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dik.n.ur.ear

~Political Genius~

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this is really the most amazing sounding political figure i have read about in quite some time...i apologize if someone has already posted this, but i think this type of thought should be viewed as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 31, 2003 Los Angeles Weekly

Dissonance - The Real Thing

By Marc Cooper LA Weekly Writer

 

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — It’s hard not to be moved — deeply moved — when you

hear Brazil’s new president speak. And even harder not to be downright

jarred by the realization — by comparison — of how very hollow, how very

dead-ended, our own national politics have become. I can’t think of two

countries today more politically divergent than the U.S. and Brazil, or two

presidents who reveal more startlingly opposite political possibilities than

George W. Bush and the newly inaugurated Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva.

 

I stood last Friday afternoon, along with 75,000 others, surrounded by a sea

of flapping flags, in the riverside Por do Sol amphitheater to hear

President Lula speak to the third annual World Social Forum, the “people’s

alternative” to the elite World Economic Forum (news - web sites) in Davos,

Switzerland. This year’s international powwow of the anti-globalization

movement drew more than 100,000 participants to 1,500 panels and seminars,

featuring A-list lefties ranging from Noam Chomsky to Danielle Mitterand to

Arundhati Roy to Che Guevara’s daughter to Danny Glover.

 

But it was Lula who towered above all.

 

There he stood diminutively on the stage, short and pudgy, 57 years old, and

bearded. He spoke softly and calmly, with a conversational tone, and with

none of the rehearsed trademark theatrics of a trained pol. As the man who

now presides over this country of 175 million, with the eighth biggest

economy in the world, but with wealth so radically ill-distributed that as

many as 30 million live at sub-Saharan levels of poverty, Lula focused his

talk on the injustices of the global economy. “There are those who eat five

times a day,” he said. “And those who eat maybe once in five days.”

 

And then, his soft voice hesitating and catching with emotion, Lula

continued, “African babies have the same right to eat as a blond, blue-eyed

baby born in Scandinavia.”

 

When Bush utters similar phrases about “leaving no child behind,” you can as

much as see the smirk behind it all, the cold political calculations of his

chuckling speechwriters and pollsters.

 

With Lula, you feel the resonance deep in your gut. His sincerity is

undoubted because you know his own personal story is so real. Born to an

impoverished farm family, Lula dropped out of school at age 12 and moved to

the city. Carving out a meager existence on the mean streets of São Paulo

(where today the murder rate is five times that of Washington, D.C.), Lula

worked as a bootblack.

 

He never returned to school, and during the 21 years of Brazilian military

dictatorship, Lula toiled as a metalworker. He courageously defied the

regime and helped rebuild a powerful national trade-union movement. Since

1980 he has been leading another of his creations, the idiosyncratic Workers

Party, an amalgam of Marxists, liberals and Christians.

 

After three earlier failed attempts, Lula swept to a 61 percent landslide

presidential victory, propelled by an electorate fed up with the “Washington

consensus” — the dogmatic and disastrous application of free-market recipes

that in this country has led to mounting unemployment and inflation, a

consuming debt and shaky currency. And now Brazil calls on a metalworker and

his party to solve the crisis.

 

Yet we’re told by imbecilic pundits that Bush, son of a former CIA director,

vice president and president, a lazy layabout admitted into Yale on the

“legacy” affirmative-action program, with his Texas twang and scrambled

syntax, should be venerated as a Regular Guy. Or that Bill Clinton’s Cabinet

“looked like America” because it vaguely conformed to the politically

correct racial quotas of some university administrator’s spreadsheet.

 

Compare all of that with Lula’s Cabinet: seven trade unionists, a former

rubber cutter and maid as environmental minister, a black shantytown dweller

and feminist as social-welfare minister, a Green Party activist and popular

musician as cultural minister, and a chief of staff who spent 10 years in

hiding for his armed resistance to the former dictatorship.

