Brazil's political crisis has been a sad affair to follow. Not only has the crisis exposed the corruption of most of the country's politicians, but it has also revealed a much undignified Dilma Rousseff. This Latin American nation is once again seeking to impeach a president; but this time the process is more bitter, more divisive, more demagogic and more insidious.
The Writing Was on the Wall
President Dilma, Brazil's first female president, is going through a process of impeachment for having concealed the size of the State's deficit in order to seek a re-election. She and her party (PT) induced her supporters to scream “coup d'état” and “illegitimate power grab” in the streets, but the fact is she had it coming for a long time:
- President Dilma acted as former President Lula's puppet. She never emitted an opinion of her own without invoking “her beloved President Lula”; she did not control her cabinet, her party, she controlled nothing. Instead of cutting the flow of corruption that flooded her party, she simply allowed business to run as usual.
- President Dilma is a professional demagogue. If the right criticises her, she invokes the military dictatorship that imprisoned and “tortured” her. If the right questions her ability to lead, she plays the female card (something like 'I'm being persecuted because I'm a woman, because I'm the first female president and they can't take it, in this sexist country'). If the right accuses her of mishandling State affairs, she deflects by talking about the minorities (being her obsession the Brazilian black folks).
- President Dilma's foreign policy is a joke and her team doesn't know how to pick international friends nor which battles to avoid (e.g. Dani Dayan).
- President Dilma, just like former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, suggested that being in power is not for all women, since they get emotional and are subserviently grateful to the men who ushered them into office – which is quite embarrassing.
It's curious that when the impeachment process was initiated against President Fernando Collor de Mello, in 1992, no one spoke of a “coup d'état” and PT's supporters accused him of being the biggest corrupt leader of all times; even though, over 20 years later, Collor de Mello was absolved of all charges against him. But now that it has been proved that Pres. Dilma's administration cooked the books, and two police investigations and a Judge revealed the depth of the Brazilian political class' corruption involving many in President Dilma's cabinet, plenty of labour party members (in addition to elements of other parties, including right wing ones) and the former president Lula da Silva, the left is playing the victim of a profound injustice.
Demagoguery Taken to Extremes
Interim president Michel Temer is at the helm of Brazil. President Dilma and supporters regurgitated cheap demagogy by accusing his interim cabinet of not having a woman or a black person. Please, take a minute to look at the picture of President Dilma's government, inaugurated in 2015:
How many blacks can be found in the above image – where's Waldo? Inserting one black woman in the middle of a group of fair skinned people is hardly a demonstration of diversity. Surely, PT and supporters will come up with all sorts of justifications to explain the disparity, however, they should spare us from any sort of explanation because governing, in principle, is about finding competent individuals to govern and not about filling the administration with quotas of blacks, Indians, Asians, just to show how diverse a society is. Having women in a government is not an absolute requirement either, especially when female political leaders have been giving such a bad example – they are just as bad as men when they are weak, demagogic, corrupt and incompetent.
President Dilma should admit her failure and accept her fate with dignity. Not admitting her responsibility as the commander-in-chief; being constantly on the Media, accusing the opposition of having acted illegally (when it's not true) or of having conducted a coup d'état (which is not true either), is desperate and unbecoming of a proper president. Dilma Rousseff failed. She failed as a politician, she failed as an economist, she failed as a leader. She must admit it, accept it and move on (by withdrawing from the public to spare her image and regroup).
[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]