… The most important office in a democracy is the office of citizen… there are those who despise government — oftentimes because the absence of government allows them to pollute, or keep as much money as they can, or not have to answer to consumers who are complaining about their practices… it can be a self-reinforcing notion that, in fact, government doesn’t work because it’s being starved…
… we cannot solve the problems that we face collectively as a society unless we, the people, are paying attention. And in an age in which people are getting information through digital platforms, through the Internet, where people’s attention spans have shrunk, it is critical that all of you… are we getting citizens engaged, and you, yourselves have to be engaged and spend some time thinking about it.
It doesn’t mean you have to do it full-time. It doesn’t mean that you have to run for office yourself. But it does mean that whatever your field is, there is a way right now for you to engage and participate to take this democracy back in ways that we have not seen in a very long time.
— President Barack Obama talking to SXSW 2016 attendees this weekend about how media users and creators can help improve government and the political process. You can read his entire keynote address and watch his speech in its entirety above.
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