Tag Archives: constitution

Tempest in a chai-pot

Apparently a bunch of very ill-informed people are filing lawsuits, claiming that Mr. Obama wasn’t born in the USA.

What’s amazing to me about this entire article is that nowhere in it does it address the actual constitutional issue – that a candidate for president be a “natural born citizen.” That means that they were a citizen at birth, rather than naturalized later. Regardless of whether Mr. Obama was born in Kenya or Hawaii, he is a “natural born citizen.”

Now, he has provided his birth certificate, and that’s a legal document, so there’s really no case to begin with. But it bugs me that so much fuss would be made over a non-issue. As it happens, every president so far has been born in the USA, a fact about which I was apparently mistaken. However, the constitution does not require this – merely that they be a US citizen on the day of their birth.

I, for example, was born in Kenya, but I am a “natural born citizen.” Not that I’d be crazy enough to want to be president. But the fact that the question even arises is troubling. Are military kids, born overseas, automatically ineligible? The constitution says that they’re not. And are we really so terrified of foreign contamination that someone born to USA citizens on foreign soil is automatically suspect in some way?

Xenophobes really, really irritate me.