Peggy Noonan’s Aug. 8 editorial in The Wall Street Journal titled “American Song, an American Crisis” evoked an idyll in a remote town in Blaine County, while considering mass shootings and other crises affecting the nation.

     Noonan’s reverie on American values, explored through songs of hope and transformation, takes place at a doctor’s office. 

     “The doctor is worried about his three kids in grade school. They see the headlines and hear everything. They do shooter drills in their schools,” Noonan wrote. “I said one of the painful things we’re witnessing is the loss of the fantasy worried parents had, the fantasy of ‘I can give all this up and move to Ketchum, Idaho. I can leave the unsafe place and go to a safe place and bring up my children apart from all this.’”

     Noonan and the doc resolve to take action in small ways.

     “[A] responsible person would note that we are in a crisis, as the doctor suggested. It’s not a problem, it’s a crisis, it’s continuing, it has a hundred causes, we have to chip away at it hard. In a crisis you try this thing and then that; you experiment, boldly. You become daring.”

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