The Nature of Citizenship

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the Constitution’s requirement that a U.S. president be a “natural born citizen.” This conversation is nothing new. The most prominent target in recent years has been Barack Obama. The latest variant of the topic centers around Ted Cruz. He has faced this before, even prior to his presidential campaign. The issue had receded, however, until other candidates found it convenient as a tool to halt his recent rise in the polls.

One can see the appeal of this “natural born citizen” line of attack. Most importantly, the attack takes out an opponent without ever having to win on any substantive political issues. You win by simply disqualifying the opponent. Who wouldn’t love to just be ushered into a nomination, or better yet, into the Oval Office itself simply because your opponent is disqualified from the contest? (What an especially convenient attack for those low on substance.) The other appeal is that this strategic victory can be achieved while claiming the ultimate mantle of the American political experience: Constitutional Defender. The attacker can righteously proclaim that they are upholding the intent of the Founders, and thus, the liberties that the Founders intended to protect through the Constitution. (Yet, it is ironic that the “natural born citizen” qualification so often is a line of attack utilized by those that show little genuine respect for or knowledge of the Constitution and little inclination to defend it.)

As a basic qualification for the presidency, the answer to the question of whether a candidate is a “natural born citizen” is essential. The great problem with this line of attack is that it has been used in circumstances in which it is utter nonsense. I can see the intellectual temptation of wanting to apply the interpretation of “natural born citizen” at the time of founding to today. The problem is that you are trying to attach an old definition to a type of classification (citizenship, and specifically “natural born citizen”) that has steadily changed throughout the years, with the general trend toward expansion of its scope. The term “natural born citizen,” then as now, refers to people that became citizens simply by the nature of their births. Confusion comes in because those to which that designation applies can and has changed by legislation from Congress.

Some people desperately persist, however, by questioning how it could be that we let Congress change the definition of “natural born citizen” when we would not accept them changing the definition of freedom of speech or religion, the right of assembly, or to keep and bear arms. Well, quite simply, Congress was granted explicit authority to regulate citizenship, which has always included the authority to legislate those that are naturalized citizens at birth, but Congress was NOT granted ANY such authority in relation to the other rights. There was no restriction placed on those that Congress could grant naturalization at birth. Thus, people every day are considered natural born citizens because the facts of their births, and nothing else, made them citizens. This was the case for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, every other current candidate in the presidential race, and even current President Barack Obama.

A simple comparison of the basic characteristics of the various rights discussed in the Constitution reveals a fundamental distinction: some are natural rights while one is civil. Rights to speech, religion, assembly, self-protection, these are rights that you have because of the fact of your existence without depending on the existence of a government. If you were born in the middle of nowhere without any civil codes, you would have those rights because they are natural rights. You naturally have rights to protect yourself, believe what you want, say what you want, and gather with whomever you want wherever you want, assuming, of course, that you are not intruding on the personal space, safety, etc. of others. Now, at some point you might meet up with others, exercise your respective rights of assembly, and declare one to another that you respect each other’s rights so as to keep the peace between you. You might then organize a government to ensure that all parties actually respect those rights. The processes by which this government is created and acts in turn create all sorts of civil rights.

We are fortunate to have such a government that was established through our Constitution. However, that document did not create our natural rights; it simply laid out an agreement for their universal protection. Citizenship, however, was a right that the Congress was given explicit permission to legislate since citizenship is not a right that you would be born into if you were born in a place without civil codes. Citizenship is not a natural right; it is, in fact, the first CIVIL right. It is granted to you by the agreement that you reach with those that you encounter in the wilderness. Citizenship is your membership to the club, and the qualifications of that membership are defined by the club. Therefore, it is obvious that the government has the right and responsibility to decide who is a member by birth and who is not.

Ted Cruz is a member in longstanding since he was a member from the very second of his birth. Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can discuss the real substantive challenges this nation faces, such as intrusions on our natural and civil rights, the economy, terrorism, and energy independence, just to name a few. Why are The Donald and his lemmings ducking and weaving? You gotta wonder, or isn’t it obvious?

The Sad State of Things

It’s sad that so many people in this country and the world believe that the government should be the primary determinant in their lives.  It is very telling that Obama was endorsed by Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, the Castro brothers, the Communist Party USA, and leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.  After all, it is only natural that tyrants would want support from one another in their efforts to roll back the democratizations the world has seen in the past two decades.

I hope that more Americans question their reliance on government in moments such as when they are filling out their health information forms that must be submitted under ObamaCare to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2014.  Do Obama voters honestly believe that it is a good idea that the IRS is the primary enforcer for America’s health insurance regulations?  Do Obama voters have even the remotest clue that many, many employers across the country will be forced to postpone hiring plans, cut back many of their employees to part-time status, or actually fire workers all to avoid cost burdens of ObamaCare?  Sadly, I do not think that most Obama voters realize any of this because they seem to buy into misleading political slogans without having a clue of how the world actually works.

