Vice Alckmin – guaranteed victory?

Image_Elyeser Szturm


It is not enough to win the election. Election is a means, not an end

The debate on the best tactics for the 2022 elections is still hot among PT and leftist militancy. There are basically two lines of argument used by those who defend Geraldo Alckmin as Lula's deputy. The first is constituted – with small variations – around a single idea: “Lula knows everything, he never makes mistakes and anyone who questions anything will be helping Bolsonarism”.

The phenomenon of personality cults, followership, canonization of left-wing leaders in life is not new, unfortunately. It is about the downgrading of critical capacity, collective elaboration and party democracy. A lot of good people came out defending the odd proposal because it would be Lula's position. (who, by the way, has never clearly stated that he wants Alckmin as deputy). An outbreak of uncriticality and pulling sacking... Lula locuta, finite cause.

Life is very bad in the village, we know that. Everything must be done to defeat Bolsonarism. But calm down: despair is not a good advisor. You don't defeat the enemy by bringing a Trojan horse into your bunker.

The main argumentative thread of the “luloxuxuzistas”: “without Alckmin we cannot win”, or “with Alckmin we will win in the first round”. Along the same lines: “alliances are needed”, “Zé Alencar was vice-president, now Alckmin is”, and so on -, mixing naivety, common sense, lack of logic, contempt for the program/strategy… Ah, with many pinches of magical thinking bordering on mysticism. wishful thinking it's a chip...

Belief in the idea that it would be enough to bring in a deputy from that side to resolve the election once and for all is sincere, and perhaps even majority in the PT base (decades of neglecting political training bring consequences). Quite shallow, the debate has focused on the purely electoral aspect. Alckmin would bring votes to Lula. Point. That's it. Shut up infidels, skeptics, unbelievers, critics and such.

A traditional toucan politician on the decline, Geraldo had 4% in the last presidential elections and has been cornered within his own party (dominated by Doria). Where did the idea come from that conservative São Paulo votes would come to Lula if the toucan was the vice president? Only those who don't understand much about politics and nothing about São Paulo believe that.

I keep imagining the scene. A distinguished lady from Jardins, conservative to the roots of her hair, a radical anti-PT discovers that Seu Geraldo has become Lula's deputy. In seconds, she has an epiphany, an overwhelming experience… No more PSDB. No voting for Dória, now it's Lula-Alckmin!

The real imbroglio has nothing to do with the electoral thing itself. What is at stake is the program of the future government. And how far can you go. Putting this chief toucan on our list would be an early surrender to the markets. Guarantee seal of a future government "responsible", "behaved", retreated, obedient to the neoliberal paradigm. Alckmin would be a kind of personification of a new “letter to Brazilians” (the one that became known as “letter to bankers”).

Worse and even more dangerous: it would be like consenting in advance to a scam. After all, the darling of the elite, vice president, would be ready to take over the government at any time. Did we learn anything from the 2016 coup? Did the gang forget that Geraldo supported the coup against Dilma and also Lula's imprisonment? The toucan from São Paulo not only supported the arrest but also made waves: “nobody is above the law”.

Have we forgotten that he is not only a liberal-conservative, but an authoritarian, for years head of the most lethal PM in Brazil? Responsible for the Pinheirinho massacre, for the brutal repression of social movements? The guy is an enemy of civil service and a radical privatist.

Another magical belief: placing the toucan as vice would decrease the resistance on the right, because it would take a piece from that side. Who said?? Does Alckmin have all that strength? He doesn't even rule the PSDB in São Paulo. Menas, well menas. It's a lot of illusion. The most sophisticated claim that Alckmin vice would be “unlocking doors”. That is, they start from the assumption that it will only be possible to govern by handing over a bunch of rings, lowering horizons and bowing to the dictates of the so-called “market”. Deep down, this is the heart of the matter. They want to put a brake on right away – to shackle the future PT government.

I almost forget. There is also the São Paulo argument. Taking Alckmin out of contention in São Paulo would help Haddad. There is ignorance. To begin with, it is not a given that Geraldo actually leaves the PSDB (he could be elected senator with one foot on his back). Secondly, if he goes to Kassab's PSD and runs for the government (with the support of Márcio França's PSB), Alckmin will hardly have the stamina to defeat the official candidate of Doria and the toucan machine. Most likely he would stay halfway through. Haddad and Rodrigo Garcia tend to dispute the second round. Alckmin's departure from the election does not help Haddad at all. On the contrary. With Geraldo in the ballot box, the votes on the right are more dispersed, increasing the chance of the PT candidate reaching the second round.

The Lula campaign in 2022 will not be a repetition of previous elections. We do not live in a period of democratic normality. The ruling class struck a blow! Neofascism has 25% support in society. Audacity, people. It is entirely possible to build a cool campaign – popular, combative, on the left, mobilizing, as we did in 1989.

The accumulation of forces will occur precisely in the electoral period. Alliances with social movements, with youth, with the people. Excite the masses and build muscle to implement a change project. Debolsonarize and deneoliberalize the country. Governance is social support, people mobilized in the streets. Direct communication. Dispute ideas, organize militancy, explain what is at stake, face the elites. Go to confrontation. Crack the eggs to make the omelette.

2022 is not 2002. There is no room for the “peace and love” model”. The other side does not see any agreement. They arrested Lula, overthrew Dilma, elected Bolsonaro. What else do you need for people to understand that there is no conversation? They don't even want to blink at us. Alckmin vice doesn't help at all, on the contrary, it gets in the way. It gets in the way of the campaign and gets in the way of the government. In the electoral battle, it will only create noise, mistrust and take away the spirit of the most combative sectors, of organic militancy (how would PSOL look, for example?).

In the government, that deputy toucan would be like a trumpet boycotting changes – in addition to being a permanent destabilizing factor, like a coup on duty. More rationality, gang. Critical sense. Cold blood. We don't need the "chouchou popsicle" to win the elections. Nor to surrender the soul to the devil. Let's invest in programmatic clarity, social mobilization, militant engagement. and dialogue with the masses – presenting concrete proposals to solve the problems of poor people.

It is not enough to win the election. Election is a means, not an end. We really want to transform the country. Deep. We fight for a popular-democratic government, capable of changing people's lives.

Julian Rodrigues is a journalist, professor and activist of the LGBTI and Human Rights movement.


See this link for all articles