At Cesar Chavez High School, former president Barack Obama told an audience how crucial it is to vote in the upcoming November 8 Election to preserve democracy and civility.
Obama came to support Democratic candidates and told the audience that some people purposely try to stir up division and make people angry and afraid for their own political advantage.
He said that this vitriol gets amplified on social media because platforms find it more profitable to stir up conflict and controversy than to tell the truth. Obama said he understands why people are anxious and worried about the country because of the polarization.
“This increasing habit of demonizing political opponents of just yelling,” Obama said. “In thinking not just that I disagree with somebody, but they are evil or wrong. That creates a dangerous climate.”
He said when politicians and elected officials in leadership positions continue to promote exaggerated rhetoric there will be more violence.
Obama gave the example that some elected officials encouraged supporters to stand outside voting places armed with guns and tactical gear.
“We violate the basic spirit of who we are, who we should be as a people,” Obama said. “So here is the general rule that has nothing to do with politics; it has to do with being a decent person.”
Obama said the way to fight for democracy is to elect people who care about others and understand what people are going through. He said on one side, there are politicians who will do or say anything to gain power, but on the other side, there are great leaders who care about people.
Obama said people should vote for “leaders who want to make (citizens’) lives better and who want to move this country together.”
Obama then shifted to talking about gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs as an outstanding leader. Obama said Arizona needs a governor who actually cares about the people unlike Hobbs’ opponent Kari Lake, who Obama said only cares about pleasing former president Donald Trump.
Hobbs said democracy is at stake and that it’s important for people to defend democracy because it is a way for everyone to get a say in politics.
Hobbs said democracy is how people can make change when the government doesn't fund schools, mandate health care decisions and take away people's rights.
“Democracy is the system that sends Barack Obama to the White House,” Hobbs said. “Democracy is the system that will send Kari Lake back to whatever dark corner of the internet she came from.”
Hobbs said the race for governor isn't about Democrats or Republicans, it is a choice between sanity and chaos.
“That means we need everyone, every single person in the room to vote and then make sure that your friends and family all have a plan to vote,” Hobbs said.
Senator Mark Kelly said Arizona is facing issues such as environmental concerns, abortion rights, and the high prices of gas, groceries and housing.
Kelly talked about how dangerous his opponent, Blake Masters, is for Arizonans. He said there is so much at stake for this election.
He said Masters both called abortion “demonic” and wants to punish abortion doctors by enforcing a national ban. Kelly also said Masters thinks he “knows better than everyone about everything.”
“Now since you're on my team, I’m going to ask you for some help,” Kelly addressed the audience. “First, if you haven't yet, please go vote early.”
Obama also talked about the importance of spreading the word to vote in the election and not to get distracted by other events.
“Make sure (people) are voting early or take them with you on election day,” Obama said. “The election requires every single one of us to do our part, it is that important.”