The End of the Birther Argument
Last week, while I was sent on several shopping expeditions, I noticed that the tabloid magazine The Globe had a shocking and disturbing article: they found the President’s actual birth certificate from Kenya, with all of the correct birth information.
It seems weird to me that after nearly two years of being President, people still believe that Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Never mind that Obama has already written a memoir about his childhood, including a considerable section about how he grew up for a while in America before moving to Indonesia.
People who honestly believe the lie that Obama is not a US citizen because he was born in Kenya are missing more than a few brain cells. If the lie were true, that Obama isn’t a US citizen, someone would have found out during the primaries and would have asked Obama to respectfully withdraw from running for President.
However, a co-worker of mine this summer pointed out something that was pretty interesting: even if Obama was born in Kenya, he would still be eligible for Presidency, and thus the administration is still legal.
The US Constitution states: “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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” The language here is pretty clear: as long as the candidate in question is at least 35, lived in the US for 14 years, and is a natural-born US citizen, they can be President.
Which brings us to Obama. Assuming that The Globe is right and has clearly broken the story of the century (and curiously has no major news network covering the story), Obama being born in Kenya to an African father and an American mother still means that Obama is a natural-born citizen. 8 U.S.C. § 1401 says that “a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person” is a citizen of the United States. Obama’s mother falls under this category, being born and raised in Kansas before being whisked away to Kenya.
In this scenario, because Obama is still considered a citizen of the United States at birth, he would be a natural-born citizen, thus eligible for the Presidency. Check and mate, Birther Movement.
What’s even more interesting is that Obama’s rival in the Presidential election, John McCain, has similar questions about his citizenship, and yet no one seems to be calling him out on it. McCain was born in Panama to two American parents, but a technicality in 8 U.S.C. § 1403 means that he might not actually be a US citizen.
Then again, the language is pretty clear: “Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904 … whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.”
Bottom line is this: no matter what the Birther Movement tries to spew as fact, it isn’t going to work. Because Obama’s mother is a US citizen, Obama is a natural-born US citizen, and he met all three eligibility requirements for the Presidency. The administration is legal, and anyone who tries to say otherwise is either a racist, or really has zero grasp on the Constitution they cling so dearly to.