President Obama listens as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, Philippines, on Thursday. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

David Ignatius’s Dec. 20 op-ed, “A rational president in the age of anxiety,” while respectful of President Obama, described common criticisms in the way he is perceived. Yet the traits being criticized only make me like and respect Mr. Obama more.

Yes, he is a rationalist, but reason is sorely needed in this day and age. I don’t find him cool and unemotional; I sense plenty of intense emotion. It’s just that he refuses to be hyperbolic and hysterical. Mr. Ignatius wrote that the president should “craft his message better” and that someone such as Donald Trump articulates the thoughts and fears that many are feeling. But Mr. Obama takes the high road and doesn’t succumb to ugliness and a mob mentality. He has kept faith in the “better angels of our nature.”

We need a more thoughtful populace, not dumber leaders.

Robert King, Nashville