Luiz Augusto fits into the picture that political scientist Guilherme Casarões draws up of supporters of Bolsonaro. He has spent years researching Bolsonaro and his supporters. “They’re often slightly older, middle-class white men.”
“We have had a left government for 13 years and Bolsonaro presents himself as anti-left,” Casarões said. “He also introduced a new element in Brazilian politics: faith. This president is religiously nationalist and that attracts a lot of people. But Bolsonaro is also mainly anti-establishment, he says he fights against corruption in Brazilian politics.”
Bolsonaro as a victim
This fight against the established order strikes a chord with many “Bolsonarists”. “Our president is fighting the system,” explains Luiz Augusto. “The system is constantly attacking him because they want to get rid of him.”
“Bolsonaro has succeeded in putting himself in the role of victim,” explains political scientist Casarões. “He is a victim of the system, of the press, of the governors, of the Supreme Court. On social media, he constantly complains of being thwarted and it is a populist and effective way to maintain his support.” Casarões compares Bolsonaro to a cult leader: “He is flawless, Bolsonaro does not make mistakes. If you criticize, you place yourself outside the movement,” said the political scientist.
Luiz Augusto must be smiling a little. “Of course the president is a victim. They are trying to blacken him from all sides. They are portraying Bolsonaro as an incompetent president so that he has no chance in next year’s election.”
Luiz Augusto doesn’t think it will work. “We have a president for whom people take to the streets, when any other candidate can hardly mobilize people. The streets are ours.”
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