He's been known in recent years as the "Trump of the Tropics": Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing antics and authoritarian vision have positioned him as one of the world's closest analogues for the former U.S. president.
Two years later, as Reuters reported, there's an eerily similar echo coming out of Brazil.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he would hand over power to whoever wins next year's presidential election cleanly - but not if there is any fraud. His comments will do little to dispel the concerns of his critics, who fear that the far-right former army captain will not accept any election loss in next year's vote.
The political dynamic will be painfully familiar to many U.S. voters: after his 2018 victory, Bolsonaro has peddled unsubstantiated allegations of election improprieties. With polls now showing the incumbent trailing, and the incumbent facing corruption allegations, Bolsonaro is letting the public know he's committed to honoring the results of the election, but only if he's satisfied that there was no "fraud."
You don't need a crystal ball to predict what'll happen in Brasilia next year: Bolsonaro is borrowing a page from the Republican Party's playbook.
Revisiting our earlier coverage, a foundational goal of U.S. foreign policy used to be exporting our highest ideals. For generations, it's been the underpinning of our approach to everything from trade to diplomacy. The more we interact with other nations, the more opportunity we have to introduce the world to principles such as civil liberties, human rights, the virtues of democracy, religious liberty, and the institutional importance of a free press.
But as Bolsonaro reminds us, Trump didn't just draw inspiration from authoritarians, authoritarians also drew inspiration from Trump.
Postscript: Though international heads of state traditionally remain neutral in American presidential elections, it's worth noting for context that last fall, Bolsonaro publicly declared his support for Trump and expressed an interest in attending the Republican's inauguration.