 

Bush barreled into office rewarding the wealthiest elite with a double

serving of juicy and fattening tax cuts. Lula’s first acts were to fire the

gourmet chef from the presidential staff and then to cancel the $700 million

purchase of 12 new air-force fighter jets, redirecting the funding to his

new “Zero Hunger” program.

 

Most of the trips taken by Bush’s Cabinet members have been to high-ticket

fund-raisers or — frankly — to their brokers, to check on their tenuous

multimillion-dollar portfolios. Two weeks ago, Lula took his entire Cabinet

to the drought-stricken Northeast for a two-day “reality tour,” tramping

them through and bunking them down into the slums of Recife. Imagine the

political theater — if you can — of Don Rumsfeld and CSX CEO–turned–Treasury

Secretary John Snow spending a cozy weekend with immigrant janitors, say, in

downtown Chula Vista, California. I can just hear Snow, whose CSX received

$167 million in tax rebates, lecturing poor Jose and Guadalupe over an

albondigas-soup dinner to start being more self-reliant and to stop

expecting so much from government.

 

Which takes us to the nub of this meditation — our expectations. One adviser

to Lula joked to me this week, if you will excuse the crudeness, that “Lula

is like a Tampax. He’s in the best place at the worst time.” These are

certainly the worst economic times for Brazil. Its debt accounts for 80

percent of its GDP (compared to 52 percent for Argentina, which has already

collapsed). The gnomes at the International Monetary Fund have imposed a

fiscal straitjacket putting crucial social spending at risk.

 

But it is precisely now that Lula, and Brazil, have chosen to respond by

acting on their dreams, not their fears. Yes, they say, to eliminating

hunger. Yes, to doubling the minimum wage. Yes, to expanding health care.

Yes, to more schools. And yes, to a more equitable trading position with the

richer countries of the world.

 

And what do we hear? We who live in the richest corner of the Earth, after a

decade of the richest times? Only a thundering cascade of no, no, no. No tax

relief for the poor — for that would be “class warfare.” No new money for

public schools, for that would be “throwing good money after bad.” No rise

in the minimum wage because that would be unfair to business. No national

solution to the crisis of 50 million without health care because that would

be “like going to the post office to see a doctor.”

 

Brazilians live precariously with the greatest of hopes. And we live with

fabulous potential that is the legitimate envy of the globe, and we have,

seemingly, no hope.

 

Or at least none that we are willing to seriously fight for. For in all

this, George W. Bush carries no blame. He is merely the product of our

congealed aspirations — or lack of them. Just as in Brazil Lula is but a

symbol of something much larger. “I wasn’t elected by a TV commercial, or by

a collection of powerful interests,” he said humbly to the crowd in front of

him. “Nor was I elected because of my intelligence or personality. I was

elected by the intelligence and political consciousness of the Brazilian

people, who have fought for 40 years for what they have wanted.

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He sounds very interesting

 

If he doesn't get assassinated within the month, and the people are really behind him, maybe he will get a chance to demonstrate whether or not his ideas have any currency. If I were him, the first thing I would do is arm every man, woman and child in the country, and flood the Brazilian armed forces and police with hundreds of thousands of young volunteers from the trade unions. And for Christ's sake, wear body armor in public.

 

Brazil is a wild place. Biggest country in South America. I guess we will see what is what as time goes on. It's hard for me to imagine a guy like this being able to survive in Brazil.

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somewhat reminds me of the spoken word piece on that boysetsfire album but less anger involved.

 

I would ahve to agree though, we have potential as a nation but brazilians have fine women and beautiful beaches, and a society that is really based around true community. Amerikkka lacks that and all the hospitality cause we are the refuge of the worlds outcasts. big deal, you cant change the world but you can change yourself. LK says so, actullay his mom says that i say life is ill fated and humans are transparent.

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thats not political genius, its common sense, selfless action and moral integrity.

