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01/16/2021

Liberty Pulse

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President Obama’s Call for Civility: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

1 min read

President Obama’s Call for Civility: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

On May 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during his commencement address to the University of Michigan, President Barack Obama made the following suggestion to the assembled graduates, families, and friends:

The second way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate. These arguments we’re having over government and health care and war and taxes are serious arguments. They should arouse people’s passions, and it’s important for everyone to join in the debate, with all the rigor that a free people require.

But we cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it. You can question someone’s views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism. Throwing around phrases like “socialist” and “Soviet-style takeover;” “fascist” and “right-wing nut” may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, or our political opponents, to authoritarian, and even murderous regimes…

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