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Barack Obama: ‘Everybody’s listening to people who already agree with them’

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         Barack Obama: ‘Everybody’s listening to people who already agree with them’

Conservatives will hear only what they want to hear; liberals are tone deaf, too, oftentimes languishing in their own limited perspective. This rigidity can only hold back the United States, former President Barack Obama said Monday in his first public remarks since leaving office.

The 44th president, who took the stage at the University of Chicago with young civic leaders, called out “changes in the media,” that he argued are preventing Americans from working together to find common ground and solve national issues. Watch the panel playback here.

‘Everybody’s listening to people who already agree with them, further and further reinforcing their own realities to the neglect of a common reality.’

Harking back to his own 2004 comment that there aren’t red or blue states, “only the United States,” Obama allowed that it may have been an “aspirational” statement. But, he said, it’s one that he still believes in.

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Obama said it’s important for young voters not to become “cynical” and give up on the political process. Disengagement in the U.S. has already led to “some of the lowest voting rates of any advanced democracy.”

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“[That] translates into a further gap between who’s governing us and what we believe,” Obama said, not once mentioning President Trump by name.

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