Lucky for Him, Brazil’s Lula Is Father of the Poor and Mother of the Bankers

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, presidente do BrasilI received quite a few messages in recent weeks, all of them overflowing with indignation against Lula and the Workers Party. In one of them a woman says that “for more than a year now” she is astonished every time she turns on her TV.  But what about the preceding years, madam? You didn’t have a TV set or you had it but didn’t feel astonished?

Such messages don’t convince me. The indignation is so much that it cannot be that much. They seem more like fake tears from someone who voted once in the PT and today does not dare to confess it.

I’m angry too. But this anger hasn’t just started. I’ve been angry for some good 30 years. I used to denounce the PT even before the PT existed. I will explain myself. The PT was born in 1980. Well, since 75, as a columnist at Porto Alegre’s Folha da Manhã, I fired my batteries against gentlemen like Marco Aurélio Garcia, Tarso Genro, Flávio Koutzii, Luiz Pilla Vares: the party’s founder parents in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

That goes without mentioning what I wrote against the ideology that fed them. What I wrote against Tarso would make a small anthology. That they were all communist, even the Rua da Praia stones knew it. But woe to who would say that they were communist! He would be called a squealer, a despicable snitch. Under the military regime, being a communist served as a protective shield.

I understand that a teenager circa 1980 would vote for the PT. A youngster hasn’t yet had the time to read enough to visualize the party’s DNA. The PT is the son born from an orgy between the Catholic Church and several communist and anarchistic groups that thrived in Brazil. It managed to consolidate itself a decade before the Berlin Wall’s fall. Had it appeared after the 90s, it wouldn’t have the clout to reach power.

That poor devils who benefit from state alms would vote for the PT, I can also understand. What is incomprehensible is to see adult and well-informed people, intellectuals, civil servants and college professors voting in a party that was born obsolete, in a coarse and semi-illiterate candidate.

All the worse, someone who flaunts his lack of instruction as being a virtue. It’s  true that since the end of the 19th century the myth of salvation by the proletariat has been touted. Now, today’s voters have had more than a century to verify that proletarians do not save anyone.

The PT was born in Brazil’s most politicized state, nurtured by the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Church. By this same USP that was the great Marxism propagandist in Brazil and by this same Church that adopted it through the doctrine that calls itself Liberation Theology. Lula’s election, backed by the country’s intellectual elites in mid 21st century, means that these elites are still living spiritually in the 19th century.

It is common to say that Lula bought the vote of millions of destitutes with the Bolsa Família (family grant). Of course he bought. But the bolsa Família is an extension and copy of Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s assistencialist programs like the PETI, the school-grant (bolsa-escola), the gas voucher (vale-gás). The caudillo apprentice liked the idea, expanded it and gave it a new name.

Instead of buying congressmen retail, he prefers buying voters wholesale. People have a donkey’s memory, who never forgets where he eats, said Martín Fierro. Fernando Henrique Cardoso begot Lula. The millionaire retirement pension given the crooks who once tried to turn the country into a Soviet banana republic, if they burden the Treasury today,  they were not invented by Lula but by the Sociologists’ Prince.

Lula has another kind of constituency who does not dare enunciate its candidate’s name. They are people who, thanks to the interest rates policy of the current government,  can sit down in a bar while the reais keep generously flowing into their investments.

Not by chance, Lula has been called the father of the poor (an allusion to late president Getúlio Vargas, another demagogue) and the bankers’ mother. Bankers are minority. But there are plenty of investors. While the West’s stock markets and the São Paulo Ibovespa enjoy good health, Lula is a sure bet.

It doesn’t matter that it is not that much. If what they profit are the crumbs that fall from the banks’ banquet, these crumbs are more than enough reason for them to vote for Lula. It is the embarrassed vote. To vote for Lula is ugly for a well-to-do individual.  But the vote is secret and nobody gets to know for whom the well-to-do person voted. These gentlemen almost paid their debt in the first round.

I know quite a few people who consider Lula’s reelection an outrage. I beg to differ. Outrage was his election. Well or ill, Brazil is a dynamic nation, with modernity aspirations. And decided to choose the rubbish of socialism.

The elections were now evened out and got a referendum character. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Supreme Ignoramus wins. To lie was always more rewarding than saying the truth. The proof is that a president involved in all kinds of shams, someone daily denounced in the press, got no less than 48% of the votes.

Every Lula word is a lie, he contradicts himself every other sentence, he believes to be the Christ resurrected in every megalomania fit. Nothing of the kind was enough to get the voters’ repudiation. There are those who prematurely believe that Lula has already lost the elections. He only lost the first round. For now, he is still in the winner’s seat.

Who really lost the elections were the polling concerns. Right from the start of the campaign, they gave Lula an uncontested victory. At random: between August 22 and 25, in surveys taken in 24 states, the CNT/Sensus poll gave Lula 62.3% of the vote intentions.

Three days before the elections, the polling firms DataFolha and Ibope gave him 53% of the valid votes. According to the polls and only with extremely good will Alckmin reached 30%. The results are here: Lula, 48.60 % and Alckmin 41.63 %.

The polls, which are supposed to be scientific, work always with a two-percentage-point margin of error. The result was very far from the margins of error.

Nobody should deceive themselves. A country that elected an illiterate might as well reelect him. As far as I know, the national intelligence level did not increase at all since 2002. I don’t see a bigger shame in reelecting Lula. Shame was to let this man get where he got.

Janer Cristaldo – he holds a Ph.D. from University of Paris, Sorbonne – is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is

Translated from the Portuguese by Arlindo Silva.


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