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Obama's farewell speech: The best lines from his last address as president

In an emotional farewell address, President Barack Obama challenged Americans to stand up for their values, be open-minded and proactive and have hope for the future.

He called out the flaws of America's democracy, but expressed pride in the progress the country has made.

He addressed first lady Michelle Obama, his daughters and Vice President Joe Biden directly, bringing many, himself included, to tears.

Here are some of the best lines from his speech.

'Democracy can buckle when it gives in to fear'

Photo Credit: Getty Images North America / Scott Olson

"Protecting our way of life -- that's not just the job of our military," the president said. "Democracy can buckle when it gives into fear. So just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are."

'Politics is a battle of ideas'

Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Christopher Dilts

"Politics is a battle of ideas," Obama said. "But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, then we're gonna keep talking past each other, and we'll make common ground and compromise impossible."

'If you’re disappointed by your elected officials ... run for office yourself'

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm

"For all our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen," the president said. "That's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself."

'Each one of us need to try to heed the advice of ... Atticus Finch'

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Darren Hauck

"If our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation, then each one of us need to try to heed the advice of a great character in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said, 'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,'" Obama said.

'As my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you'

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm

"How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on preschool for kids, but not when we're cutting taxes for corporations? How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing?" Obama asked. "It's not just dishonest, this selective sorting of the facts; it's self-defeating. Because as my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you."

Michelle 'made the White House a place that belongs to everybody'

Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Nicholas Kamm

"You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and with grit and with style and good humor," the president said to his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, who he called his best friend. "You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model."

Joe was 'the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware's favorite son'

Photo Credit: Getty Images North America / Scott Olson

"To Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton who became Delaware's favorite son: You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best," Obama said. "Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother."

'I am asking you to believe'

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Darren Hauck

"My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won't stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days ... I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change -- but in yours."

'Yes, we can.'

Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Joshua Lott

"Yes, we can. Yes, we did. Yes, we can," the president concluded, repeating the catchphrase from his 2008 campaign.

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