Former President Obama was interrupted by a protester at a Democratic campaign rally in Michigan on Saturday evening as he discussed a recent attack on Paul Pelosi, who is married to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
At the same time, Obama was invited One in the crowd scolded the former president for elected officials to “clearly reject” the dangerous rhetoric of their supporters.
“Sir, that’s what I mean” replied Obama.
“Sir, we have a process – we have a process that we have set up in our democracy. Right now, I am speaking and soon you will have a chance to speak,” he continued.
“We don’t have to interrupt each other. We don’t have to blame each other.”
“Basic civility and respect work,” Obama said, adding that’s what he wants to promote.
Democrats have previously said the “demonization” rhetoric creates a “dangerous climate.”
“If our rhetoric about each other makes sense, we don’t agree with people, but we start demonizing them, making wild accusations about them, and that creates a dangerous environment,” he said.
The two-time president added that politicians who “incite division” and exploit anger and fear “violate the fundamental spirit of this country.”
“If elected officials don’t do more to overtly reject that kind of rhetoric, if they implicitly support it, or if they encourage their supporters to stand outside polling places with guns and tactical gear, more people could get hurt,” he said. Obama.
Obama also addressed social media’s role in amplifying dangerous rhetoric, criticizing platforms for feeding consumers “controversies and conflicts instead of facts and truths.”
“Sometimes it can become dangerous,” he warned.
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