WASHINGTON—Taking action to protect the rapidly dwindling vital resource, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Wednesday that would preserve the last remaining expanse of common ground in the nation. “America’s common ground is one of our country’s most valuable assets, and one that is under threat today like never before,” said Obama during a press conference following the signing of the act, which establishes broad federal protections for the shrinking area of shared values and mutual understanding that has suffered severe erosion in recent years. “Our country’s once vast stretches of common ground are part of our national heritage. Unfortunately, if they continue to be destroyed at the rate they have been over the past decade, there will soon be nothing left. This action is a first step toward ensuring that future generations of Americans will also be able to experience the common ground we too often take for granted.” Obama added, however, that there was sadly nothing that could be done to reduce the toxic levels of vitriol that had tainted the nation’s dialogue.