Maybe, in all this talk about our current politics and need for reforms, we need to reform the way we think about and talk about America. It may come as a shock for some, but we haven't been a democratic republic since 1776. In fact we weren't a democratic republic by World War I... nor by World War II. It took until (at least) 1965. Think about it!
So maybe we'd be clearer about the work we still have ahead of us if we were a lot clearer about who we were and who we are not.