After a week in which there was only talk of a coup (see the ombudsman’s column in Folha today), it was good for my soul and renewed my hopes to attend the Lula-Alckmin ticket launch party at the Expo Center’s convention center, in this Saturday.
Yes, it was a political party the likes of which hadn’t been seen in a long time, with a lot of musicemotion, people laughing and crying, and beautiful reunions, like Dilma and Erundina, the first female president and first female mayor of São Paulo, entwined in a long embrace.
More than the speeches read by Lula and Alckmin, what moved the multicolored and multiparty audience of 4,000 guests was the climate of optimism and almost euphoria from the days of the Diretas, since it marked the unlikely marriage of two former adversaries, now united in the hard task of national reconstruction.
At the end of the biggest event of the electoral campaign so far, the question remained in everyone’s mind: and now, what can you expect from a third Lula government?
Who gave the answer was himself: “It has never been so easy to choose. To get out of the crisis, grow and develop, Brazil needs to return to being a normal country. Democratic normality is enshrined in the Constitution.”
A “normal country” is everything we want back to be able to wake up in the morning without fear of looking at the news on the cell phone, going to school or work, knowing that we will come back alive, being able to plan life and buy food without having to go inside in overdraft.
Twelve years after leaving the government, Lula is now running for a third term, knowing that he faces a much greater challenge than in 2002, when he was first elected. His responsibility is now infinitely heavier because he will find a scorched earth, an economy in shambles and a people depressed by three and a half years of excesses, destruction, threats, violence and deaths.
Lula promises a “peaceful revolution” to “return fascism to the sewer from which it should never have come.”
In the 46 minutes of his speech, read slowly, the former president dealt with all the issues that afflict the Brazilian population today. Nothing was left out.
From the defense of the environment and the Amazon, with the transition to a new model of sustainable development, to income distribution, from investments in education, sanitation and housing to the resumption of consumption and the recognition of culture as a great generator of wealth and jobs .
In other words, everything contrary to what has been done in recent years, in which national sovereignty and the rights of individuals, especially the most vulnerable, were constantly debased.
There were, at the convention center, representatives of all social movements, young people, women, blacks, indigenous people, the LGBTQIA + population, side by side with politicians from 7 parties and leaders of union centrals, together with artists from all latitudes. Nobody was left out.
The fear that there was of the reaction of the most radical sectors of the PT to the presence of Geraldo Alckmin on the ticket were soon dissipated, when he started talking about his house, on the screen installed on stage (the former governor caught Covid and could not go to the act ) and be applauded several times, all standing, including Lula, at the end of his speech.
Alckmin thanked Lula for his trust and said he was proud of this ticket, knowing that “the mission is neither simple nor modest” and promised to be a “loyal partner”.
“Lula is, today, the hope that remains for Brazil. He is not the first, the second or the third. He is the only hope for Brazil”.
In his sixth presidential campaign—certainly a record hard to beat—I feel Lula as excited as when he started his first, in 1989, when he was a young outsider. He said he’s very happy because he’s getting remarried this month, at age 76, and that’s a good sign, because nobody likes to be ruled by unhappy people.
“I was the victim of one of the greatest political and legal persecutions in the history of this country, but don’t expect from me resentment, sorrow or desire for revenge”, he recalled, in passing, in the middle of his speech, about the 580 days he spent in prison for convictions by the Lava Jato that would later be annulled by the Federal Supreme Court.
Like almost everyone, apart from those who are nostalgic for the military dictatorship, Lula wants more to talk about the future, what he intends to do to get the country out of the hole, giving as a guarantee what he has already accomplished in his previous governments, approved by more than 80% population in all surveys.
Now there are only four months and three weeks left for this agony to end and we can turn the saddest pages of our history.
Don’t let hope die. It is important that our emotion survives.
Old Lula is doing his part for us to go back to living in a “normal country”, everything I hope for in these remaining years.
Life goes on.