The progress made in the country and threats against democracy were the main themes at President Barack Obama’s Farewell Speech Jan. 10 in Chicago.

In the beginning part of his speech, he touted America’s “call to citizenship” that enabled the 13 colonies to break from the British Empire in 1776, pioneers to trek westward, slaves to push through the underground railroad in hopes of obtaining freedom, immigrants and refugees to travel overseas and through the country’s southern border for a better life, the sacrifice of those who served in the military and the activists that speak out against social injustices.

“Not that our nation's been flawless from the start but that we have shown the capacity to change and make life better for those that follow," he said.

The progress made in the country and threats against democracy were the main themes at President Barack Obama’s Farewell Speech Jan. 10 in Chicago.

The president said for every two steps forward, it feels like the country goes two steps back. He then followed up saying that a forward motion has defined America throughout history.

Obama also highlighted some of the progress that was made during his time in office. This included recovering from the Great Recession, job creation, opening dialogue with Cuba, the Iran nuclear deal, the death of Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, marriage equality and health coverage for millions of Americans.

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The president also told the crowd that Jan. 20, President-elect Donald Trump’s first day as president, would be a day where the hallmark of democracy known as the peaceful transfer of power will be shown.

The threats against the country’s democracy were the main highlight in the president’s speech. He said there have been moments throughout history that threatened the solidarity of the United States. He believes the beginning of this century is one of those moments.

“We are all in this together. We rise or fall as one,” Obama said.

The president told the crowd and the millions of people watching on television that the automation of jobs in the U.S. is more of a threat to the economy than immigrants coming into the country for work.

“If we don’t create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come," he said.

Race relations were also a key part of the address.

“Race remains a potent and often dismissive force in our society," he said.

Obama has concerns that economic issues are sometimes framed as a struggle between a “hardworking white” in the middle class and an “undeserving minority.” He said this mindset leads to workers of all races to fight for scraps while the wealthy continue to gain wealth.

He went on to say it would hurt the country as a whole if the United States remains unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants.

“Those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of Americas workforce [in the future],” he said.

He also doesn’t think laws are enough to change the racial tensions in the country. He believes people will have to change their hearts.

“For too many us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods or on college campuses or in places of worship or especially on our social media feeds," he said.

In Obama's opinion, these bubbles lead to people only accepting information that fits their own opinions instead of basing opinions on the evidence that is available.

The unwillingness to let new information into a debate, conceding that a rival politician may be making a fair point and not basing decisions on science and reason, was another point in the president’s address.

“Without bolder action, our children won't have the time to debate the existence of climate change,” he said.

The president noted the progress that has been made with the Paris climate agreement, but he said this isn’t enough to protect future generations. 

He also said external powers like Russia and China aren't able to match the United States' influence around the world unless “we give up what we stand for.”

“Let’s be vigilant, but not afraid," he said.

The president's final point was a warning to Americans to not take democracy for granted.

He believes citizens and politicians should work toward building up democratic institutions regardless of party. He went on to say that the Constitution was just a piece of parchment, and the people give it power and meaning.

“If you are tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life," he said. “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.”

Toward the end of his farewell address, Obama spoke highly about the upcoming generation, describing them as unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic and diverse.

“You will soon outnumber all of us and I believe as a result, the future is in good hands," he said.

The full farewell address can be found on the White House’s YouTube channel.