When they go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States, Americans couldn’t have at their disposal a more distinct set of choices. Who will win this ‘battle for the soul of America’ and what does it mean for the future of the superpower? Michael Rezendes, a Portuguese-descendant journalist winner of a Pulitzer prize, responded to all of this in a conversation as part of the partnership between FLAD and SÁBADO magazine.

The elections are on the doorstep and there is a lot at stake. From the fight against the pandemic to the future of the Supreme Court, voters close this election cycle this Tuesday, in one of the most intense battles for the leadership of the world’s largest economy.

To talk about all of this, we invited Michael Rezendes. The Portuguese journalist was born in Maine Michael, and his grandparents are of Portuguese descent from the Azores. In 2003, he won the Pulitzer Prize – the top recognition in Journalism – for the work done by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight research team that exposed the Catholic Church’s cases of sexual abuse in Boston by some of its priests. The story caught Hollywood’s attention and the film Spotlight came to life. In it, Rezendes’ role was played by Mark Ruffalo. He is currently a journalist for the Associated Press global investigations team, and has worked for the Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Boston Phoenix.

Michael Rezendes

Michael Rezendes spoke of a country divided by economic and cultural issues that still bears traces of the Civil War, shared his view on “the battle for the soul of America” and the challenges that any of the candidates will face in the next four years. Will they be able to unite the country? To heal old wounds that have now become evident and polarized society?

We leave here some of the main ideas shared by Michael Rezendes in this session, as part of the special edition of SÁBADO on the elections, which was also supported by the Foundation.

  • Donald Trump’s election in 2016: “The media neglected the story. We didn’t realize the tremendous dissatisfaction that was latent in the country.”
  • Joe Biden’s promise: “He said that if he is elected, he will try to unite the country. To do this, he will need to take into account the real concerns of Trump’s supporters. You can’t ignore them.”
  • The growing problem of misinformation: “There has to be greater regulation of social media. I don’t see any other solution.”

The initiative comes as part of the partnership between FLAD and SÁBADO magazine, for the development of a special edition dedicated to the American elections. The conversation was moderated by SÁBADO’s editor, Nuno Tiago Pinto. Here’s how it went: