Sérgio Moro and Flávio Dino

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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

Between the future STF minister and the future former senator there should be an abyss of political convictions and moral principles, which would place them on opposite and irreconcilable camps.

Sérgio Moro and Flávio Dino were antagonists in the pantomime hearing in the Senate. For PT blogs, Dino “humiliated” the future former senator. The right tried to say otherwise, but cooled down as soon as cell phone conversations appeared confirming that the conje ​​had voted in favor of the nomination – that is, he had become a communist again.

In informal moments, however, Sérgio Moro and Flávio Dino were hugs and laughter. Totally in love.

It is strange to see such closeness between two people who would embody absolutely antagonistic political projects – a Minister of Justice who wanted to save democracy and a future former senator who dedicates his life to destroying it.

It's strange, but not uncommon. In 2017, for example, the kiss that Chico Alencar gave Aécio Neves when he met him at the dinner in honor of Ricardo Noblat was surprising. (The journalist Ricardo Noblat, who since the rise of Jair Bolsonaro has once again donned the role of champion of democracy and today is full of praise for Lula, had been an enthusiast of the coup against Dilma Rousseff, even calling for a military coup if necessary, and was then notorious sucks up to the usurper Michel Temer. Chico Alencar was and became again a combative PSOL deputy. Aécio is Aécio.)

I can't forget, from the last century, the photo in which José Genoíno with a huge smile and open arms prepares to greet none other than Jarbas Passarinho, who had just been appointed minister in the Collor government. At the time, Genoíno led the left wing of the PT. He gained respect for Jarbas Passarinho during the work of the Constituent Assembly. According to a report at the time: “He is impartial when he presides, I competed with Fiuza and he knew how to lead very well”, says Genoíno. The two just avoid talking about the Araguaia guerrillas, to avoid 'embarrassment'”.

This type of behavior is an expected result of the representative regime, one of the elements that makes it function as a mattress that cushions social conflicts – for good and for bad. Politicians must be able to negotiate among themselves. So, they need to talk to each other. But they also need to be honest in their relationships with those they represent – ​​and maintain coherence between words and actions.

It is common to think that representative democracy emerged as a half-sole: since we have territories and populations that are too large for direct democracy, let's make the people govern through representatives. In fact, as Ellen Wood, Bernard Manin and others showed, the logic was the opposite: it was necessary to have large territories and populations to eliminate the risk of direct democracy.

Even when they come from the popular classes, which the dynamics of electoral competition make rare, those elected become part of an elite, differentiated from their base. No matter how much they differ, they are in a condition common to all. They compete, but they coexist and tend to create personal bonds, much like a school class. Then we arrive at scenes like this, in which political adversaries exchange pleasantries.

As politics is not just reason, it is also passion, it is clear that this interferes with the actions of representatives. Their disagreements look like a farce. In fact, it seems that we fools are fighting over here, while they are having fun among themselves.

In short: if we look at it from one side, we can call it “civility”, something positive for democracy. If we look at it another way, we will call it “domestication of political conflict”, leading to accommodation and hypocrisy.

The problem is the border between urbanity and cuddles. Political leaders are not expected to throw punches at each other. But a thieving judge, a potentially murderous corrupt person, an AI-5 enthusiast – isn't there an instinctive moral repulsion that would block these manifestations of affection?

And the insults exchanged on social media, the accusations, the thunderous indignation, is all this just theater? But it's irresponsible theater, especially in a situation where we see his followers, ordinary citizens, attacking each other in the streets and in their homes, sometimes literally killing each other. Perhaps more restraint would be better in both dimensions. Less verbal aggression towards the audience and less grabbing behind the scenes.

I'm not a politician. I don't have the necessary qualities for that. I greet my colleagues civilly, but I keep my distance from those with whom I don't feel the slightest affinity. As for the politician, the way politics is done, easy and superficial affability seems to be mandatory.

Sérgio Moro and Flávio Dino minimized the scene as mere civility. I do not know. Between the future STF minister and the future former senator there should be an abyss of political convictions and moral principles, which would place them on opposite and irreconcilable camps. So much laughter, so much joy doesn't fit there.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic).

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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