As he often does, Noam Chomsky sums up the state of political debate in our country in a very few words:
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. "---Noam Chomsky
Our current leaders have the concept down in spades: any argument or statement of fact that would damage their house-of-cards reality is immediately labeled "unpatriotic".
Unfortunately too many Americans buy into this crap (e.g. - WMD, Iraq - 9/11 connection, Democracy as a cure-all, Free markets as a cure-all, etc. etc.).
I have a news flash: words and debate don't kill people -- only the policies you implement as a result of them can possibly have that effect. By controlling the debate to the extent they have, the loonies in power still have more than 50% of Americans believing that Iraq has WMD.
How can real democracy exist in such a bizarro world?