Midterms: the lesson that the US elections leave for Brazil

The Biden administration is so lame that Republicans thought their performance in this week’s congressional elections would be a wash. They won a majority in the House and possibly the Senate. But they arrive much smaller than expected. Inflation rates at tropical levels, violence on the rise, migratory chaos on the southern border, cracklands sprouting like grass in every corner of big cities were not enough to convince voters that the incompetence of the Democrats is greater than the shame of the radical Trumpist base.

The wounds of January 6, 2021 split the Republican Party and alienated voters who were amazed by the scenes of the Capitol invasion and became convinced that the radical model It’s not the way. Many not only repudiated it, but began to feel ashamed.

Trump came out of the elections of 2020 much bigger than when he was elected. But he lost. The defeat took the president’s focus away from his base, who left for the basic reading that more or less says: what’s the point of having received more votes than in 2016 if we don’t win the election?

This is pragmatically correct reasoning, but strategically dangerous. When Trump went crazy to question an election, whose rules are bad and full of holes, but they are the rules. While the system is not improved, it is with the current rules that you must play. Trump did absolutely nothing to improve them and after he lost, he decided to whine.

Former President Trump was his biggest adversary. He lost to himself. But the lack of self-criticism prevented him from recognizing the flaws and, consequently, adjusting the bow for a possible return in 2024.

When Trump was elected, half the world panicked believing in the tale that the United States was under the command of a candidate for autocrat and that democracy would be destroyed. The press went into “combat mode” and the political classes – including the republican establishment – ​​worked to feed the thesis that Trump would plunge the United States into darkness and take the world with it.

Between mistakes and successes, Trump went through his term with praise. He achieved incredible economic indices, provided more social mobility and inclusion than any other president in recent decades and appeared to have reelection in his hands. But the Covid pandemic came 19 and the opportunistic bandit of those who surfed on the corpse of George Floyd.

While the door to the inside of the Trump administration was making homework to fight the Covid pandemic 19, he sent an ambiguous message to the world. Far beyond the limits of rationality. Immersed in crises within crises, he seems to have embarked on a process of autophagy of his political capital so that Biden, locked in the basement for fear of contracting Covid, grew and prospered on top of Trump’s mistakes.

On January 6, when everything went wrong, just two hours of turmoil were enough to transform Trump into exactly what, for four years, his opponents and critics struggled to convince the world that he was.

Trump has turned into a scammer. Its base has become radioactive and increasingly restricted to its cycle of self-validation.

The Republican Party is divided between Trumpists, supporters of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and classic Democrats, of where the former presidents of the Bush family and everyone else came from before the emergence of trumpism.

The outlook for 2024 for Republicans seems to have reached a crossroads. Trump is the party’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. It is the center of a dispute and internal divisions that prove to be almost lethal in parliamentary elections.

And what is the lesson for Brazil? I suggest rereading the column exchanging Trump for Bolsonaro. Biden, for Lula. Republicans for Bolsonaristas. I think it works.

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