Ultimately, Neiwert argues, both sides–liberal and conservative–need to surrender the unhelpful idea that they are the “heroes” of the American story. For in order for there to be a hero, he explains, we need a demonized other from which to “rescue” the nation. True heroism in a democracy is not killing “bad guys” or rounding up scary people or shouting fellow citizens into silence, effectively forcing them to eliminate their voices and themselves from the democratic scene. Rather, it is recognizing the human in the other, the messy nuance of competing interests and sub-cultures, honoring the ability to disagree (strongly) without wishing death or silence on one another. True heroism can look, from the outside, kind of drab and lacking in drama.