Johnson used to at least be able to give a passable imitation of being Boris Johnson. Now he can’t even manage that. The gags and the mannerisms that used to be his calling card, now just fall flat. A one-trick pony whose one trick everyone knows. The surface has been stripped bare to reveal a core of molten need. Someone who craves attention and fears he wouldn’t exist without it. Someone whose narcissism leaves him devoid of empathy. Incapable of either giving or receiving love.
But the unpredictable behavior of Brazilian voters can also lead to more baffling outcomes. In 1959, for example, Cacareco, a placid, middle-aged rhinoceros at the São Paulo zoo, was voted onto the city council, having won over 100,000 votes—and this is only the most famous case in Brazil’s long history of “protest votes.” Cacerco has been succeeded by other non-existent candidates, along with candidates from outside the sphere of professional politics, such as soccer players, fashion designers, Lilia M. Schwarcz in the New York Review of Books, writing on Brazilian democracystars, brash pop singers, faded ex-models, and various C-list celebrities with zero knowledge or experience of political life. – BACK TO TOP