The International Moving Right Show: Germany, Brazil and Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter speaks during a forum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Among other topics, Carter discussed his new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.” (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Angela Merkel of Germany announced that she is going to step down as German chancellor.

Brazil has elected a right wing President, Jair Bolsonaro.  The coverage of the election on NPR’s Morning Edition, concentrated on voter frustration with violent crime and corruption.  Bolsonaro was considered too extreme by the traditional parties, having made offensive statements about women, gays, Brazilians of color and democracy itself.  Once, as a Congressman, he proposed: “Let’s go straight to the dictatorship.”  Bolsonaro spent seven terms in the Brazilian Congress.  “Elections won’t change anything in this country,” he once said.  “…it will only change the day that we break out in civil war here and do the job that the military regime didn’t do, killing 30,000.  If some innocent people die, that’s fine.”  Bolsonaro has a military background and is supported by the military.  In 1993, he delivered a speech before a Congress he was part of.  “I am in favor of a dictatorship.”  He said.  “We will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy.”  After spending so long in Congress, Bolsonaro has almost no legislative record.  He wasn’t concerned with passing legislation or even engaging in debate about policy.  He was a one-trick pony, concentrating on a supposed Communist threat.  Some have accused him of being a left-over from the Cold War.  He supports widespread gun ownership as an answer to violent crime.  He once told an opponent that she didn’t even deserve to be raped and said that he would rather die than find out his son was gay.  NYT (10/29/18)

Bolsonaro’s election is considered momentous for the fate of the Amazon.  He has promised to champion the powerful agribusiness sector in Brazil.  And, he has promised to set aside no land for indigenous people displaced by business interests.  See Somini Sengupta, 10/17/18  (NYT)

Jimmy Carter has written a letter to Secretary of State Brian Kemp asking him to step down and give over control of the oversight of the state’s election to someone else since he is running for office in the election.  Carter has also endorsed Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams.  Kemp said recently that Abrams’ get out the vote campaign was a direct threat to Kemp’s election.

Good Reads:

How Saudi Arabia manages it’s image.  Bazzi, Mohamad (10/29/18) NYT.

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