The Constitution and Natural Born Citizens

Since the Constitution remains as the law of our land, the Presidential qualification that a candidate must be a “natural born citizen” stands.  Irrespective of today’s revisionists, its Constitutional inclusion denotes legal significance, purpose and need.  The fact that our Founders stipulated this as a notch higher than citizenship addresses two important provisions: first, the duties and responsibilities of American leadership and secondly, to ensure the officeholder with the most allegiance possible.

This straight forward statement, amid these confusing times, may require a qualifier.  Simply put, choosing presidential candidates shouldn’t be complicated by trudging through the weeds of revisionisms.  Admittedly, we were already knee deep when considering that asinine definition of what “is” is. However, this parsing of two hundred plus year old word terminologies represents an exercise in futility; that is, if truth is still the objective.

Dredging through the associated theories which somehow validate the candidacies of Cruz, Rubio and Jindal, I am struck by this inherent need to misdirect.  How can one be so certain in the twenty first century as to what was meant and/or intended in the eighteenth century?

Also incongruent with then and now is this highbrow lawyer speak.  Being presented with reasons explaining the legalities of “jus soli” or “jus sanguinus” are courtroom thickets for the barrister but accomplish little in the realm of public understanding.  However, what remains pertinent are the fundamentals to what would best serve our Country and her citizens.  That would be the preservation of the highest standards possible for the highest office in the land.

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Many of the dissertations from today’s bevy of legal experts delve into the legalities outside the parameters of their own chosen legal fields.  While captivating and influential, these assertions are disingenuous at best.  One such review was offered by a legal authority with an expertise entitled, “Clinical Professor and Director of the Securities Law Clinic.”

ConstitutionToday’s bevy of lawyers, for the most part, are ill equipped Constitutionally since the travails associated with obtaining a Law degree lack any in depth Constitutional study.  Therefore, law degrees do not necessarily equate with Constitutional understanding or even awareness.  This is especially so when our Constitution’s Presidential qualifications become the subject for review.  Instead, today’s flock of legal beagles focus upon adapting those Constitutional mandates so as to coincide with modern day whims.

While the Cruz declaratory speech tugged at many heartstrings, those so affected should pause a bit since Obama captured the national spotlight in similar fashion.  Consider that words, especially political words which raise one’s heartbeat, are often easier to say than to keep.  The Cruz oratory was a red blooded American appeal which few could resist, since after six long years and counting, Obama’s promising rhetoric has failed to materialize.   Senator Cruz likewise seized the moment and as with all “first impressions,” made a lasting one.

Similar to our Forefathers, we all would be better served if simplicity would return to our rationale.  Those three words, “natural born citizen,” although not defined at today’s minutia levels, were and continue to be easily understood when common sense is applied.  We must remember the times in which these words were written, and most of all, the reason for their posting.  When formulating a new and free nation, proper leadership was crucial and with that would come the necessity of assured allegiance for each President.

Contrary of today’s massive pieces of legislations, our Forefathers enjoyed an era where plain talk was the order of the day.  Consider that our first ten Constitutional Amendments consisted of only 462 words.  Today’s minute word dissections contrast to an era when communication was simple.  Let’s face it, today, it’s an “industry,” verses back then, when it was printed and often personally conveyed.

As I read of these modern day interpretations, I am insulted by the limitations placed solely upon location of birth.  It appears that such concerns side track and may, in fact, have that as its purpose, since the dual citizenship of one’s parents has become off limits.  This was obviously the case with the 2008 McCain/Obama campaign controversy.  Sadly, it appears that the pass which our media provided Obama might be re-issued.

rubio, cruz, jindalRecalling that campaign season, the affront, which went unnoticed by the voting public, was two fold.  First, McCain was born of two citizen parents, a fact essentially ignored by our media.  A sidebar was the fact that his parents were in the service of our country and temporarily stationed in a foreign country.  Nonetheless, media speculation was riveted upon location rather than also focusing upon the required citizenship of both parents.

The second and more lasting insult came from Obama’s pass in 2008 as once again, fascination with location blanketed any parentage concerns.  This detour had to be an intentional and orchestrated maneuver since Obama himself referred to his father as a British subject; thus disqualifying his candidacy based upon our Constitution’s “natural born citizen” mandate.

Six years later, this pass, rather than substantiating our current Commander-in-Chief’s degree of allegiance, has produced its expected results.  The bottom line is that our President, based upon his birthing parents alone, was and remains Constitutionally unqualified.

Obama’s policies, many of which are outside the legal parameters of our Constitution, are the unavoidable results from a watered down process, which if continued, will encourage similar conduct. If anything, Obama has validated our Forefathers’ “natural born citizen” reasoning and purpose.

Could it be that with our “changing demographics,” those three words, “natural born citizen,” represents a hindrance to future candidates. Instead of maintaining the criteria at the highest levels, we now connect emotionally with individual personalities or heralded “firsts,” no matter one’s lineage.

May I also add that our law of the land, the Constitution, must continue as the solid and reliable basis which provided our critical direction during the formation of this nation.  It has endured through crisis after crisis, war after war.  I as a veteran, took an oath to the Constitution.  No person, nor any inspiring oratory, can cause me to break that commitment.

Personally, I like Cruz, and Jindal and I voted for Rubio.  Pass an amendment if you must.  But in the end, it’s the Constitution, always, it must be the Constitution!

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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