Jair Bolsonaro on Avenida Paulista

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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

Bolsonaro is a coward, but one of his fears is that he will admit himself as such in front of his followers. Therefore, the temptation to let off some bravado today is great

Today's act is an important move for Jair Bolsonaro. He has only one purpose: to escape from jail. With the act, he wants to achieve two objectives that serve this purpose.

The first is to show that it has popular strength. Sending the message to a Judiciary so concerned with the immediate political impact of its actions that it is not easy to mess with it.

Ideally, the message would be that his arrest would generate a spontaneous popular uprising and set the country on fire. But not even Jair Bolsonaro believes that.

Showing that you have the capacity to mobilize is already a good idea. The problem is what metric will be used to calculate this.

With so much investment in calling the event, it has to be really gigantic, at least as big as the biggest ones during his period as president.

Of course, Carlas Zambellis and Nikolas Ferreiras will say anyway that it was monumental and count the audience in the millions. But the message that Jair Bolsonaro wants to send is not for the playpen. It's outside. And then you have to be more convincing.

The second objective is to force the right to unite around him – exactly at the moment when the investigations close and prudence recommends gaining distance. Hence the pressure on governors, Tarcísio de Freitas in the first place, to attend.

Many will attend, even knowing the potential for wear and tear. But, if I were Jair Bolsonaro, I wouldn't count much on their loyalty. After all, every politician is proverbially a soapy fish – he always escapes the hands of those who want to arrest him.

Jair Bolsonaro's challenge is to stay within the script – avoid bravado, new attacks on the Supreme Court, new threats to democracy.

He's a coward – that's one of his defining traits. Always yellow when the confrontation seems serious. But one of his fears is the fear of assuming himself as a coward in front of his followers. Therefore, the temptation to unleash bravado is great.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of  Democracy on the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil. (Authentic) [https://amzn.to/45NRwS2]

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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