Lula & Alckmin – the primacy of the Southeast region

Image: Darius Krause
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By PATRICIA VALIM*

If the PT supports Marcio França, it runs the risk of transforming the most conservative situation in the epicenter of Bolsonarism, Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo, into a national one.

One of the most discussed political issues in recent weeks is the possibility that the presidential race in 2022 will have a ticket with former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva/PT and former governor of the state of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin/PSDB – probably in the process of joining the PSB, a party that has been the destiny of recognizably democratic politicians such as Márcio França, Flávio Dino and Marcelo Freixo.

Supporters of the alliance have stated that Geraldo Alckmin would earn Lula's ticket around 5% of the votes in the interior of São Paulo - increasing the possibility of victory in the first round - would calm the financial market, help in the reconstruction of the Brazilian State, take votes from the candidacy of João Dória Jr., and would defeat at the same time Bolsonarist fascism and Sérgio Moro’s Lavajatist authoritarianism. No comments about Opus Dei, the massacre of the occupation of Pinheirinho, the violence of the Military Police of São Paulo. Total silence, and they still want the silence of militancy because “the man knows what he does”.

The plate's detractors are divided on the tone and content of the criticism. Moderate critics have asserted that it is not the moment for the PT to choose the vice-presidential candidate, as Lula leads the electoral race with a good advantage in the polls released so far, so that those interested can fight. However, behind the scenes, this group of PT supporters has been mobilizing the radical left party, whose president likes to make cosplay of "senior guerrilla falcon” to make a crusade against what he calls the “liberal left”. Recently, he has spent time and energy to spice up all sorts of fake news against the candidate for the governorship of the state of São Paulo by the PSOL, Guilherme Boulos, a leader of national projection, with accusations without evidence, but with conviction.

The most irascible critics are part of the group that loves to show off their knowledge of the Russian Revolution of 1917, but is unaware of the Organic Law created on the occasion of the Pernambuco Revolution of 1817, a century earlier, check it out. Maybe that's why they keep repeating platitudes like our Political Independence having been a great national agreement and that Jair Bolsonaro was the best candidate to be defeated by the PT in the second round of 2018. As if that wasn't enough, after passing the PT governments silently or justifying all kinds of alliances in the name of governability, these critics have claimed that Lula will only defeat Bolsonarist fascism if he radicalizes in the choice of vice president and in a program that, after a few trials, would be equivalent to our first social revolution.

It should be noted that the common denominator of these groups is the absence of other possible universes to compose the vice-presidency of the PT ticket and build a project of a diverse and plural Brazil: it does not consider a black or indigenous man or a black or indigenous woman, or even a candidacy of the jabuticaba national bourgeoisie, someone from the North, or from the Northeast with its progressive belt that gave 48 million votes to Professor Fernando Haddad.

Therefore, even as a militant affiliated with the PT and a member of the Sérgio Buarque de Holanda Research and Documentation Council, of the Perseu Abramo Foundation, if the Lula & Alckmin ticket is the only one capable of defeating Jair Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections, I will vote for her because I know the difference between a liberal and a fascist. But I publicly confess that without the slightest enthusiasm for this museum of great news that is Brazilian politics. I explain and develop the argument without changing the samba that much: the Lula & Alckmin ticket will be able to defeat Jair Bolsonaro in 2022, but it will not be able to defeat Bolsonarism if it boycotts the center-left candidates to elect candidates from the center, without tensioning Bolsonarism.

It is known that the main factor for the consolidation of this list is the election of Márcio França/PSB for the government of the state of São Paulo at the cost of the withdrawal of the candidacy of Fernando Haddad/PT and the defeat of Guilherme Boulos/PSOL through fel attacks from the field itself. If that happens, the country will go through a process of political sudestinization - transforming into national what happens most conservatively in the epicenter of Bolsonarism, Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo -, compromising all accumulation of PT governments through regional, cultural, political, religious, social, economic as has happened since the 2016 coup.

In order for the Lula & Alckmin ticket to actually fulfill its main objective, defeating Bolsonarist fascism – Jair Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism -, the left field needs to guarantee the election of Guilherme Boulos/PSOL to the government of the state of São Paulo, with support from Fernando Haddad/PT – a great name for the São Paulo vacancy in the Federal Senate, by the way. As it was seen in the 2020 municipal elections, even a politician from São Paulo, the expressive vote of the PSOL candidate, which made him reach the second municipal round, influenced the entire political field to the left: social movements, PSOL, the outsider group PT, PSB, PDT elected male and female councilors for collective and extremely democratic mandates throughout the country.

So that Lula/PT can govern without bending his knees to the genocidal and rentier group that profits from the impoverishment of the Brazilian population and forms the support base of Bolsonarism, we need to expand the election of candidates from the popular democratic field. In the current situation, candidacies like that of Guilherme Boulos in São Paulo will be able to defeat Bolsonarism through candidacies of social movements such as the Landless Movement, the MTST, the occupations, community kitchens, indigenous populations, black women, trans women and men, poor women and men.

If it is true that the Lula & Alckmin ticket will be able to defeat Jair Bolsonaro in 2022, it is also true that Bolsonarism will only be defeated with a diverse and plural legislature.

We cannot repeat the same mistakes of the past, which is why the PT cannot support Márcio França's candidacy in São Paulo, boycotting two key national leaders for the construction of a participatory democracy: Boulos & Haddad. To this end, the PT must be against the process of political southeasternization of the country in 2022, must build the diversity of gender, region and class of candidacies in the states, demonstrating that it is no longer possible to make an alliance in exchange for almost nothing. Especially because Geraldo Alckmin needs this alliance more than the other way around.

*Patricia Valim is a professor of history at the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP). She is the author, among other books, of Bahia Conjuration of 1798 (EDUFBA).

 

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