American democracy is under very serious threat, Hillary Clinton said during a speech at Harvard University on Friday.
The failed 2016 presidential candidate called on the audience to "stand up and defend reason and facts" as visited the Cambridge, Mass., university to accept the school's Radcliffe Medal, which honors women who have had a "transformative impact on society."
"It's not been an easy time for more than half of our country since the 2016 election," Clinton said.
"Right now we are living through a crisis in our democracy," she said. "There are certainly not tanks in the street, but what is happening today goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. And I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election, but an American afraid of losing a country."
Clinton did not mention President Trump by name, but it was clear to whom she was referring when she said there are "leaders in our country who blatantly incite people with hateful rhetoric, who stoke fear of change, who see the world in zero-sum terms."
"Attempting to erase the line between fact and fiction, truth and an alternative reality, is a core feature of authoritarianism," Clinton warned.
She called for what she termed "radical empathy," encouraging people "to try to see the world through the eyes of people very different from ourselves" and to "try to return to rational debate."
When asked her choice if she could be CEO of any company in the world right now, Clinton quickly answered, "Facebook." She said it would be her pick because, "It's the biggest news company in the world."
"Most people in our country get their news, true or not, from Facebook," she said. "It really is critical to our democracy that people get accurate information on which to make decisions."
She also accused Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting of "essentially delivering propaganda."
"I'm hoping that people who are currently in the government who are not political appointees will stay as long as they can, fighting for facts and evidence and our values," Clinton said. "Because this too shall pass and we're going to need a vigorous, well-prepared, well-positioned federal government to try to pick up the pieces."
"I am optimistic the tide will turn," she said.