Trump met at the White House this week with Jair Bolsonaro, the newly elected leader of Brazil, and warmly embraced and endorsed him, even saying he wanted to take the nearly unprecedented step of making Brazil an official non-NATO ally. Bolsonaro is a big fan of Trump, which means Trump loves him regardless — or because of — his undeniable bigotry and desire to become a dictator.
Bolsonaro’s positions are absolutely appalling in nearly every instance, and nearly identical to Trump’s in most cases, only even more extreme. He is strongly against environmental regulation, including protecting the Brazilian rain forest from being clear cut by agribusiness interests. Like Trump, he thinks global warming is a hoax, a fiendish plot by “cultural marxists” to do…well, something. He’s anti-immigration and has ranted repeatedly about immigrants, especially from Haiti and Africa, whom he has referred to as the “scum of humanity.”
He’s virulently anti-secularism, saying there is “no such thing as a secular state. The state is Christian, and any minority that is against this has to change, if they can.” Like most Christian nationalists, he’s also bitterly anti-woman and anti-gay. He has openly said that men and women should not get paid the same. Why? Because women get pregnant. And they shouldn’t get maternity leave when they do, either. In 2015, he told Human Rights Minister Maria do Rosário that she is “”not worth raping” because she is “very ugly.”
He did an interview with, of all people, the delightful lesbian actress Ellen Page, and he told her, “You are very nice. If I were a cadet in the military academy and saw you on the street, I would whistle at you. All right? You are very pretty.” And he explained to her how people became gay: “Over time, due to liberal habits, drugs, with women also working, the number of homosexuals has really increased.”
And like Trump, he dreams of becoming a dictator. He has lavished praise on the military dictatorship that ran Brazil from 1964 to 1985 and was known for its rampant human rights abuses. He’s gone even further than they did, saying, he error of the dictatorship was that it tortured, but did not kill.” He has also praised other Latin American dictators, including Alberto Fujimori and Augusto Pinochet. But Pinochet, he has said, “should have killed more people.” He even said in the 1990s that if he were ever elected president, he would dissolve the National Congress and engage in a military “self-coup” to take permanent power.
So yeah, we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump embraced him so warmly and heaped praise on him, as he has done for other brutal thugs like Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. He loves dictators because he wants to be one. Bolsonaro is like Trump squared.