“How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

It’s always nice, now and then, to remind people in the press and in academia of Pauline Kael’s famous (or infamous) quote referring to George McGovern’s loss to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. Apparently, it is a misquote, but I don’t think that it matters all that much. The fact is that too many people in … Continue reading “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

Time for optimism in Brazil

If you only read left-leaning newspapers, things might appear dismal in Brazil right now. But I am very convinced that it isn’t so. With former president Lula in jail, it becomes more and more likely that Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be Brazil’s next president. I already wrote about Bolsonaro here. To sum things up, I … Continue reading Time for optimism in Brazil

Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why you should care

Since 1994, Brazilian presidential elections follow a pattern: PSDB and PT candidates are the main competitors, with a third candidate falling between the main leaders and countless dwarf candidates. Although this third candidate does not reach the presidency and does not even dispute the second round of the elections, its political influence tends to increase … Continue reading Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why you should care

Some afterthoughts on Rio Paralympics

Paralympics are over, and with them the cycle of Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Once again the city was able to put up a good show, and thankfully all went well in the Cidade Maravilhosa. But not everything is alright in Rio: even more than the Olympics, the Paralympics were able to show the … Continue reading Some afterthoughts on Rio Paralympics

How the populists came to power

Jair Bolsonaro was elected president in Brazil. Donald Trump in the US. In other countries, similar politicians are gaining popular support. Some are calling these politicians “populists”. I don’t really know what they mean by this term. The populists that I know better are Getúlio Vargas, Brazil’s president for almost 20 years in the mid-20th … Continue reading How the populists came to power

Damares Alves and the left’s hypocrisy

The last polemic in Brazilian politics was due to a testimony of Damares Alves, chosen by Jair Bolsonaro to be his minister of human rights. In a video that is available on YouTube, during a religious service, Damares tells how in her childhood, between 6 and 8 years of age, she was systematically sexually abused … Continue reading Damares Alves and the left’s hypocrisy

Explaining Jair Bolsonaro to non-Brazilians

I wrote about Jair Bolsonaro here some time ago, but I believe that, with the recent political changes in Brazil, it is worthy to write about him again. Jair Messias Bolsonaro is a pre-candidate to the Brazilian presidency. Elections will happen in October, and so, following Brazilian electoral law, his candidacy won’t be official until … Continue reading Explaining Jair Bolsonaro to non-Brazilians