Former President Obama was talking about the attack on Paul Pelosi, who is married to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a Michigan Democratic rally. Obama said that elected officials should avoid using the type of rhetoric that could insight these types of violent attacks. While Obama was saying this a man shouted from the crowd.
Quickly Obama responded by saying “Sir, this is what I mean,” and then adding that there are processes to be followed in their Democracy. As the man continued to shout, Obama said that interrupting and shouting is not necessary and that everyone has a chance to talk at some point.
Obama also noted that “basic civility and courtesy” is something that he hopes to encourage in society. He continued to say that the type of rhetoric that demonizes and alienates “creates a dangerous climate.”
He noted that those who “stir up division” are trying to break the country by increasing anger and fear. This he said is “violating the basic spirit of this country.”
Obama also said that elected officials need to do more to stop this kind of rhetoric that causes violence and should speak against their supporters partaking in violent exhibitions such as standing armed near voting places.
Obama also said that social media can often amplify this type of rhetoric and cause even further division.