There has been a lively discussion over at Jeffrey Sykes’ Facebook page about the Obama citizenship question. Jeffrey wanted to know whether any of his readers actually knew personally any other people (especially Republicans) who did not think Obama was born in Hawaii and did not thereby meet the Constitutional qualifications to be President. Polls say that such people exist, but Jeffrey (a Republican) doesn’t know any. I don’t know any either. Do you know any?
Jeffrey thinks (rightly I believe) that the issue is a distraction from the much more important issues which we all face.
As for myself I am quite satisfied that Obama was born in Hawaii and meets all constitutional qualifications to be President. I do not believe for a minute that the posted copy of the certified birth certificate is a forgery.
I do think however that Obama should take the initiative and release a scanned copy of the original birth certificate. As far as I can ascertain (based on what I have read and on my own experience) the “certified” copy is an official document certified to be true to the original. Original birth certificates around the time Obama and I were born were often messy affairs with semi illegible writing and more information than is needed for a legal certified copy. If I am correct about this then it interests me why Obama does not allow release of a copy of that document.
OK, I realize that some people hell bent on being a pain in the neck will say it’s a forgery; I just think the number of people who have nagging concerns would go way down.
So the question of why Obama won’t call for a release of a copy of the actual original birth certificate interests me. It must be either that he thinks the ongoing issue works in his favor, or that he has concerns about some of the other information on the original certificate.
All this gets me to my real point. I think the “natural born citizen” requirement in the Constitution needs amending, again. First, it is vague on the surface of it. After two amendments and several Supreme Court cases it is still unclear exactly what it meant or means. Second, its original purpose seems dated. Do we really think for example that a person who moved to Ohio as a child from Poland is going to be a Polish spy or more or less likely to uphold/undermine the Constitution than a person born in Ohio to Polish parents on the same date? Do we think that a child born to an American citizen living briefly in England is more or less likely to uphold/undermine the Constitution than an older or younger sibling born in the United States or in a US territory or at a US military base?
My third daughter was born in Vancouver. That makes her a natural born Canadian citizen. She also was granted U.S. citizenship by virtue of the fact that she was born to an American citizen. But she does not meet the qualifications to become President. Laurel would make a great President, at least as good as any of her two older or two younger sisters – all born in the US.
I think that there should be a citizenship requirement, an age requirement and a significant residency requirement. I think we should get rid of the “born citizen” requirement altogether. Again, a citizenship requirement, an age requirement and a significant residency requirement should be enough.
And then there is another matter: no current statute as far as I know specifies what kind of documentation is required to meet whatever birth or citizenship requirements that are there. If we keep things as they are in terms of that article of the Constitution at least there needs to be a uniform documentation requirement.
Well, that’s what I think anyway