Ah, just as anticipated!
DBG adds a clarity to the issue that has been lacking.
DBG, I doubt Americans think Canada, Mexico, the Carribean islands are an extension of their country.
My point is that there are several countries in close proximity to the U.S. that have not historically required a passport.
I lived not too far from Canada for much of my life, and we thought nothing of going over the border. My daughter, who lived in San Diego for several years, used to go into Mexico all the time.
No passport required.
People get used to that type of relationship, if you will, with a neighboring country.
It's not that Americans think they have special privileges ... it's more that the protocol for entering these neighboring countries has been set for years -- and now it is changing ... well, it's supposed to be changing.
Thus, the confusion.
I got a passport well before I needed one.
I made sure my kids did too.