I propose that if one is to assert a serious support of democracy as envisioned by the founding fathers, certain realities apply: government must be secular, must be tolerant enough to eschew a double standard when considering differing perspectives, must exercise a collective and practical concern for those of its members who are unfairly disadvantaged, and must recognize in an intuitive and comprehensive way that humanity is populated by people like us, whose disagreements with us are largely a function of where and when they were born and the consequent life experiences that molded their individual, unique identities. Unhappily, we live in a time when the mechanisms of our political system, and the professional politicians and ideologues who manipulate them, encourage us to ignore these principles. The American public is appalled by the disconnect between its collective will and the actions of its elected representation. We present ourselves to the world as egotistical bullies. Our candidates for office always opt for image over substance, and our uncertified fourth branch of government, the press, is a castrated semblance of its proper self. Perhaps we already have the evidence that the combined forces of corporate greed, religious fundamentalism, self-serving political professionals, and "human nature" will overpower the ideology of democracy. It's not a pretty picture, but we had better look at it.