"I realize that America's critics will be quick to point out that at times we, too, have failed to live up to our ideals. America has plenty of problems within its own borders. This is true.
"With a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small, American city of Ferguson, Missouri, where a young man was killed and a community was divided. So yes. We have our own racial and ethnic tensions.
"And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear. But we welcome the scrutiny of the world. Because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems, to make our union more perfect, to bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation.
"America's not the same as it was 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, or even a decade ago, because we fight for our ideals and we are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable and insist on a free press and an independent judiciary. Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and every religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and their circumstances and their country for the better."
By equating America's issues with what has occurred and continues to take place in some parts of the world he does not make America "relatable" to the people within those regions. It makes the issues of those regions "dismissible".
It would do the President good to honestly look at the human rights issues before he tries to make America seem as if we can "relate" to them. We can't. We may disagree with one another but our disagreements do not turn into State or organizational sanctioned beheadings, hanging of people for being gay, violence and rape resulting in more than 600 deaths, ethnic cleansing, using chemical weapons to attack citizens, banning homosexuality, forced sterilization of mentally handicapped, public stoning and forcing women to undergo medical exams to prove virginity, or religious persecution.
Instead of lowering America in an effort to "relate" to others, the President ought to be seeking to raise others. Failing to do so shows a level of distain for the American people and the American system of governance that is startling from such an educated man. I wonder if in all his education he ever read; “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville