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Obama’s Secretary Of Defense Says Extreme Polarization Is The Greatest Threat To U.S.



During an interview over the weekend, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served under former President Barack Obama, said that he believes extreme political polarization in the U.S. is the greatest threat the country faces.

Gates made his comments during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” with host Margaret Brennan.

“I think it is the polarization in the country,” Gates said when asked what he thought was the greatest threat to the U.S. “We’ve always had polarization in America. If you go back to the Jefferson, Adams presidential race in 1800, the things that were said in that election would fit right into a current political environment. But what’s been different, more recently, is not just a measure of paralysis, as indicated by the debt ceiling, but a level of meanness and a lack of civility among our politicians, or the- the sense that somebody who disagrees with you is not just somebody you disagree with, but is an enemy, is a bad person.”

“This lack of civility is I think, something new and- and really is pretty pervasive in the Congress,” he said. “And it sets a pretty bad example for the rest of the country.”

Gates went on to say that political leaders should not “demonize people to disagree with them” and that politicians needed to find better ways to work with each other.

Gates’ comments come as President Biden has repeatedly attacked “MAGA Republicans” by saying they are a threat to democracy and that Republican ideology is akin to “semi-facism.” 

Biden began these attacks ahead of last year’s midterm elections. During a fundraiser in Maryland a few months ahead of the midterms, Biden told a crowd of thousands,”Your right to choose is on the ballot this year. The Social Security you paid for from the time you had a job is on the ballot. The safety of your kids from gun violence is on the ballot, and it’s not hyperbole – the very survival of our planet is on the ballot.”

“You have to choose,” Biden added. “Will we be a country that moves forward or a country that moves backward?”

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