Obama is asking the wrong question about American values

There are those, former President Barack Obama writes in an excerpt of his forthcoming memoir published at The Atlantic Thursday, who would like to “abandon the possibility of America.” They survey our national history and present moment and conclude American values were always a lie, that “this nation’s ideals have always been secondary to conquest and subjugation, a racial caste system and rapacious capitalism, and that to pretend otherwise is to be complicit in a game that was rigged from the start.”

He is not among their number. The world “watches America — the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice — to see if our experiment in democracy can work,” Obama says in A


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