Which card would Americans relinquish firstâ€”their driverâ€™s license, Social Security card, voterâ€™s registration or public library card? All four documents link us to a larger political and social reality, and each symbolizes something about the privileges and obligations of citizenship.
Most Americans would likely say they canâ€™t get along without a driverâ€™s license. Besides getting them from place to place, the car is a symbol of freedom and mobility. And most Americans cling tightly to their Social Security cards. After all, theyâ€™ve paid into the system and will demand what theyâ€™re entitled to get back. Many will need Social Security to make it through their retirement years.
The millions of Americans who donâ€™t vote might consider the voterâ€™s registration card expendable. And the resources of a public library might be deemed expendable too.