April 1st Isn’t The Only Day for Fools

One rumor/conspiracy theory/lie that just keeps popping up (with the aid of some otherwise serious people) is that Barack Obama was not actually born in America, and therefore is not constitutionally eligible to be president.  The people who adhere to this belief are so-called birthers and I have not come across a single one who has any proof to back up their accusations; they ignore any evidence that is provided to the contrary.  I’ve read many posts and articles whose authors ascribe to the birther beliefs.  Yesterday, I just couldn’t move on; I had to respond.  Looking back, I knew better…you can’t reason with people who are only looking for reasons that they are right.  I won’t include anything the other author originally posted or their meandering, incoherent response, but this was, in part, my response:

You are right that the Constitution never defines “natural born citizen.”  But the document that does is the United States Code, which is “a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States” that is prepared and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives.  If the Constitution provides the framework and principles for how our government works, the U.S. Code defines those principles specifically.  Here is a link to the U.S. Code:  http://uscode.house.gov/lawrevisioncounsel.shtml.  Title 8, Section 1401 defines who is a citizen at birth of the United States.
I believe that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, as he has stated, as well as the former Republican governor, Linda Lingle and officials from the Health Department of Hawaii during the 2008 campaign.  Why would a Republican governor admit to having seen his actual birth certificate if it did not exist?  That would have been against the interest of her party and the country.  Being born in Hawaii would qualify Obama as a natural born citizen under subsection (a) of the statute…People in the leadership of the Republican Party either know or have lawyers who know about the United States Code and know that there is no legitimate legal case for Obama being ineligible.  Some argue that if Obama is a citizen, why doesn’t he just release his birth certificate and end the debate?  Well, he released a copy of his certificate of live birth issued by the state of Hawaii.  This is the document that Hawaii provides to people requesting birth certificates and the U.S. State Department accepts this document as valid proof of citizenship.  Still, I argue, why should Obama have release his birth certificate?  Has any other president had to provide his birth certificate as proof of citizenship?  If so, please provide the documentation from an independent source.  I will gladly concede this point if someone can offer me valid proof.  On a side note, what about the presidents who were born outside of hospitals or before states required birth certificates to be issued?  Should their presidencies be retroactively voided?
I think the bottom line is that we (U.S. citizens, voters and our elected officials) need to grow up and admit that we are not all going to agree with all, or in some cases any of the policies of any president.  This does not mean that we should constantly try to delegitimize him or her.  This goes for the conservatives who despise this president and the liberals who tried to constantly belittle and undermine President Bush and the conservatives who tried to do the same to President Clinton.  That is the point that I believe this blatant disrespect for and reflexive opposition to presidents of opposite parties began.  I don’t think that just because a person is president that you have to respect them.  But if one really believes the Constitution and its principles, one would understand that the presidency is about the office and not about the man (or, perhaps in the future, woman) who occupies it.  The office at least deserves our respect.  If our leaders spent as much time and energy trying to work together to solve serious issues as they do trying to undermine their opposition, we might be much better off.

In the end, I don’t think my response will change the minds of any birthers.  I don’t care though, the last paragraph of my response says it all and I believe it.  And at the very least, I spoke my piece.  And that’s my soap box…I mean join the Discourse!

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7 Responses to April 1st Isn’t The Only Day for Fools

  1. peakers82 says:

    I too, have been annoyed by the birther movement. It turns out that according to US law even if Obama was born in Antartica he was born literally 2-3 months short of being an American citizen. That’s even if it wasn’t legal fact that he was born in Hawaii. We have serious problems in this country and we need serious people to solve them. This fight over Obama birthplace is nothing short of racism, and obviously a conservative plot to make people afraid of him so that they can win the next election. Your original post made an excellent point, and was extremely well written.

    • Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment! I’m not sure that I follow the part where you say “he was born literally 2-3 months short of being an American citizen.” Could you elaborate on what you mean?

  2. lindseycopeland says:

    I wish reasonableness was transmittable via skin contact and I could make everyone in the country get in a line to shake your hand. (Except for a select group, which would receive their reasonableness transmission in the SLAP LINE.)

  3. Ahh, the slap line…good times. I think the slap line list has grown quite considerably over the past two to three years.

  4. peakers82 says:

    Sorry I should have been more clear. I did a little research a few months ago and found out some interesting info. If we say that Obama was born abroad without a doubt, he would still be very close to having been born a U.S. citizen. According to citizenship rules a person born abroad between 1952 and 1986 is a U.S. citizen if one parent is a citizen and that parent has lived in the U.S. for ten years, with 5 of those years being after the age of 14. Obama was born a couple of months short of his mothers 19th birthday. My point being that it is an arbitrary line that he nearly met. That’s if he was born abroad, which I don’t believe he was. Anyway I hope that clears up my post.

  5. gary Simmons says:

    My friend I am not for sure if I agree with every single thing you just wrote. I will say that I agreed on most of the important things.

    You have proven one of my pet peeves though. Wisdom knows no age nor does ignorance. I enjoyed your piece and it was brimming with wisdom. Keep up the good work and I am going to book mark your site.

    A fellow Mississippian.

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