Outgoing U.S President, Barack Obama on Tuesday gave his farewell speech in Chicago “where it all started”.
Obama called on all Americans to defend their democracy, stating that it needs them.
He said, “Understand, democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders quarreled and compromised, and expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity – the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.”
The first black president said America was a better place than it was 8 years ago when he took office.
“By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place,” he told 18,000 people who came to bid him farewell at the McCormick place.
He implored Americans of all backgrounds to consider things from each other’s point of view, saying “we have to pay attention and listen”.
Obama said the peaceful and seamless transfer of power from on President to another was the hallmark of America’s democracy.
He said the three threats to American democracy – economic inequality, racial divisions and the retreat of different segments of society into “bubbles”, where opinions are not based on “some common baseline of facts”.
The tickets were given out free, but were selling online for more than $1,000 (£820) each hours ahead of the speech.