Obama calls for increased civility in politics

 
President Obama is pushing for greater civility in politics while acknowledging the harsh rhetoric that has so far dominated political discourse in the final year of his presidency. 
 
"My faith in the generosity and fundamental goodness of the American people is rewarded every day. But I’ll be the first to admit that the tone of our politics hasn’t gotten better, but worse," Obama said in his weekly address taped during a visit to the Illinois State Senate and released Saturday.
 
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"Too many people feel like the system is rigged, and their voices don’t matter. And when good people are pushed away from participating in our public life, more powerful and extreme voices will fill the void," Obama said, emphasizing remarks he made earlier this week at the Illinois State Capitol.
 
"The good news is there’s also a lot we can do about this, from reducing the influence of money in our politics, to changing the way we draw congressional districts, to simply changing the way we treat each other," the president added.
 
His call for unity comes amid fierce debate among those running to replace him, especially between the two Democrats vying to carry the progressive mantle.
 
 
 
During his State of the Union address in January, Obama raised eyebrows when he said that "the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better" during his two terms in office.
 
Obama continued to express frustration this week during a speech before lawmakers in Illinois, where his political career started, about the partisanship and gridlock of Washington.
 
"Nine years after I first announced for this office, I still believe in a politics of hope," Obama said in his address Saturday.
 
"And for all the challenges of a changing world; for all the imperfections of our democracy; choosing a politics of hope is something that’s entirely up to each of us.”