We all know that the “good” is the enemy of the “great”, and that is why we cannot lose perspective when we compare the Bolsonaro administration with what we have had over the past decade. Our sad reality reflects an almost indescribable legacy in every area, and the Bolsonarian “new normal” seems to be here to stay, but without losing sight of what in fact made him president of Brazil.
Hard-won freedom of expression is the largest representation of the Democratic Rule of Law, but we should not confuse it with permissiveness of communication. More than that, it is not only what is spoken, but also how it is spoken and, in the case of the president, which translates, influences and alters the course of thought of the whole administration – it sets the tone. It is not about blocking the president’s ideas and manifestations, no. However, his most controversial comments are already hurting and have the power to generate major political, economic and financial instability.
What’s worse is that many of the often out-of-context, over-the-top, and absolutely unnecessary prodigies and nudges at this post-election and effective government moment, more than demonstrating immaturity and sloppiness, this rhetoric has a double opposite effect: it takes energy and focus, and offers a platform for the opposition. It could not be worse, especially at a time when nothing can go wrong in the country’s realignment process. Although the suggestion is absurd, the president needs to focus and reflect more on his statements and opinions. He needs to control his language. Apologizing for a mistake or a poor choice of words is a noble act, but it will only have effective meaning if an actual change in behavior follows suit. Courage is not expressed in mere words, but clear action.
Correcting this behavior seems urgent. Recent data show that the potential for controversial statements from the president has increased again and, even if subjectively analyzed, the wordy arsenal has atomic impacts. Until recently, with the trio intact (Paulo Guedes, Sergio Moro and Gen. Santos Cruz) there seemed to be some “brake” on the presidential statements (each assisting in their own camp), but with the definitive removal of the General and the others for various reasons, those left around him either do not have the “strength” to influence him or keep him away from unwelcome statements, or are in essence passive men of the “yes, sir” kind.
In fact, as in an addiction, the president needs help. However, the president himself needs grasp this truth first, otherwise his aid will not come nor have any effect. Speaking your mind, but minding not what you speak, even if you’re in a “new normal” doesn’t seem like a promising attitude. The administration has riches of good technicians and we have a real chance to change the course of our history – we need to focus on that, especially on that!