Literacy is necessary to democracy. As we’ve seen, literacy has been used to deny American the right to vote. In many ways, our democracy is not an idea or ideal. It’s a text. Texts, plural. Reading those texts, critically discussing those texts, and acting upon one’s reading is fundamentally what being a citizen is about. In 1876, as in 2016, there was controversy around the electoral college and the popular vote. 19th century cartoonist Thomas Nast took to his inkwell to offer his two cents. One cannot separate democracy from literacy and education, not historically and not today.