We solve our problems together by working with all kinds of people, trying to forge common ground, build consensus, and communicate our beliefs and ideas effectively. In the end, this means that the country depends on a set of common virtues in its citizens—mutual respect, tolerance, empathy, civility, humility, resolve, a willingness to step up to challenges and meet them square on—that underlie our ability to make progress together.
I realize that in this day of extreme political division, all of that may seem a bit starry-eyed. There are plenty of Americans who have no patience for those on the other side, and who have no desire to try to understand or sympathize with them. Yet the basic need we confront as Americans has not changed, and that is to use the political system to resolve our fundamental challenges.