January 11, 2016

Argument Against Natural Born Clause a Triumph of Post-Nationalist Progressivism

Timothy Birdnow

Jonathan Keiler, normally a solid conservative writer, pens an indefensible piece at American Thinker.

Seems Mr. Keiler believes that the Natural Born clause in the Constitution is outdated and should be removed. Why? The nearest i can make out is his father - an immigrant - couldn't run for President.

From the article:

"I heard a lot about this test from a young age. My father was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in Germany, moving to the U.S. when he was ten. He arrived in the magical "linguistic window” so that he spoke American English like a native and still retained his native fluency in German. He served honorably as an American naval officer in World War II and after that held several federal government jobs that required a high security clearance. Yet, as he rarely tired of telling me, he could never become president.

Marcus gives a brief historical rundown of the particulars of how this rule came to be, focusing on fears in the early republic that unscrupulous foreigners would run for office and try to undo the radical American experiment in freedom and democracy. That, she claims, as have many others, is no longer really relevant in a strong and stable nation of immigrants. It leads to odd anomalies as to who can or can’t become president, based on nothing but the accident of birth.

It is also worth noting, if for no other reason than historical interest, that this rule might be dubbed the creole addition to the Constitution. By that I don’t mean andouille sausage and cayenne pepper, but rather a rule that embodied some of the resentments that the founding fathers had for their former colonial masters. The founding fathers were, almost to a man, creole, meaning that they were British citizens born in the American colonies. All the European colonial powers distinguished between native-born citizens and those born in the colonies, even when the colonials came from good, established aristocratic families, making these colonials second-class citizens. The term creole was used by the Spanish and French to make this distinction, and adopted by historians to also describe British colonists. Under this classification, a son born in the Americas was not the equal of his father born in Europe."

End excerpt.


It is precisely because America has traditionally allowed high levels of immigration that the Natural Born clause was put in place; the fledgeling United States did not want foreign agents taking her over, making the U.S. a sort of protectorate of a foreign power. That objection still holds.

I cannot imagine how Mr. Keiler could make this argunent in the face of Barack Hussein Obama, whose Natural Born credentials are somewhat murky and who proves the entire point, as Mr. Obama has pursued an alien and unAmerican program since attaining office. Had he had to prove his eligibility he may never have reached the position he is currently in - and America would be far the better for it.

The Founders put that prohibition in to keep foreigners from taking charge of one third of the U.S. government. The Founders always believed the Executive branch was the most likely to become despotic, and they did not want someone who had been inculcated with alien ideas to be in a position to execute those notions.

I'm sorry but little has changed since then. On the contrary, it is more important than ever to uphold this restriction, as Congress has completely abdicated its role as a check on the Executive Branch. The President of the United States is far more powerful than at any time in history, and more than ever we need someone who is clearly, unequivocally an American.

Keiler continues:

"I could be president, but my father, though every bit as qualified as me, never could. In reality, my dad, a quiet and private man, never had an interest in running for any political office, but the fact that in principle he could not rankled him. It should not rankle qualified Americans anymore"

End excerpt.

And I will never be Prime Minister of canada; why should that rankle anyone? Keiler's argument makes the fundamental assumptions made by the internationalists, that nations are obsolete and we shouldn't have any restrictions on where people live, who they hold allegiance to, and how they are governed. This is a post-historical vision, the notion that we shoud have an international order that supercedes the old idea of nations. Why have borders? Why have voting restrictions? When we start down this path we are opening the door to the New World Order.

This is a dreadful idea, a slippery slope argument that presupposes the Leftist ideals. I cannot believe someone from American Thinker would make this argument in light of the last few years.

Imagine during the Cold War if we hadn't had that provision; the Soviets would have finances a sleeper agent to run for President, with no way to stop them. Ain immigrant may be a wonderful, devoted American, but there is always the danger he may be a covert agent. This may not stop an American who is native born from likewise being in the pay of a foreign power, but at least we know he was fully exposed to America and not rather a fellow with foreign ideas.

Would Keiler want Sacco or Venzetti to be able to run for President?

How long does Mr. Keiler think it will be before illegal aliens demand the right to vote based on this? "If a naturalized citizen can be President, why can't an immigrant without papers vote?"

As it stands the Natural Born clause is not really enforced anyway; certainly Obama is an example. (I think he is Natural Born but he never had to prove it, something that should have been required. There is no controling legal authority save Secretaries of State in the individual states, and of course the Courts.

Take Roger Calero, born in Nicaragua and a naturlaized U.S. citizen. He ran for President of the United States in both 2000 and 2008, appearing on the ballot despite being ineligible to assume the office of President. He was also a convicted felon, but that didn't prevent his being placed on the ballot.

As Al Gore would say, there is no controlling legal authority.

At least the socialist Calero would have been prevented from taking office (or would he have been? SCOTUS keeps denying status for suits against Obama.)

Why should a radical like Calero be denied the Presidency? Once we begin to ask such questions we no longer really have a country, but are a mere provincial area, a governing entity of a world body.

Do we have a country or not? If so then we have every right, indeed a duty, to restrict such things.

That Keiler can't see that is quite a fearful thing. Have Americans so forgotten who we are as a people that we can't understand the need to restrict the top job in the nation to someone born here or born to people born here?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:29 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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