Gov. Scott addresses White House Summit for Democracy

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 7:48 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 6:29 AM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott addressed the White House Summit for Democracy on Thursday.

President Biden convened the virtual summit, which is bringing hundreds of world leaders, heads of state and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Governor Scott says political discourse has become less civil and when policy debates are talked about in words like “assault,” “attack” and “battles,” people stop listening and become defensive, fearful and angry.

“The opportunity for real discussion and compromise slips away. Frustration grows, the divide deepens, the relationship between citizens is poisoned by hyperpartisanship and the destructive cycle of polarization repeats. Worse yet, this divisiveness fuels hate and violence,” said Scott, R-Vermont. “When we stop listening and learning from each other, when we cannot debate issues and find common ground and a path forward when we refuse to consider another person’s point of view or insist one party or politician is always right or always wrong, we are eroding core democratic values.”

Scott, a Republican, was one of two U.S. governors to speak on day one of the event. The other was Democrat Janet Mills of Maine.

The summit continues Friday. President Biden plans to focus on election integrity, countering authoritarian regimes and bolstering independent media.

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