In a more perfect world, the Covington episode might be seen as an occasion usefully delineating who should not be employed in the media to interpret the world for the public. A place to start would be those distinguished members of the press who have been so bravely deleting their tweets on the subject.

In their wisdom, the Founders gave us a government incapable of doing anything, and one ironic result is a U.S. so powerful that it gets stuck with the job of organizing the world.

Yet their wisdom still has cogency. Nick Sandmann, the 16-year-old at the center of events, now sanely concludes he should have “avoided the whole thing.” Indeed, a sane person would have jumped on the bus and told the driver to take the quickest route out of Washington. Heading expeditiously in the opposite direction is always the proper instinct when encountering groups of Americans unhealthily obsessed with politics, whether the lost-soul Native American activist Mr. Phillips and his Indigenous Peoples March or the Black Hebrew Israelites, who apparently were the real instigators of the contretemps on the Mall.