Our head of state embodies the character of the nation. So it is fair to say the state of the American character today is not strong. And it is unfortunate that the world and its problems will not wait for our national character to improve.

That’s why it is so distressing to see videos like this:

My foreign friends may scoff, and even many of my fellow Americans may turn up their coastal-elitist noses and drive their Priuses as far away from me as possible, but I think America has a role to play in spreading the ideal of constitutional democracy throughout the world. Certainly these brave protesters in Hong Kong seem to think so. But our national leadership is morally, intellectually, and strategically not up to the challenge, and events in Hong Kong will not wait for things to improve.