He's Not My President?

Thoreau: "Government is Best Which Governs Least"

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 15: Conclusive Remarks

The author’s final thoughts on the natural born citizen issue

I wish to first thank all of you whom have read this book in its entirety.  I also thank those of you whom have read portions of the book that you found of interest or significant.  Most importantly, I would like to thank all of the readers who have participated in the comments section of each chapter with the goal of furthering the dialogue on this subject and helping to clarify and/or bring forth important points.  This book asked the question, whom among us are natural born citizens?  As I indicated in the introduction, I would not be able to provide a definitive answer to this question.  However, on our journey in pursuit of an answer, we have looked at the U.S. Constitution including its Amendments, we have reviewed the thoughts and writings of the time, we have reviewed the pertinent cases with respect to citizenship, we have reviewed other Country’s citizenship laws with respect to dual and multi-citizenship and we have reviewed how the Congress, the media and the courts have handled the issue.  Yet, in the final analysis, for myself, and for anyone who reads this book, we cannot definitively answer the question, whom among us are natural born citizens?

The logical question at this point is:  why am I, as the author, and those of you whom have ventured here to read this book, so concerned with this issue?   I cannot speak for those of you whom have read the book, but I can certainly speak for myself.  I remain concerned because it represents a pull of another thread, the act of willing promoting another tear, the result of which takes another chip out of our sacred document culminating in the “death by a thousand cuts” of the United States Constitution.  For me, as may be the case for many of you, the United States Constitution represents a turning point in human history where people were seen to have Divine unalienable rights which no government upon earth may take away.  As a result, our Constitution was drafted and ratified to ensure that promise, a contract, if you will, between the people and their government.  To allow any portion of that document to be circumvented, obfuscated or declared arcane is to nullify the contract and open the potential for further future abuses.  Through the course of human history the absence of man’s unalienable rights has always led to despotism and tyranny.

I opened the book with quotes from the non-binding Senate Resolution declaring Senator John McCain to be a natural born citizen.  The Senate utilized the argument that John McCain’s parents were United States citizens; therefore, the Senators seemed to place significant importance on parental citizenship.  The fact that no one in the U.S. Senate and no one in the main stream media questioned Barack Obama’s father’s citizenship with relation to Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status is inconceivable to me.  Are we Americans so apathetic, so ignorant of our history and founding that we do not see that this is at the very least a legitimate line of inquiry and should have been discussed as part of our national dialogue during the campaign for the 2008 general election?

Even more egregious, when the U.S. Senate passed a non-binding Senate Resolution which had absolutely no weight and no authority declaring to us that Senator McCain was and is a natural born citizen, I find such a pronouncement jeopardizes our liberty and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.  For me, I cannot reconcile in my mind how the Presidential Candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties whom are both potentially ineligible to hold the Office could place their own personal goals of power above the most sacred document in our land.  Both men knew if he were to win that on a cold day in January he would place his hand on the Bible and swear to defend the Constitution, yet neither man could place that same hand on the Bible and swear before the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court that he was in fact a natural born citizen. 

As I mentioned in the prologue to this book, my degree is in Philosophy with an emphasis in ethics.  For me, there are few things more important than one’s character.  It remains unfathomable to me that a man who showed moral courage and character beyond repute during the Viet Nam war while being held captive for in excess of 5 years would a mere four decades later have lost that moral courage when his character was tested placing his own personal power above his country.  Many of you may feel that I am overreacting, I am sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you.  I believe we see the true character of others when they are faced with moral and ethical dilemmas.  Unfortunately, I saw no character on display by either the Republican or the Democratic candidates in the 2008 Presidential election.

My argument as to why John McCain and Barack Obama are not natural born citizens is a rather simple one:

  1. The sovereignty of our nation is protected in large part by our U.S. Constitution.
  2. In order to protect that sovereignty, our founders provided a provision in the U.S. Constitution to ensure that the highest office of our land could not be influenced by foreigners.
  3. John McCain was potentially a dual citizen at birth:  both a U.S. citizen and a Panamanian citizen.
  4. Barack Obama was a dual citizen at birth:  both a British citizen and a U.S. citizen.
  5. Since both candidates had claims to their citizenship by foreign nations, we cannot guarantee the absence of foreign influence.
  6. Since we cannot guarantee the absence of foreign influence by virtue of their birth rights, then we must conclude that these men are quite possibly not natural born citizens.

