Jair Bolsonaro is a Brazilian congressman that is gunning for the country’s top office and just might get it. He has been compared frequently to the current President of the United State, President Donald Trump, and has been touted just as frequently as a likely winner in the Presidential race.
The pre-candidate for the 2018 Brazilian presidential election is quite the controversial figure but he seems pretty confident about the people’s love for him. In fact, just like President Donald Trump who he has been compared to, he is not a stranger to bragging about polls;
“I’m not good. But the others are very bad. They try to bring me down, but I continue to rise in the polls.”
His assessment of the polls is not exactly accurate either. In a 2017 opinion poll conducted by CNT, Jair Bolsonaro ranked third in two of three election scenarios presented and fourth in the other and even in a prompt in which no candidate option is given, Bolsonaro comes in second place after former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Being elected into the Chamber of Deputies by the Progressive Party (PP), he was, however, the congressman who gained the most votes in the general elections of the state of Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
Besides their love for polls, here are five ways Jair Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump are alike;
They are both fans of dictatorship
President Donald Trump has a history of praising strongmen. In the course of his own Presidential campaign, he managed to praise Saddam Hussein’s strength in killing terrorists, called Vladimir Putin an “absolute leader,” and actually described in glowing terms Kim Jong Un’s ruthless elimination of his rivals in North Korea.
Way back in 1993, Jair Bolsonaro who was once an army parachutist declared in a speech; “I am in favor of a dictatorship, we will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy.”
The speech had rattled the country which had only left military rule behind in 1985 but he insisted that he received hundreds of telegrams and telephone calls of support which solidified his view that “The people see the possibility of military discipline pulling the country out of the mud.”
They both have decidedly controversial views
President Donald Trump during campaign season voiced some thoughts that were regarded as sexist and racist. Jair Bolsonaro has steadily made racist, homophobic, and xenophobic claims since he entered politics in 1988. he has been quoted as saying that he would “rather have a dead son over a gay son.”
It is these type of views and his “popular phenomenon” that most make people compare him to President Trump. Every time it is thought that his latest claim has crossed a line that will hurt him in the polls, his popularity rises.
They both ride on a need for change
Americans seemed to be thirsty for a change of status quo when they supported and finally voted Trump into the Presidents. Brazilians who have been dealing with a corruption scandal that is rocking their political elites are similarly on a quest for change.
In Brazil currently, inflation is high, crime is high, unemployment is high and only a few elites among them politicians seem to be enjoying the country’s wealth. Jair Bolsonaro has a different message that fits the times: “I’m an authentic person. My proposals… are different from everything that’s out there.”
They are regularly in the news
During campaign season and ever since Donald Trump took over the Presidency, there has hardly been a day when he has not been included in the news cycle. Jair Bolsonaro’s rise has likewise been covered by popular Brazilian TV shows and high-circulation magazines, which have given him a platform to share his vision for government.
Like President Trump, Jair Bolsonaro also believes that the media portrays him unfairly. His Facebook page has over 4 million likes, which is more than former presidents Dilma Rousseff and Lula making him no stranger to social media populism like President Trump who has 30.6 million followers on his platform of choice – Twitter.
Evangelicals seem to favor them warts and all
President Donald Trump enjoyed massive evangelical support due to his some of his views. Exit polls show white evangelical voters voted in high numbers for Donald Trump, 80-16 percent, according to exit poll results.
In Brazil’s Congress, the Evangelical Bloc has become increasingly powerful and support from key leaders in the evangelical community like Silas Malafaia (from Assemblies of God Church) and Edir Macedo (from Universal Church), have also solidified Jair Bolsonaro’s candidacy.
Along with the evangelical base, Bolsonaro may widen his appeal outside the evangelical base to a growing socially conservative segment of the Brazilian population that feels that their country has lost its way with far too socially liberal policies.