Until the count: nessun dorma

Dora Longo Bahia. Revolutions (calendar project), 2016 Acrylic, water-based pen and watercolor on paper (12 pieces). 23 x 30.5 cm each
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By LISZT VIEIRA*

No one sleeps, to convince more people to vote for democracy against dictatorship, for civilization against barbarism

Lula won the debate. In reality, it is more of a duel in which the content of the interventions does not matter much. The attitude, the warlike disposition to face the opponent and defeat him with gestures, criticism and impactful arguments weighs more. In this duel, if the attacked candidate goes to defend himself and says that it is not like that, it is not true, he loses points. It's like fencing: once attacked, you have to counterattack immediately. Let us remember the ancient wisdom: Whoever defends himself has already lost!

For the mainstream media – Globe, Globonews, Sheet, Estadão, CNN, Lula won by points, not by knockout. But for the Quaest and Atlas polls, Lula's victory was more expressive. Some commented that towards the end he looked tired. No wonder, he debated with a habitual liar who only provoked. But he maintained the posture and composure of a statesman until the end and did not fall for the provocations of his opponent, who behaved like a deputy from the lower clergy, which was confirmed by himself in his failed act at the end.

Lula had magnificent moments in the debate. Others, not so much. For example, the answer on the theme of the environment. He could destroy the opponent, which did not happen. Jair Bolsonaro repeated his lying information about deforestation that he had already given in the previous debate and did not receive a blunt response. Lula would not even need to cite data, it would suffice to mention Ricardo Salles's "pass the cattle", dismantling Ibama and CNBio, forest fires, Brazil is today the world's villain in terms of climate, something dramatic. Anyway, ball forward.

The debate, or rather the duel, should have no impact on the election result. But the videos with the candidates' speeches will circulate on the networks. And also with the interview, after the debate, when Jair Bolsonaro punched the table and was removed by his advisors. Before that, however, he said he will respect the results of the polls. It was a confession that he doesn't have the strength to strike.

In previous texts, I criticized several articles that defended the unique scenario of the coup, taken for granted. I worked with the possibility of several scenarios and considered the coup a possible scenario, but unlikely, due to lack of national political/military support and international diplomatic support. It's good not to forget that the US president sent three diplomats to Brazil with the mission of saying that the Brazilian electoral system is reliable and giving a message to the military: No coup! The US Senate even recommended breaking diplomatic relations with Brazil in the event of a coup. After all, Jair Bolsonaro supports Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, two enemies of Joe Biden.

It is necessary to recognize that we owe important information to 7dophile. One is that conservatives willing to support a dictatorship are not just 30%, as I always imagined. We can say that 40% of the electorate today would support a dictatorship that would come combined with a neoliberal economic model, although not everyone is aware of this.

Jair Bolsonaro's electorate is not just made up of businessmen, military and evangelicals. The vast majority of her voters are conservatives who fearfully reject the empowerment of women who no longer accept their traditional role as mothers and housewives. Nostalgic for Casa Grande and Senzala, they are intimidated by the struggle of blacks for equality and scandalized by the struggle of gays (LGBTQIA+) for the recognition of their rights. For example, same-sex marriage is seen as shameful. In addition, they associate deforestation with progress.

Thus, in B.'s electorate there are not only economic interests of the capitalist business community, corporate interests of the military, or interests of a large mass of evangelicals deceived in their good faith by corrupt pastors. The vast majority is even composed of conservatives who have introjected the values ​​of patriarchal society, ignored for a long time by the left as a secondary issue, outside the focus of the class struggle. After Lula's victory, by a narrower margin than we imagined, the fight against the conservative values ​​of the patriarchal society will be urgent. Instead of disregarding the “identity agenda”, we will have to articulate these struggles for rights with the economic struggles of the workers.

But in the last meters of the final stretch, the priority must be to look for undecided players. In the week leading up to the election, it was important to look for those who were still in doubt. To my surprise, there were many. I entered a mall and talked to salespeople from several stores. I found undecided voters, Lula and Jair Bolsonaro voters without much conviction, those who are going to abstain or vote null. Distribute a personalized flyer. It is a performance in the micro-social plan, complementary to the action in the networks where, in fact, the giants of digital communication predominate: André Janones, Felipe Neto and others.

This rush on the eve of the election reminded me of the aria Nessun Dorma – Let Nobody Sleep – from the opera Turandot, by Puccini, when the princess orders everyone to stay awake at night to find out the real name of her suitor. In our case, the name we know. But let no one sleep, to convince more people to vote for democracy against dictatorship, for civilization against barbarism.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor of sociology at PUC-Rio. He was deputy (PT-RJ) and Coordinator of the Global Forum of the Rio 92 Conference. Author, among other books, of Democracy reactsGaramond).

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