There is a famous paradox about democracy: most forms of participation make no obvious difference to political outcomes and yet people act anyway. I argue that they are more likely to act politically if they have certain attitudes and commitments; and that productive attitudes of the right kind can be sustained by a culture in which two kinds of honor are central. One kind of honor is collective: it is the honor of nations, which is the concern of the patriot. Another is the honor of citizens, who are worthy of respect because they contribute to the practices that serve the republic. I suggest some practices we Americans might want to take up and honor for the sake of our own republic today, drawing attention to two discoveries in social psychology that could be productively brought to bear in our political life: namely, the Ben Franklin effect and the Contact Hypothesis.