The list of absurdities that we've seen play out over these last few weeks, leading up to Dilma Rousseff's impeachment, is long. That's why I'll only explore the latest chapter here: The unprecedented insanity and vanity displayed by Vice President Michel Temer.
I know that most of those in favor of the impeachment are no longer -- and perhaps have never been -- sensible. So there's no point in explaining that what's at stake is not merely the Worker's Party or Dilma. They have both made plenty of mistakes and deserve harsh criticism, but they also deserve recognition for the advancements that they have undeniably brought about in Brazil.
There's no point in saying that it's possible to defend the struggle against corruption without blaming it all on one single party.
There's no point in saying that the PSDB or the PMDB, with whom the defenders of the impeachment are allied, hold office across the country, are being investigated in Operation Car Wash, and are responsible for various grave crimes which resulted in the redirection of billions from the public coffers.
There's no point in arguing that the impeachment is a maneuver by bandits and defeated politicians to overthrow the government.
There's no point in saying that the Bolsa Família social welfare program, the quotas, the Prouni scholarship program, the investments into technical education, the promotion of rights, the salary policies, the investment -- frankly, far smaller than it should have been -- in infrastructure, the campaign for university inclusion programs, all this and much more, have changed the country. These policies changed Brazil, and these changes will not be reversed now, contrary to what the media and the shallow analysts make you believe.
It's exactly for this reason, incidentally, that there is a portion of the population that, despite being disappointed with Dilma, does not protest against the government. That portion of the population is keen to maintain the benefits it had gained under Dilma. The so-called new middle class and the youth who have broken with a cycle of secular exclusion and were the first in their families to make it into college will not be deconstructed by any crisis. They are a reality, and signify a definitive transformation. Today, they have power which they had never before possessed. And they will not give up this power.
Not even the most fervent critic of the Worker's Party can deny: The vice president has transformed the impeachment process into an election.
For those who have already made up their minds, none of this will be of interest or even make any sense.
But perhaps there are those who would still listen. So I ask: How is it possible to justify the behavior of Vice President Michel Temer?
How is it possible to accept that the man who may take over the leadership of this country acts not only with dishonesty -- which, you could argue, makes him no different than 90 percent of our other politicians -- but also with such scorn for our institutions?
How is it possible to distort and lower the impeachment of the president -- which, by any sensible measure, should concern itself only with crimes that may have been committed -- to an electoral dispute?
Let's say Michel Temer might have perceived, inspired by some divine spark, that he had made a mistake in supporting Dilma and the PT and taking money from the PT, wherever it came from, for his campaign.
This realization would drive him to leave the camp and do nothing to help the president. At most, he would have supported the impeachment for what it is: A process of institutional retribution against the executive branch. But Temer chose a different route. He vehemently jumped on the campaign trail. He held meetings with deputies, drained government programs, negotiated with political offices and ministries. Not even the most fervent critic of the Worker's Party can deny: The vice president has transformed the impeachment process into an election.
His behavior suggests that he had finally seen his grand chance to make it to the top and, infatuated, he couldn't let it go to waste. As a result, this Sunday was not merely the day on which to decide whether or not Dilma should remain in office, but to decide if Temer would replace her as President of Brazil.
It's a coup. And don't deceive yourself, impeachment enthusiasts, it will result in brutal battles in Brazilian society.
By acting in such a way, Temer, with his accomplice, Eduardo Cunha, provide all the reasons necessary for history to boldly state that this impeachment is in fact a coup.
It's a coup. And don't deceive yourself, impeachment enthusiasts, it will result in brutal battles in Brazilian society. The Dilma government was democratically elected and, despite the accusations, it has a legitimate right to fight back.
Dilma's regime has a legitimate right to fight for each vote, and to use all of its weapons -- within legal limits -- in order to defeat not the crowds in the street, who should be heard, and who have often been silenced, but the shameful and non-democratic electoral schemes that float around the heads of Michel Temer and Eduardo Cunha.
No government resulting from such a political maneuver could be legitimate.
Any program they spearhead will fail. By jumping on this wave, the PSDB commits a mortal error.
It is essential to put a stop to the plans of the PMDB/PSDB. These parties exploit the voices of the streets but never accurately reflect their sentiments. This will be essential for the future of Brazil.
Above all, it's necessary to protect the opposition parties, so that they may fight for power on a democratic battleground. If they win, they would have the right to lead -- or at least to defend in congress and on the streets, the programs that they find most adequate.
Because if Temer and Cunha win through injustice, they will not only be putting an end to the Worker's Party, but also to any opposition government that may come to exist in the future.
Do not deceive yourselves, friends. To defeat the coup is the major task. However, the impeachment would not destroy the Worker's Party. On the contrary, it would give the party back to the opposition -- strengthened by a leftist militancy that it had abandoned. It would be ready to speak in the voice of people protesting on the streets: ready and forced to renew itself.
The so called "government of national salvation" that Temer proposes, the one that promises to swiftly stabilize the market and solve all of Brazil's problems, seeks to save only the vice president and dig a deeper hole for Dilma. And it will not succeed.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.