Noonan: Don't Panic, We're Still America

From Madoff to Detroit, people feel it's all collapsing, and they're wrong
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2008 9:46 AM CST
Volunteers hold a large American flag as they prepare for a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 at Bicentennial Park in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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(Newser) – From Bernard Madoff to Rod Blagojevich, Americans have lost faith in the people running things. “It’s the age of the empty suit,” one of Peggy Noonan’s friends mused recently. Our institutions have proven impotent and absent, and now “people feel all trends lead downward from here, that the great days of America Rising are over,” Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal. “It is so non-American, so unlike us.” It’s time to remember why this nation is great.

We remain the world’s longest-running democracy, governed by an unshakeable constitution. We have the world’s biggest, most technologically powerful economy. People flock from everywhere to our hospitals and universities. “The point is not to say rah-rah, paint our faces blue and bray ‘We’re No. 1,’” Noonan writes. It’s to remember that there is reason to hope, even in these dark days, for “the return of the suit inhabited by a person.”