Nothing is free.  Benefits paid for or mandated by the government are ultimately paid for by somebody, and many times, by everyone.  We pay for them in higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, and lost employment opportunities.  And, contrary to what many who cannot do math believe, higher taxes on the rich would not be sufficient to cover the bills.

As the paraphrased saying goes, “A government large enough to provide all your needs is big enough to take them away.”  It is not just bad luck that has caused Europe to be in constant debt turmoil, it is a direct result of governments that are way too large, suck way too much money out of the economy, and are way too involved in their people’s lives.  We will only have limited chances in the coming few years to avoid this ditch.

The really said thing is that all of this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of bloated, corrupt government that has no respect for individual rights, only collective ones.  I hope that this ship can be turned around before it’s too late.

The Communist by Paul Kengor

I want to share with you information about a new book, The Communist:  Frank Marshall Davis:  The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor, by Paul Kengor.  I heard Paul Kengor interviewed on the Glen Beck radio show, and I am buying this book.  President Obama may or may not ascribe to all of the views of his mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, but it is disturbing to see how many of the ideas of Davis have slipped into Obama’s agenda and rhetoric.

Learn about the new book The Communist:  Frank Marshall Davis:  The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor by Paul Kengor that is described here on The Blaze website.

You can buy the book from The Blaze, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

Barack Obama mentioned “Frank” many times in his own book, Dreams from My Father.  It is interesting that he chose not to ever mention his last name.  I think that we all should look for the answers to why.

Thanks for Supporting the Effort

Thank you so much for the comments of support that this effort has received so far.  I really do hope that you will share this website and overall effort with others so join together to pledge to restore freedom.  We need to use this time now to recruit as many voters against President Obama and any collectivists in Congress.  Our time is short.

Why All the Fuss?

A lot of people may be asking, “Why did you do a new version of the Declaration of Independence to protest President Obama, and why make a website about it?”  To many of you, the answers are obvious.  Others of you, however, may think that the complaints that I have listed are just rehash of the complaints of many others or that a new Declaration is over the top.

Many people feel exactly the same way as I do about the disaster that is the Obama Presidency.  I mean, I am not the first to list complaints against the President and his political allies.  Many conservative political commentators and average citizens have made their complaints known about President Obama.  Additionally, I am not even the first to do a Declaration of Independence from President Obama, from collectivism/liberalism, or both.

I have written this Declaration of Independence from President Obama (and collectivism) and designed this website to make the new Declaration a plan of mutual action.  That is exactly what the original Declaration was.  The original signers committed the thirteen colonies to a conflict with Great Britain that would open the world to freedom.  The ending summed it up:  “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  Today we must not rehash, but we must specifically lay out our grievances with President Obama and pledge ourselves to action to redress them.

To those that think that a new Declaration of Independence is over the top, perhaps a bit dramatic, I say simply that the problems in our nation have reached crisis levels equal to the task of dismantling our national covenants.  If you do not feel the same, I urge you to read through our Declaration of Independence from 1776 and then read through our Constitution (including all amendments) that established our governmental framework.  After you have read through those documents, think about your own life with the freedoms that you enjoy and the dreams that you expect to fulfill.  Then in this context, think about the policies of President Obama and his political allies and whether those policies promote individual aspirations or rather enlist individuals in fulfilling the aspirations of the government.  Consider also whether their policies honor your civil rights as innate to your being or whether their policies enforce the idea that you only have those rights that the state chooses to grant.  If you do that, I believe that you will conclude with me that all the freedoms that we take for granted are in jeopardy.

Finally, I do not believe that holding up our nation’s political leaders to a comparison with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is ever over the top.  We and they should constantly be mindful of the ideals those documents espouse and the governmental limitations and structures that were put into place to achieve them.  When our leaders do not live up to the standards of those national covenants, it is our right and responsibility to vote them out of office.  There is nothing over the top in that.

So, please consider joining me and making the pledge to vote out President Obama and collectivism on November 6.  Together we can preserve the rule of law and keep our nation free.


The Beginning

Well, I have finally gotten my website up.  I was hoping to get it going right after July Fourth, but it is almost two weeks later and just getting going.  It has been quite an education for me and my wife, Melissa, about setting up a website.  She did all of the graphics and layout work and offered suggestions on my text.  The site is not complete, but the heart of it is there, and this is, of course, an ongoing conversation about defending our liberty.  I thank Melissa so much for her work, love, and support.  There is no way that I could do this without her.