Grassroots Commentary

2016 GOP Contenders and the U.S. Constitution

Larry Reams · Jan. 30, 2015

It’s early but we’re already seeing the jockeying around for position among GOP presidential contenders. And before we get too far down this road a word of caution is in order.

Our Constitution lays out the requirements for Presidents and Vice Presidents (Article II, Section 1): He/she must be a natural born citizen of the United States, at least age 35, and have lived in the US for at least the past 14 years. The stickler is natural born citizen. And while the Constitution itself doesn’t define the term, it was common knowledge at the time what “natural born” meant. It was as common to our Founders as the term “marriage” has been for 2000 years. But just as we’re seeing an effort to redefine “marriage,” there’s also an effort to redefine “natural born,” or, just ignore it altogether.

Although the Constitution doesn’t define it, several court cases have through the years and two definitions have emerged. The most restrictive definition of a “natural born citizen” is a person born of parents (plural) who were citizens at the time the child (future candidate) was born. Both parents must be citizens for the child to be natural born. The least restrictive, and most widely accepted, is that the Father was a citizen at the time the future candidate was born. You do NOT have to be born within the United States itself but your parents (or father) must have been a citizen of the US at the time of your birth no matter where that took place. That provision accommodates citizens who were US diplomats or in the Armed Forces and were overseas at the time of the child’s birth. A thorough and worthy discussion on this issue is found here. And a detailed analysis by Publius Huldah, using original writings of the founding era, can be found here. The primary reason for making this a requirement to be President or Vice President was to ensure that the chief executive did not have divided loyalties between the US and another country. President and VP is the only elective office that has this requirement.

Barack Obama is NOT a natural born citizen. The birth certificate and records of his father proves he was never a citizen of the US therefore, using either definition, our President was not constitutionally qualified to hold the office. And everyone knew that at the time of his campaign / election but no one had the courage to challenge it. Even the Supreme Court said citizens had no “standing” to challenge it and never heard any of the cases sent to them. Cowards all. So, Obama got away with violating the Constitution in one of the most important provisions of it. That set a precedent. He has violated it repeatedly ever since. (Obama’s mother was a US citizen and if Obama Sr. was not Barack’s real father, i.e. maybe Frank Marshall Davis was, then this would change the case with Obama.) Regarding loyalty to the US, does anyone doubt that Mr. Obama does have divided loyalties? At times he’s almost anti-American; showing more allegiance to foreign nations than to our own. 

Now we have at least three GOP candidates who are also not natural born citizens apparently throwing their hat in the ring – Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Ted Cruz. No matter which definition you chose, parents (plural) or fathers, none of their fathers were citizens at the time Rubio, Jindal and Cruz were born. It may also be true of Rick Santorum. All are popular with the conservative base. So, is the conservative base and the GOP going to lower themselves down to the Democrat’s level of lawlessness and select a non-qualified candidate? Or will they follow the higher standard, the legal constitutional standard, and select someone who is constitutionally qualified? Where is the constitutional line in the sand? Will we be a Nation of Laws or a Nation of Men? If it’s the latter, what’s to prevent a future President from throwing out the Constitution altogether and becoming a dictator? With so many cowards in office and the Courts, who’s to stop it? As Patriots, we have an obligation. And as a veteran I took an Oath to protect and defend the Constitution. My death is the expiration date of that oath. Not enforcing this provision of the constitution also opens the door to global government. Any popular foreign-born globalist could move to the US, live here 14 years, run for and win the Oval Office.

Our Constitution and the character of our people, throughout the centuries, is what sets us apart from all other nations of the world. It’s part of our exceptionalism. The citizenry should demand that it be followed, to the letter, no matter how much we’d like to see our favorite guy or gal become President. To do otherwise further escalates our implosion as a constitutional republic. A legacy we shouldn’t want to be a part of. I have made my opinion known to both the Cruz and Rubio camps, and to the media. Have you?

Comments welcomed.

(Mr. Reams is a Christian, senior citizen, family man, veteran, conservative and retired small business owner.;

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