This is why he brandishes his upbringing and family as a foreign-policy credential. In explaining why his foreign-policy experience outstrips that of long-serving officeholders who know foreign leaders, Obama said a few months ago, "When I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa -- knowing the leaders is not important -- what I know is the people."
Transnational progressivism is closely allied to multiculturalism. Both share a hostility to American exceptionalism and seek to rein it in, by imposing global rules on the U.S. and by transcending its traditional culture (as defined by history, symbols and language). Obama, who for so long painfully sought an identity and initially found it in a black-nationalist church, clearly has affinities running in this direction.
Consider his gaffes: The world won't stand for us driving and eating and air-conditioning our homes as we please. We should worry less about immigrants learning English and more about teaching our kids Spanish. Gun-owning, Bible-believing people in rural areas are bitter. The flag pin is an inadequate symbol of patriotism. When Obama briefly auditioned his own presidential seal, "e pluribus unum" got bumped.
These are all hints of Obama's instincts, but he knows he has to check them. He has restored a flag pin to his lapel, ditched the fake seal and in Berlin was careful to declare himself also "a proud citizen of the United States" and defend America's global leadership. He'd be wise to do more. In November, the world doesn't have a vote.
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