Last week was a turmoil in the political world. After September 7 demonstrations, we had the President Jair Bolsonaro’s note re-establishing dialogue with the Federal Supreme Court and the manifestations of the “third way” on September 12th.
The unlikely but predictable alliance between MBL, Vem pra Rua and left-wing parties last Sunday it was a failure, but it brings an important reflection on how the exacerbated elasticity of moral convictions is, inevitably, a shot in the foot.
After joining Ciro Gomes, Tico Santa Cruz, UNE, PSOL, PCdoB and other leftist groups, any justification by the MBL that they are against Bolsonaro for remaining “faithful to their principles” is absolutely void and without any credibility. Someone who believes in liberalism and conservatism will never be able to ally with socialists and maintain that he defends any principle with conviction. It’s a complete inconsistency.
I want to start by acknowledging the boldness of the MBL in calling this demonstration. Obviously it was an extremely risky bet, with very little chance of success.
First because it emerged as a manifestation of the “third way”, with the initial slogan “neither Lula, nor Bolsonaro”, when there is not even a candidacy project to promote this path. With no name to lead this construction, it looks like a project with the firmness of a nail in the sand, which does not motivate anyone to leave the house.
Second, because, anticipating low membership, organizers had to intensify appeals to left-wing parties and influencers to participate and help with the dissemination. They exchanged “neither Lula, nor Bolsonaro” for just “outside Bolsonaro”, aiming to ensure the presence of communist parties such as PSOL and PCdoB. This shift to the left has ended up alienating other centre-right groups, who may even be disappointed in Bolsonaro and looking for an alternative, but not enough to join extreme left groups in the streets.
Another curious fact is that the PT refused to participate, and the organizers lamented the “PT sabotage”, which was aired as one of the justifications for the low participation in the demonstration.
While I understand that the MBL, having started to oppose Bolsonaro in 2019, began to see the alliance with the left as a way to regain space, it is clear that this decision buried any respect they still had between people who liked the movement.
Moral elasticity simply went too far on September 12th. Until then, the positioning of the MBL, although exaggerated, was justifiable. The Bolsonaro government, like any other, has many faults and errors that can be criticized. Therefore, turning into opposition, after the fights they had with various members of the government and with the president’s sons, was at least an understandable political strategy decision. It was still possible to justify such a strategy while remaining faithful to liberal and conservative values. There was a modicum of cohesion in the speech.
However, any attempt to justify opposition to the government on the basis of principles and values fell apart this past Sunday. The message was clear: for the MBL, Bolsonaro is a greater evil than the most perverse and dangerous ideas that exist in politics, represented by parties like PCdoB and PSOL. who is willing to walk side by side with far left groups to try to overthrow Bolsonaro, he shows that he is willing to do any moral contortion to achieve his goals.
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