Why Brazil Still Matters

Brazil, Demographic

Why Brazil Still Matters

While many in the West lamented Jair Bolsonaro’s stunning ascension to the presidency of the world’s fifth most populous country in 2018, the election outcome was sealed roughly a year earlier. That was when Brazil’s two-term center-left president, Lula da Silva, who had been legally barred from a third consecutive term in 2010 despite an 86 percent approval rating—and who was leading in all the polls for a comeback in the 2018 presidential race—was convicted on dubious corruption charges and then declared ineligible to run. With his primary obstacle out of the way, Bolsonaro cruised to victory.

The stench of those events intensified greatly when Bolsonaro appointed the judge who’d found Lula guilty, Sergio Moro, to the newly enhanced position of minister of justice and public security. Even Moro’s closest allies in the sprawling anti-corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato in Portuguese) were outraged by this blatant quid pro quo, which they realized would forever tarnish their legacy.

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Why Brazil Still Matters

Brazil, Demographic

Why Brazil Still Matters

While many in the West lamented Jair Bolsonaro’s stunning ascension to the presidency of the world’s fifth most populous country in 2018, the election outcome was sealed roughly a year earlier. That was when Brazil’s two-term center-left president, Lula da Silva, who had been legally barred from a third consecutive term in 2010 despite an 86 percent approval rating—and who was leading in all the polls for a comeback in the 2018 presidential race—was convicted on dubious corruption charges and then declared ineligible to run. With his primary obstacle out of the way, Bolsonaro cruised to victory.

The stench of those events intensified greatly when Bolsonaro appointed the judge who’d found Lula guilty, Sergio Moro, to the newly enhanced position of minister of justice and public security. Even Moro’s closest allies in the sprawling anti-corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato in Portuguese) were outraged by this blatant quid pro quo, which they realized would forever tarnish their legacy.

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How Would a Patriot Act?: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok

Policies, Security

How Would a Patriot Act?: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok

Glenn Greenwald was not a political man — neither liberal nor conservative. To him, the U.S. was generally on track and would remain forever centrist. But all that has changed.

Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, which threatens to alter our system of governing ourselves and our national character. This extremism is neither liberal nor conservative, but is driven by the Bush administration’s radical theories of executive power. Greenwald writes that we cannot abide these unlimited and unchecked presidential powers if we are to remain a constitutional republic. Because when you answer to no one, you’re not a president — you’re a despot.

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