The seven-time congressman is known as an apologist for the 1964-85 military dictatorship, for endorsing torture and for making disparaging remarks about homosexuals, women and black people.
But the majority of voters do not appear to care about these threats. They want to use him as a wrecking ball to demolish what they see as a hopelessly corrupt and incompetent political establishment, starting with the PT. Many view his less savoury remarks as a refreshing change from the fussy political correctness associated with the left.
“He has become a point of convergence for innumerable and diverse points of dissatisfaction with a political system that is rotten to the core,” says Daniel Aarão Reis, a professor of contemporary history at Universidade Federal Fluminense in Niterói.
Whatever the reasons for his likely victory, observers are divided over whether a Bolsonaro presidency will threaten one of Brazil’s most hard-won achievements — its democracy. In style at least, Mr Bolsonaro echoes many of the traits of the populists who have prospered around the world in recent years, from Turkey and Russia to the Philippines.
Bolsonaro's an apologist for dictatorship and disparages minorities, but a majority of voters apparently don't care. They want him to demolish hopelessly corrupt and incompetent political establishment, starting with Workers Party. https://t.co/SXXx1xjca1 via @financialtimes
— Juan Forero (@WSJForero) October 25, 2018