When I make the above argument, I am quite cognizant of the fact that many will disagree with my argument, but I am also aware that like myself there is no single person whom can with any authority define the term natural born citizen.  This matter must be legislated either through Amendment or preferably through the courts arising to the level of the United States Supreme Court for a final disposition on the matter.  To do any less is to jeopardize the very protections, liberty and freedoms all Americans enjoy as a result of the United States Constitution.  To do any less is an affront to our founders with profound disrespect for all that they fought for and accomplished on our behalf.

On October 31, 2008, Barack Obama stated in a campaign stump speech:  “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.” [i]  At the time, I wrote a post on this blog asking what he meant.  I concluded that the U.S. Constitution represents the fundamental aspect of our nation.  Regardless of whether Barack Obama won the election or John McCain had won, Mr. Obama’s words would ring true.  If a required provision for the highest office in the land need not be adhered to, then haven’t we in fact fundamentally changed the United States Constitution which may result in transforming America into a country that in the future none of us will recognize?  For as Orwell warned us in his book 1984: “Who controls the past… controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”  In modern day application, if the past is made to be altered by those in the present, what will become of our future?  For our purposes with respect to the natural born citizen issue, if those in the present can change what the meaning of natural born citizen as used in the U.S. Constitution was believed to be in the past what consequence does that have for our Constitution in the future.  Do you wish to live in these Orwellian times? or would you prefer that proper Constitutional provisions and processes are followed?  As such, is it not best (for the future and for future Americans) that we bring this matter to the United States Supreme Court for final resolution?  I answer in the affirmative.

[i] YouTube Video of Obama October 31, 2008 Speech in Missouri — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY

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5 Responses

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  1. The American Revolution never ended.


    October 7, 2009 at 3:21 am

  2. RE: smrstrauss…IMO where you have made the biggest mistake is trying to define this from BLACKSTONE…when the nations founders were using Vattels “Law of Nations”
    as the primary and preferred writings to guide them and to draw definition and clarity from on just these issues..and its clear in Vattels work, NATURAL BORN ..does require born on US soil , of US citizens parents…it was plural, it was precise.I am a native born ARIZONIAN…but a Natural Born Citizen of America.
    You do make one thing perfectly clear…the educational system is not doing it’s proper job in teaching the true scope of the constitution , and the weight of it’s truth and power , and why it must be protected and defended against all enemies , foreign and domestic.
    i wonder if you are familiar with the emergency banking act of 1933, and what that document said. Look it up, and then tell me why we must insist on complete disclosure and discovery of all questions regarding breaking an oath to the constitution.

    maggie passaro

    December 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

  3. [Foreign-born women. whose parents become naturalized after they have reached their majority, are not citizens of the United States. A woman born in the United States1 of foreign parents, regardless of whether either of her parents was naturalized, is a citizen, unless such parents were temporarily in the United States. A woman citizen of the United States who marries an alien thereby forfeits her citizenship, whether such alien is a resident of the United States or not.]


    This was illinois law law in 1916.

    “unless such parents were temporarily in the United States.”

    Obama’s father was not a permanent resident or permanently domiciled in the United States. WKA does not apply to Obama.


    January 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

    • You are correct about your analysis of Obama’s father and the citizenship issue especially with respect to WKA.

      I’m not sure where your other point was going with female citizenship. Barack Obama’s mother was born in the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents. At the time Barack Obama was born and Stanley Anne Dunham married Barack Obama Sr., the citizenship laws did not state that the wife obtained derivative citizenship from her husband. Although that was the law in the past, it was not the law in 1961.

      KJ Kaufman

      January 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

  4. Sorry,
    My point being that the law on the books in Illinois was a direct contradiction to Lynch V Clarke and possibly WKA.

    I say WKA because some beleive that birth on US soil is all that is required for citizenship or Natural Born Citizenship.

    Both of these cases are continuously cited by Obama supporters as proving that he is a natural born citizen.

    1916 il, law
    “A woman born in the United States1 of foreign parents, regardless of whether either of her parents was naturalized, is a citizen, unless such parents were temporarily in the United States.”

    Parents, which I take to mean both. And I guess at that time,the mother would take the nationality of the father.

    In Lynch v Clarke 1 Sand Ch R 583
    the question was precisely as here whether a child born in the city of New York of alien parents during their temporary sojourn there was a native born citizen or an alien and the conclusion was that being born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States he was a native born citizen whatever was the situation of the parents at the time of the birth. That case, if law, would seem to be decisive of the present question. But admitting the plaintiff to be an alien the cases already cited show that the terms heirs or assigns in the 9th article of the treaty is not to be confined to the immediate descendants but is to be extended indefinitely till the title comes to a citizen.


    January 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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