As Merkelism Fades and Brazil Moves Right, Trumpism Is Thriving


David A. Andelman, visiting scholar at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law, wrote an op-ed for CNN about Jair Bolsonaro, the newly elected president of Brazil.

Brazil has embraced Trumpism — and then some.


Eager to avoid the catastrophic economic meltdown of neighboring Venezuela — led by socialist President Nicolas Maduro — Brazilian voters have thrown their lot overwhelmingly behind a far right-wing candidate. In one stroke, the nation has swung from its once-beloved left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who languishes in prison on corruption charges, to Jair Bolsonaro.

It is only the latest victory of far-right nationalism that in the past 24 hours has seen the first step toward the end of the moderate conservative leadership of Angela Merkel in Germany and growing fears of the spread of anti-democratic dogmatism.

On Sunday evening, Trump became one of the first world leaders to phone Bolsonaro with congratulations on his victory. As White House press secretary Sarah Sanders put it, the two expressed their pleasure in working “side-by-side” as “regional leaders of the Americas.”

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