Our guest this week is Bernardo Pires de Lima, associate researcher at the Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and one of the most recognized international policy analysts in Portugal, for a conversation about one of the most disputed elections in the USA of which there is memory.

Graduated in Political Science and Doctorate in International Relations, the IPRI associate researcher at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa was also a visiting researcher at the Center for International Relations at Johns Hopkins University, a FLAD fellow in 2012 and author of 8 books. He was in the United States in 2012 when Barack Obama was re-elected, and also in 2016 when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

In this conversation with journalist Filipe Santos Costa, the prominent commentator talks about this troubled period in American politics, the increasing distance between the two main parties, and the consequences for the livelihood of Americans.

“Legislative paralysis, the lack of dialogue between the two benches, this cultural crystallization of the Americas, urban and rural, of those who have an education and university degrees and those who don’t, it seems to me that it was already crystallization on both platforms and now I think it has become much more massified.” – Bernardo Pires de Lima.

Despite the pronounced cleavage between these ‘two Americas’, the researcher believes that the United States has proven to be a country capable of overcoming this kind of divergence.

On the winner of this election, Democrat Joe Biden, Bernardo Pires de Lima says that one should not devalue his victory, looking at the result he achieved and considering his starting point.

“We are talking about a so-called non-charismatic President, with the most votes in American history. This blue wave that was addressed not in the overwhelming terms that the polls painted, but it can’t be said that it was properly a smaller given, a candidate to win or recover the entire industrial belt of the grads lakes, more southern states, it can’t be said to be a minor victory. (…) He has all the endogenous, personal, and political conditions to be this President of bipartisan normality.” – Bernardo Pires de Lima.

However, in order for Joe Biden to be this President capable of restoring relations between the parties, there needs to be openness on the side of Republicans who, according to the researcher, will depend on who will be the responsible Republicans to take a leadership stance and under what conditions.

“The field is very narrow, but time may require that there be more pragmatism from some Republican lawmakers. Who are they? We don’t know yet. What will dictate this Republican availability is the level of aggressiveness of this transition period.” – Bernardo Pires de Lima.

Don’t miss the new episode of the Atlantic Talks, now available where you usually listen to your podcasts. You can also find this episode in the links below.