Brazil is definitely taking a swing to the right, so who should we credit for that?
Let's think logically about this. Law and order folks? Business owners? Evangelicals? Pentecostals? Politicians?
The societal transformation of this once-majority-Catholic country to a majority-Pentecostal republic is fascinating to watch and there's been a procession of mainstream reporters going to Brazil to check it out. You can see the latest here: a Wall Street Journal piece on how all this may pan out.
NIOAQUE, Brazil -- It looks like a scene from Marlboro Country. Cattle ranchers drive their Chevy pickup trucks to the local rodeo. Cowboys in washed-out jeans entertain the crowds.
In fact, it is Brazil’s conservative heartland, a 14-hour drive from the nearest beach and a world away from the country’s reputation for liberal hedonism.
Over much of the past 15 years, Brazilian conservatives have watched the rise of socialism in this continent-sized nation with unease. They’ve seen farmers go to jail here for defending their land against indigenous tribes; they’ve recoiled as same-sex couples starred in their favorite soap operas; and they’ve grumbled at the local shooting club about high taxes, high crime and the corruption scandals in two successive leftist presidencies…
Conservatism is making a comeback here. It is already playing out in the battle over women’s health and across politics, religion and the arts.
Sounds a bit like Texas, does it not?
Brazil is witnessing the political rise of a fiery army captain-turned-congressman named Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who speaks fondly of the country’s 1964-1985 dictatorship in which he once served. The blue-eyed nationalist, whose middle name means “Messiah,” is a devout Christian who was recently baptized in the Jordan River. At 63, he is running for president on a pro-gun, antiabortion and anti-gay-rights platform.