Then I saw it. A huge banner, spanning the entire avenue, carried by a group of protesters:Honestly the main thing keeping the army from taking over is that the generals have no clue what to do, either. It's a sad state for a country that a decade ago seemed on a strong upward path.
“SUPPORT FOR THE TRUCK DRIVERS. MILITARY INTERVENTION! ARMED FORCES, URGENT!”
And that was the start of a week where I saw and heard things I never believed I would in Brazil.
The Brazil of mid-2018 is a frightened, leaderless, shockingly pessimistic country. It is a country where four years of scandal, violence and economic destruction have obliterated faith in not just President Michel Temer, not just the political class, but in democracy itself. It is a country where there will be elections in October, but most voters profess little faith in any of the candidates. Given that vacuum, many Brazilians – perhaps 40 percent of them, according to a new private poll circulating among worried politicians – believe the military should somehow act to restore order. Amid this week’s strike, the clamor became so loud that both Temer and a senior military official had to publicly deny the possibility of an imminent coup.
It's also a sign of the short memories that trouble humanity so often, since the last military government left office in disgrace after mismanaging pretty much everything.