He’s called himself “Brazil’s Donald Trump.” Now, incoming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro seems to be making good on that namesake by promising a series of major changes to the country.
Bolsonaro responded to a tweet from President Donald Trump on January 1 after being sworn in, in which the American president congratulated him on “a great inauguration speech.”
Hours later, Bolsonaro tweeted that one of the changes he was looking to make as president would be to improve the nation’s school rankings. To do this, Bolsonaro promised “to tackle the Marxist garbage” in the school system.
“One of our strategies to get Brazil to climb from the lowest spots of the educational rankings is to tackle the Marxist garbage in our schools head on. We shall succeed in forming citizens and not political militants,” he tweeted.
One of our strategies to get Brazil to climb from the lowest spots of the educational rankings is to tackle the Marxist garbage in our schools head on. We shall succeed in forming citizens and not political militants.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 2, 2019
He also, according to previous reporting from The Daily Wire, said he would ease the country’s gun laws.
“By decree we intend to ensure possession of firearm to the citizen without criminal record, as well as make his registration definitive,” he tweeted.
Brazil is a dangerous country, so allowing citizens to protect themselves could be an improvement. If the system is anything like America’s, however, dangerous people will still get their hands on firearms.
His point about the education system is encouraging, depending on how he goes about achieving this goal. Just after Bolsonaro won the election, he showed support for a viral post from a high-school history teacher calling for students to report teachers who express outrage over the new president’s victory. Bolsonaro suggested students across the country do this. Teachers told the Nation they have to now “police” themselves and are being “censored.”
Bolsonaro enters the presidency with a 75% approval rating. If he can remove the left-wing bias from schools — without using totalitarian tactics — perhaps there is hope for students around the world.
While I was growing up in Florida, our teachers told us they were not supposed to discuss politics or share their political views. I thought this was the standard around the country. When I moved to Massachusetts, I learned that is not the case. Teachers openly discussed how awful they believed President George W. Bush was, and skewed teaching toward liberal ideology. In college, this is commonplace.
It would be nice if our school systems could simply teach children and young adults how to think and not what to think. Students deserve an education, not indoctrination.
Brazil is not America, however, so wishing for less liberal indoctrination here is not the same as supporting whatever tactics Bolsonaro will take in Brazil. If he uses authoritarian tactics, he would be no better than the Marxists he criticizes.