 

dude's not in danger. he was elected by the majority of his country in a fair election and he's a 'common' man, in a country of 'common' men. to kill him would be to make a martyr of him, which would only strengthen his party and his following. his opposition wont come force, it'll come from economic warfare.

i think i'll have to do a 'lula' freight tomorrow.

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KaBar ..

 

Originally posted by KaBar

If I were him, the first thing I would do is arm every man, woman and child in the country...

 

Please explain to me how spending ungodly sums of money arming every citizen is the wisest move for that country.

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Originally posted by seeking

thats not political genius, its common sense, selfless action and moral integrity.

 

 

well, i suppose i haven't been around for that long, but i have never read about someone with such stances becoming president of anything ever, i was just impressed to the point where when i named my thread, i chose those words. edit it moderator. make it say common sense, selfless action and moral integrity. that would fit wouldnt it?

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Guest BROWNer

real people in political positions, it would be nice wouldn't it?

 

i hereby file my official prediction for the

american 2004 presidential elections.....

george w. bush takes it and within' the first

year launches the 3rd war of his presidency.

.

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Re: He sounds very interesting

 

Originally posted by KaBar

If I were him, the first thing I would do is arm every man, woman and child in the country, and flood the Brazilian armed forces and police with hundreds of thousands of young volunteers from the trade unions.

 

well, kabar, maybe this is exactly why you aren't president of brazil. guns will feed your kids, huh. because that's what he's going for isn't it. he wants to make brazil some pseudo-militaristic police state, doesn't he.

 

let go of your "shoot him before he shoots you" mentality and acknowledge that this guy knows what he's doing, and it's a hell of a lot better than giving every seven-year-old an M-16 to play with.

 

i thought he wanted less crime

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scallywag, i was just pointing out what dude himself would point out. its not that his ideas are revolutionary, or that he came up with a new way of doing things, he just got the opportunity to do it.

in any case, genius or not, i share your enthusiasm and awe at the situation. honestly, ive thought about this several times a day since reading it... it's given me a bit of hope in the face of our jingoist retardation. thanks for posting it.

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damn, i had no idea brazilian children could eat guns.

must have a good dental plan down there.

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Originally posted by T.T Boy

dental plan... Lisa needs braces... dental plan... Lisa needs braces... dental plan... Lisa needs braces... dental plan... Lisa needs braces...

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KaBar ..

 

Originally posted by Poop Man Bob

Please explain to me how spending ungodly sums of money arming every citizen is the wisest move for that country.

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Wow, I like this guy. Time for me to indulge in some research. How do you purnounce his name? "Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva"

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Originally posted by one adviser

“Lula is like a Tampax. He’s in the best place at the worst time.”

 

-ha

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scallawag isa nice guy and im surprised to hear of his new found inspiration with brazils new president. but ummmmmmm that dude really hasnt made any sort of promises that havent been stated before.

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Originally posted by seeking

in any case, genius or not, i share your enthusiasm and awe at the situation. honestly, ive thought about this several times a day since reading it... it's given me a bit of hope in the face of our jingoist retardation. thanks for posting it.

 

agreed. ;)

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Re: He sounds very interesting

 

Originally posted by KaBar

If I were him, the first thing I would do is arm every man, woman and child in the country, .

 

Originally posted by Poop Man Bob

Please explain to me how spending ungodly sums of money arming every citizen is the wisest move for that country.

 

What I think he means by this, and whether I agree or not is of no consequence,

is that if the people are able to protect themselves (even better if its by the hand of the popularly elected leader) they will be less likely to fall back into a way of life that will be like the current 90-10 poverty to wealth ratio that Brazil currently 'enjoys'.

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Guest BROWNer

your explanation for guns is leaving me parched.

introducing lethal weapons to the largest class of

people(the poor) in brazil as an answer to their

economic woes is not a good idea. to introduce

guns as a political ploy so people will champion you

and your policies isn't much better. but....

maybe in some round about manner guns for

everyman could curb the ridiculous murder rate,

but i doubt it.

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