Written by Celso P. Santos exclusively for SouthFront; Edited by Rachel Lane
I was member of the PT (Workers Party) and student leader in the 90s in the industrial region of ABC, located in the state of São Paulo. Lula first took office as President of Brazil in 2002. I was 34 years old at the time and I had left the party and broken with Lula, because at that time I could already feel the disaster that was to come. Lula was 57 and had just achieved the dream.
Now, 14 years have passed, since an entire generation of young Brazilians became aware of their own existence and the world around them. This generation emerged and grew with the PT in power. In terms of national policy, the only examples these young people lived and experiened came from this party. In the Republic, the only values they have seen put into practice were from the PT.
At the same time that Lula and the PT dominated the state, TV was successful at dominating the children, the Power Rangers was a form of this indoctrination. In this series, when the enemy was defeated for the first time, he always came back, bigger, badder, causing further destruction. The Power Rangers then had to use an equally bigger and badder, colossal robot to fight it.
Lula’s former president overestimated their strength and underestimated the seriousness of the situation. Trying to save his own skin by making a radical move and the mandate of Dilma Rousseff, Lula, who always thought he could do anything, estimated that if he was Minister, he would actually take the place of Dilma. He calculated that would reverse the game and return to power in the hands of the people.
It was here everything went wrong.
Lula’s nomination for a third indirect mandate, a boldness with no limits – when the PT anticipated opposition and overthrew Dilma, in the corridors of Brasilia there was a was also a lack of good sense: just three days after 6 million people take to the streets against Lula, Dilma and PT. Millions shouted “Out of Lula!” What Dilma did? She did exactly the opposite, bringing Lula into the Planalto Palace, cementing disdain of the citizens and their opinion, as well as the Justice and investigation of Operação Lava Jato.
As every action generates a reaction, demonstrators reacted back to the streets, surrounding the Presidential Palace itself and reigniting fears of clashes. Judge Sergio Moro retaliated by releasing incriminating telephone recordings of Lula and a conversation between him and Rousseff in speaking of “proper term to be used in case of need.” The people considered this proof.
The phone records show how Lula and Dilma devised a ruse to escape the judge Sergio Moro and instead to put themselves in the more intimate setting of the Supreme Court. If this is not attempted obstruction of justice, what is? Lula’s turn ad was to be a spectacular event; it was to be a silver bullet against impeachment; instead it had no more effect than a pistol shot of water.
The Boomerang effect
What I learned from the PT is much like what I saw on television series staring cartoons villains as the main character. There is, of course, the one fundamental difference; The PT Has Simpler Ambitions. It wants only to dominate the country, not the whole world. But in general straight line the PT’s strategy and the Power Rangers villains is quite simple. If your enemies criticize you, say that they do so solely because they are your enemies. If you are defeated, come back bigger, more violent and retaliate in the worst way possible. If a colleague starts to hurt you, remove them by any means. Public opinion can be useful to tarnish the image of the enemy with lies; if however, this turns against you, no problem. The opinion of the victim does not matter.
The PT´s dynasty forced a whole generation to swallow impunity, the polarization of society and the political debate, the systematic disrespect for institutions, the speech that “if all politicians are corrupt it is useless to change the government.” The PT withheld the values of democracy for millions of Brazilians. No matter the age of Lula, Dilma Rousseff and the PT. What matters is that they represent the old policy. Their values are declining. But this is all we had ever experienced in Brazilian politics, this is all we knew.
Minister Lula’s hypothesis in the arms of people seem increasingly distant, recalling the melancholic reaction of the former President Janio Quadros in 1961, when he landed in São Paulo after his resignation. He looked up, they looked at each other and he asked in his solitude “Where are the people?” Lula, as Janio, may not have noticed or believed how society could turn its back.
Lula’s preposterous appointment was met not only with strong protests in the streets, but resistance even within the government. As President of the CUT (trade union federation linked to PT) boasted that with Lula government “will change radically and lurch to the left” (populist and spendthrift), the central bank president, Alexandre Tombini, gave interviews in defense of the foundations economic and responsible fiscal policy.
The first action of the new superminister Lula was trying to bend the PMDB, tangling with the already twisted, knotted mass of the Senate President Renan Calheiros. Naming the PMDB Mauro Lopes to the Ministry of Civil Aviation four days after the National PMDB Convention prohibited party members to accept new positions in the government. It was a blatant provocation, a declaration of war against the vice president Michel Temer and the PMDB leader summit.
Dilma and the PT put a whitewash in his dying mandate; giving up the practice in favor of Lula, and this angered the 6 million protesters on march 13; A sleeping den of tigers, the Operação Lava Jato, was poked and prodded one time too many and the tigers opened a war with main ally party(PMDB). This also sparked a warning sign to economists, the state-owned enterprises and public banks. For what, you might ask? It was all shot in the dark, as I have said here, or worse: a shot in the foot, never did impeachment seem more palpable as this week.
Now is the time for democracy.
I was only 11 when the PT was founded. They had no right to try to undermine respect for institutions, democracy, liberty. They tried to deprive an entire generation of core values that she simply did not know or have. Our generation must live democracy. We have never experienced anything but dictatorship and bribery, corruption implemented by PT. Our generation has never seen a Republican-level dialogue between the government and Congress. We have never seen the state to serve the interests of society. Our generation knows only the privatized state entity owned by a party and private economic monopolies.
After the demonstrations of March 13, 2016, we have the hope to live the values that have been stolen from our generation. We are not in the streets just because of corruption or incompetence of the PT government, but to demonstrate our revolt against all vices that marred our republic and who have done everything to spoil an entire generation. Herein begins the countdown to the end of the Dilma government and the beginning of a new era for democracy.
In the TV series Power Rangers, villains became more powerful after the first attack and the heroes were united and merged their vehicles to form the giant robot and defeat him. Lula and the PT were defeated in the:
- Scandal of the Bingos (2004).
- Scandal of the Post Office (2005).
- Scandal of the Gamecorp (2006).
- Scandal of the Mensalão (2006).
- Scandal of the BNDES (2008).
But in the government Dilma, the PT´s villains returned largest and most corrupt in the:
- Scandal of the Bancoop (2010).
- Scandal of the Conab (2011).
- Scandal of the DNIT (2011).
- Scandal of the Petrobras (2014).
- Scandal of the Carf (2015).
Oh my God! This time we will need millions of Brazilians to build our own giant robot and put an end to this evil gang.