A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

...And the Republic Will Survive

Within Article II, Section One of the United States Constitution we find these words spelling out the qualifications for President: “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President...”

I mention this here because it is the central idea of a growing conspiracy theory movement challenging Barack Obama’s presidency. These theorists contend that Obama is not qualified because the circumstances of his birth do not fit the Constitutional definition of a natural born citizen. Critics of this movement have dubbed them “birthers”, a name which the conspiracy theorists have embraced with open arms.

The "birthers" are disputing the fact that Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii on August 4, 1961. They do not accept the birth certificate produced by Hawaii as official. On top of this, they have adopted a very narrow definition of the natural born citizen requirement. The "birthers" believe that a natural born citizen is any person who was born in the United States to parents who are also citizens of the United States. Talk about digging themselves a deep the president’s case, Obama’s mother was indeed a citizen of the United States, but his father was a citizen of the African nation of Kenya, where the "birthers" believe Obama was actually born.

Even if Obama was born in Kenya, I don’t understand what the big deal is. After all, it’s not like he is the first man elected President that was not a natural born citizen. In fact, the first one not born in the country and elected President was George Washington. The next non-native to be elected President was John Adams. The next one not from this country and yet elected Commander-in-Chief was Thomas Jefferson...actually ten of the first twelve men who served in the White House were not natural born citizens.

My reasoning for this admittedly strange twist of historical interpretation is this: these men could not have been born in the United States because technically the United States did not exist as a legal entity when they were born! The United States did not legally come into existence until the Constitution was signed in September of 1787! Anyone born in the colonies (which were later admitted as states in the new country) prior to this date should — technically — not be considered natural born citizens!

Granted there is the small phrase, “or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”, which was probably intended as a “grandfather clause”. If this phrase is a catch-all to make anyone born in the colonies retroactively eligible to be President, then it blows my theory out of the water. Still, my theory is no more illicit than the "birthers" idea of who is and who isn’t qualified to run the Executive Branch.

So if we apply the "birthers" definition of a natural born citizen to those who were elected President, then fully one quarter of those men were not qualified for the job in the first place. Not that there’s a whole lot that can be done about it now. After all, whatever happened 200 years ago happened. History cannot be rewritten. It can be reinterpreted to fit our needs, but it can’t be undone.

Regardless of what happened then, and whether or not the person doing it was constitutionally qualified to do it, the fact remains that the republic survived. The Washingtons, Adamses, Jeffersons, and all the rest from our early history took their roles of Chief Executive seriously and did not, as some have feared, sell the country out to a foreign power. The same will happen again if it turns out that Obama is not a natural born citizen: the republic will survive.

So go on, "birthers", go and conspire away all you want. The rest of us are too busy for your crap. We, the natural born citizens of the United States, will be helping President Barack Obama make this country a better place to live.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to check your birth certificate for authenticity.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not say "even if Obama was born in Kenya."

There is not the slightest evidence that he was born in Kenya. If he were born in Kenya, there would have to be US travel documents showing that he traveled from Kenya to the USA, but there are not such documents.

There are no Kenyan documents.

His Kenyan grandmother did not say that he was born in Kenya. If you listen to the complete recording, she clearly says that he was born in Hawaii. ( Listen until after she is asked the question: "Whereabouts was he born?"

Obam has shown the OFFICIAL birth certificate of Hawaii. The facts on it have been confirmed twice by the officials in Hawaii. This is what the Wall Street Journal says about the situation: "Obama has already provided a legal birth certificate demonstrating that he was born in Hawaii. No one has produced any serious evidence to the contrary. Absent such evidence, it is unreasonable to deny that Obama has met the burden of proof. We know that he was born in Honolulu as surely as we know that Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Ark., or George W. Bush in New Haven, Conn."

September 23, 2009 at 1:24 PM  

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