanted change from the reality of the now. The public attributed this new vision given by Bolsonaro or Trump as a means for change.

Factors for Bolsonaro’s Successful Campaign However, some may still ask how Bolsonaro won, despite having said even more controversial statements than Trump, especially when looking back towards his statement that Ros??rio wouldn’t even deserve to be raped, because she was too ugly and his hate-speech towards homosexuality, along with his underlying militaristic tones. In this case, it is important to consider what had been going on in Brazil at the time. During the time Bolsonaro was campaigning to be elected president, many government officials and former presidents had been caught being involved with various scandals, bribes, and other forms of corruption, resulting in the impeachment of two presidents approximately within only 25 years. One of the well known scandals was the Operation Car Wash scandal. Because of all of these events, nearly 77 percent of Brazilian citizens consider the country to be corrupt, and barely 14 percent believing that the electoral system isn’t rigged (Far-Right Candidate Jair Bolsonaro). During these years, former President Luiz In??cio Lula da Silva had been the only highly praised president in a while, with an 87 percent approval rate (Jair Bolsonaro Wins Brazil’s Presidency). However, he had also been caught within recent scandals. Because of all of these recent government corruption scandals, Bolsonaro’s radical, new vision and anti-corruption campaign worked well with what the masses wanted. In addition to all of the government corruption, Brazil’s crime rates had been rising tremendously.

Both Brazil’s government corruption and rising crime rates resulted in such an angry and distrustful public. Other than the events going on and current state of Brazil, a personal event that happened to Bolsonaro probably also helped with his votes. During his presidential campaign, Bolsonaro had been badly stabbed at a rally, which actually allowed him to gain more attention from the public and gave him sort of a martyr status (Kirby). It most likely lowered the chance of any political opponent verbally attacking him for his political views, after he had just gone through the knife assault and had been hospitalized. As a result of the right circumstances, with Brazil’s current state and what he seemed to provide, Bolsonaro seemed to many to be the best of the available candidates. Fake News Fake news. Everyone has heard Donald Trump claim that a low of reporters and journalists presented the public with fake news. This idea of fake news is the idea that the media outlets for public news are biased towards certain ideas, while they defame, slander, and libel the opposition. News had long been a way for the public to be informed and an informal way of checks and balances with the people. However, this rhetoric recently has been reversed by people like Trump and Bolsonaro, stating that the media skews representations of themselves and that it is actually against the public and not for the public.

Leaders like Trump and Bolsonaro claim that these news outlets are the ones who are misinforming us, the public, while in fact, they may actually be the ones deceiving the public. Of course, we should never be gullible and completely put all of our trust into one source, including and especially the ones telling us about fake news (such as Trump and Bolsonaro) as it might be very much likely that they are doing the very same thing they are warning against in front of our noses. In general, we should be wary of any information we are consuming and try to fact check when we can. Concerns It is definitely alarming to see populist leaders, such as Bolsonaro and Trump (especially those who are far-right), as it means that they can possibly stir the emotions of the masses. This is why it is even more important to make sure not to fall for false statements or lies to the best of our ability. While such populist leaders can be dangerous, we can make an effort to use the checks and balances we have in democratic government, as it should be part of our duty as a citizen of a democracy.

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