Are we 70%?

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By KATIA GERAB BAGGIO*

No illusions. The fight will be hard. very hard

Despite the inconsistencies that may exist in queries made only by telephone, what the Datafolha survey released on June 25th showed is that “we are not 70%”, unfortunately. The survey identified that 32% rate Jair Bolsonaro as great or good, 23% rate it as regular and only 44% judge the “president” as bad or terrible (I can't help but use quotes in Bolsonaro's case).

Yes, only 44%, because this percentage is very low in the face of an absolutely disastrous and predatory mismanagement like Bolsonaro's. And that 23% consider the “president” to be regular means that they are not effectively opposing Bolsonaro. In other words, they could elect him again.

Jair Messias' fanatical base is probably no more than 15 or 20% of the population, which is already very worrying. They are the ones who think Bolsonaro is great. But there is another big problem: that part of Brazilian society that considers the “president” to be good or regular. Therefore, the opposition to Bolsonaro, in fact, does not reach half of the population.

It is a huge tragedy, in a country that has about a third of evangelicals – the majority of which are Pentecostal or neo-Pentecostal churchgoers, that is, fundamentalists and obscurantists –, not to mention the strong conservatism of sectors of Catholicism, Spiritualism, Judaism, etc. .

There has been a significant backsliding in recent years as opposed to a secular society. There is a profoundly conservative religiosity in Brazil, which pushes the country towards the abyss of obscurantism. Changing this trend will not be a short-term task. It will require a lot of critical education and a lot of consistent political training.

Saying that “we are 70%” is a phrase that comes out of a superficial view of reality, closer to the motivational discourse of the business community than to political analysis.

Does what I wrote above mean that I believe that Jair Bolsonaro will finish his term?

Not necessarily, because the absurdities of this mismanagement are countless; the crimes of responsibility are innumerable; the health, social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will be much worse; and ongoing investigations could reveal facts that have the potential to destroy much of the support that Jair M. Bolsonaro still has.

But nothing will be easy in a country that has been infected by the virus of hatred and obscurantism. A country of Malafaias, of “universal” churches, of Datenas, of an ultraconservative portion of Catholics, of millions who voted — without ignoring the facts — for a candidate (today “president”) who defends dictatorship and torture.

Building a less unequal country was proving extremely difficult. Rebuilding everything that is being destroyed by this mismanagement of neo-fascists, ultra-liberals and surrenderists will be much more.

Despite all this, if we lose hope in the possibility of reconstruction, we will be surrendering the country to the worst that Brazilian history has produced: authoritarians, neo-fascists, obscurantists, racists, homophobes, misogynists, surrenderers and all those who are in favor of capitalism absolutely violent and predatory.

But one cannot have illusions. The fight will be hard. Very arduous.

* Katia Gerab Baggio is a professor of History of the Americas at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

 

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