President Obama on Saturday told a London town hall that young activists should be realistic and willing to look for common ground with the other side.
“You can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Obama said, according to the Associated Press. “You can’t refuse to meet because that might compromise the purity of your position.”
The president added that it can sometimes be better to “take half a loaf,” rather than be too rigid and risk making no progress.
Obama cited advocates for same-sex marriage, saying they effectively convinced him on the issue.
In constrast, he indicated that many criminal justice reform advocates have not presented alternate ideas.
Obama told a young person who identifies as “non-binary” that “the trend lines are good” on LGBT rights.
He said he can’t do much about North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom law,” but that attitudes are changing rapidly in the U.S. and the world.