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    Obama Decries US Political Polarization

    U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Illinois General Assembly during a visit to Springfield, Illinois, Feb.10, 2016.
    U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Illinois General Assembly during a visit to Springfield, Illinois, Feb.10, 2016.
    VOA News

    President Barack Obama took a trip down memory lane Wednesday, recalling more political collegiality in his home state of Illinois where he first held public office and decrying the fractious national political scene in Washington.

    In a visit to Springfield, Illinois, he told the legislature, where he was a state senator before entering national politics, that he recalled Republicans and Democrats voting "against each other all the time," but that they also “trusted each other.”

    “We didn’t call each other fascists and idiots,” Obama said, “because then we’d have to explain why we were playing poker with fascists and idiots.”

    Now in the last year of his presidency, Obama has acknowledged his failure “to reduce the polarization and the meanness in our politics.”

    Watch: President Barack Obama speaking in Springfield, Illinois.

    Obama Decries US Political Polarizationi
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    VOA News
    February 10, 2016 9:54 PM
    President Barack Obama recalls more political collegiality in his home state of Illinois

    He called for the elimination of the vast, unregulated sums of money being spent on U.S. political campaigns, creation of independent agencies to redraw congressional districts after the 2020 national population census, and easier rules for registering voters to encourage more citizen participation in government at all levels.

    President Barack Obama, prior to his speech to the Illinois General Assembly, stops to greet people across from the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill., Feb. 10, 2016.
    President Barack Obama, prior to his speech to the Illinois General Assembly, stops to greet people across from the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill., Feb. 10, 2016.

    Obama lamented the harsh tone of American politics, even as he acknowledged the United States has a long history of candidates angrily calling each other foul names.

    But he said, “We should insist on a higher form of discourse in our political life.”

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    by: Anonymous
    February 11, 2016 3:42 PM
    Vote for the Socialist Bernie Sanders and see American businesses migrate to the Asian third world virtually overnight, and American jobs disappear completely. If you're lucky enough to hold on to your job, your earnings will markedly decline and your taxes will quadruple to pay for Bernie's welfare programs for welfare cheats, no-hopers and deadbeats. When he empties the prisons to cut incarceration costs, the criminals are going to pour into the streets and will be far more prolific and far more dangerous than they are now. Let's be realistic, Bernie Sanders is an old man who is on his way out; if elected, his legacy will be disastrous for all our futures. If you read everything Bernie Sanders wants to do as President, we may as well throw our hands up and declare ourselves finished as a nation. Stop Bernie Sanders from destroying our children's best chance for a good life and future. Vote for ANYONE but him, even a total Buffoon like Trump would be a better choice.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 10, 2016 7:22 PM
    Name calling, bitter lies, and personal attacks have periodically been a hallmark of American politics since its beginning. For example, the current state of affairs is nothing compared to the atmosphere leading up to the Civil War. The framers of the Constitution were very smart. In such circumstances, choosing between a system of executive branch dictatorship and total paralysis, they opted for paralysis. This is why we still have a democracy however fractious and troubled it seems now. It can repair itself. It always has for well over 200 years. If you don't have the stomach for it, your best bet is to stay out of politics and leave it to those who do.

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