Power

Bolsonaro engaging in culture wars to curry conservative favor

The Bolsonaro government has actively worked to censor politically-charged movies and other forms of art. In an election year, these efforts have been ramped up

Bolsonaro engaging in culture wars to curry conservative favor
Pro-Bolsonaro demonstrator: “The people urges for the criminalization of Communism.” Photo: Saulo Angelo/Futura Press/Folhapress

In a 2017 opinion piece for the New York Times, political analyst Ross Douthat mused that not all culture wars are bad. The good ones, he says, have clear policy implications beneath the posturing and noise, and revolve around a core legal or moral question. “A bad culture war,” Mr. Douthat writes, “is one in which attitudinizing, tribalism, and worst-case fearmongering float around unmoored from any specific legal question.” In his effort to climb the polls and secure the conservative vote ahead of the October election, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is betting on a high dose of the latter.

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