Bolsonaro: “I am the Constitution”

jair bolsonaro constitution louis xiv
Photo montage of Jair Bolsonaro as Louis XIV. By: Salomé Gloanec

As we have mentioned in today’s Weekly Report, Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-democratic rants are usually followed by conciliatory, moderate statements. It is part of an ongoing strategy to consistently test the boundaries of institutions and the general public, before a speedy backtrack. This morning, while attempting to put out another fire, Mr. Bolsonaro blurted out a statement that was the polar opposite of moderation. Speaking to reporters, the president declared that he was the embodiment of Brazil’s Constitution.

“People usually conspire to reach power. I am already in power. I am already the president,” said Mr. Bolsonaro. “I am, in fact, the Constitution,” he added. While trying to sound like a democrat, the president ended up paraphrasing 17th century French King Louis XIV, a historic symbol of absolutist rule, who is famously quoted as having said: “L’état, c’est moi,” or “I am the state.”