Two bolsonarists ask for my arrest

They represent, in my life, what Bolsonaro can do with yours

Augusto Aras and Kassio Nunes Marques ask for my arrest. The conviction can reach more than 10 years of detention. The calculation considers the worst hypothesis allowed in the Criminal Code. A bit unlikely, lawyers say. Maybe five or six years. Not so unlikely with the potential reelection of Bolsonaro and the virtual co-optation of a judiciary that is less known for its integrity than for its collaborationist vocation.

Each one lives the Bolsonaro risk in his or her own way. I live with two criminal cases pending above my head. Lawsuits launched by the two biggest legal authorities of the country: the Attorney General and Supreme Court justice. Two wholehearted bolsonarists. They promised the president serviled posture and delivered, with the lethal effects they helped to cause. Hopelessly.

Augusto Aras and Jair Bolsonaro - Ueslei Marcelino - 17.abr.20/Reuters

Why do they ask for my arrest? Because they consider two columns written here to be criminal. On the basis of words that might have affected the "immaculate life trajectory," said Augusto. Words that do not even enter the glossary of rudeness. Words they do not do justice, neither conceptual nor poetic, to the gross performance of the immaculates.

They want the arrest of a university professor due to ill-mannered words about the ostensibly tarnished performance of these men without qualities. They ignore lessons of decency, constitutional and criminal law. There is no right not to be criticized, nor the right not to feel offended. The self-esteem of public authories is not protected by law.

For such reasons, it has become impossible for me to talk about Bolsonaro in abstract. Or only through socioeconomic numbers and indexes, already serious enough. It should be difficult for anyone except the political scientist who, from the comfort of his office, ponders his spreadsheets and concludes that "institutions are working". And then draws the proud and lazy synthesis "democracy runs zero-risk".

When a friend, an uncle or a cousin plunges into this dehumanizing vertigo and subscribes to such horror, a deep bond of affective community breaks. How to sit at the table and celebrate something together? It is not because they indirectly vote for my arrest, but something more inexplicable. Sometimes irreversible.

I haven't found how to express this feeling yet. And what to do with it. There are certain things we assume to share in silence. After a president mocks person agonizing with shortness of breath, it should not be necessary to say anything else. I will save you 150 examples. The curriculum vitae of such an inhuman subject was described in my previous column.

That these criminal attacks interfere with my personal, professional and material life, this is a secondary problem. But my risk is also your risk.

I live with the fear of jail for being a professor. Others live under threat of rape and death. As Natalha Theofilo, a black woman in the Amazon, exiled in her own country to keep her family alive (see her letter in the newspaper Sumaúma); as Debora Diniz, an anthropologist who went to live abroad so as not to be killed by religious fundamentalism; as the journalists Patricia Campos Melo and Constança Rezende.

Others are shot, like the two federal policemen shot by Roberto Jefferson, ally of Bolsonaro. Others die at a birthday party because they exhibit their political identity.

With the spread of weapons, your children may also be victims of attack in the classroom, for example. A student from a traditional school in São Paulo planned a gunfire days ago. With his father's gun. Luckily, he did not execute the plan.

All cases are part of a government program, not of everyday Brazilian violence. And that's not all. It is not only about knowing what Bolsonaro can do with my life, with yours and your son's. It is important to know what he can do with ours. Incivility, poverty and climate collapse always reach our gated communities.

What do we lose when we lose democracy? We don't just lose good business. The right and the power to self-government is also lost. If these values are too ethereal for those who were born and raised in the top of Brazilian society, like myself, and feel free enough, remember that the ability to pursue our self-interest and life plan is also lost. A liberal goal.

No one has the right to be misinformed. Because it implies complicity. When the other side wants your elimination, it is no use asking empathy and peace of mind.

Conrado Hübner Mendes

Professor de direito constitucional da USP e colunista da Folha