Feel free to hum “Born in the U.S.A.” as you read this…

Don’t know about you,  but I went for years without a birth certificate at the ready; there’s one around here someplace though, but only because an old friend suggested I needed a new copy so she could read my astrology chart. That was at least 25 years ago and underlines the folly of infatuation. Then too,  if I wanted to be president it just might not hold up, since the name of the town where I was launched has been changed.

More than that, I lost my Social Security card decades ago. I guess the Feds are willing to go by the numbers they’ve had for all this time. Certainly the report I get every year that totes up my yearly income all the way back to the day I was entered into the system seems official enough. God knows it’s depressing as well.

Nor could I actually prove that I was once registered in the Selective Service, back in the day when every red-blooded American kid over the age of 18 was eligible — I always loved that word — for the draft. Remember that? You walked off the stage at your high school graduation and could just as easily walk into an army barracks. Canada never looked so good.

A driver’s license, according to some, doesn’t count, since naturalized citizens can get one. But still, your birthday does appear near the bottom (at least in California) and it can be used as official I.D. with the TSA boys at the airport.

I do have one of those, along with a passport, which, it turns out, does not require a birth certificate if you have a certification of naturalization. But new requirements that became effective on the 1st of this month have made it a little tougher for the first one.

And there are more that we all get over time, including diplomas, religious recognitions, social markers, professional awards, sports kudos and so forth. The point, however, is that we almost never have to produce same unless we’re traveling, which include a driver’s license or a passport. To date, I have never been asked to show a birth certificate, a Social Security card, any kind of diploma, or other legal documents. Like most people, my integrity is assumed.

Too true: If you get busted while inventing your own speed limit, the cop is gonna want to see if you’re legally allowed to drive your car, and now, if you’ve taken the time get some insurance. That’s never a surprise. You’d be amazed if he didn’t ask. But just imagine if you were applying for a job and the prospective employer demanded that you bring your birth certificate with you, as well as transcripts of your high school grades. You’d sue, and you’d win. Worse, what if your employer — or a neighborhood “involved citizen” — asked for that information after you’d been on the job for a couple of years? Again, you’d sue, and again, you’d win.

What if you were the president, and, of course, were white? Can you even imagine such a thing happening? You sue, and Fort Knox would be yours.

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