Birthers Start Up On Ted Cruz: Oh, Please, Just Stop.

The Natural-born-citizen clause as it appeared in 1787 (yes, I took it from Wikipedia!)

The Natural-born-citizen clause as it appeared in 1787 (yes, I took it from Wikipedia!)

Ted Cruz, the junior Senator from Texas, sure has stirred up the pot at times.  He tends towards arrogance and goofiness all in one package, which is quite an accomplishment.  Worse, this guy is talking about running for president.

Okie dokie artichokie.  I think it very unlikely the guy got a shot at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  I mean, really.  I think we’ve had our fill of Texas Republicans sitting in the Oval Office.   At least for a long while.

With a measure of fame, though, comes the inevitable conspiracy theories.  One conspiracy theory states that as Cruz was born in Canada to American parents that he isn’t a “natural born citizen” and therefore unqualified for the presidency.

Ted Cruz is many things.  But one thing is is not is “not American.”

The Purpose of the Constitution’s Natural-Born-Citizen Clause

The natural-born-citizen clause of the Constitution was created with one primary purpose:  In an age of monarchs and aristocrats, its purpose was to prevent a European-born aristocrat from assuming the presidency and transforming it into a hereditary office. At the time, this wasn’t an unfounded concern considering that a couple of decades after the constition was ratified, Napoleon’s brother -a former king!- lived for many years in Philadelphia and New York.

The intent: NO American monarchs.

The Definition of “Natural Born”

The current definition of “natural born” as generally agreed upon comes from the Congressional Research Service (attached): In short a “natural born citizen” is a person born a US citizen, whether or not they are born on US soil.

That is, “natural born” means someone who doesn’t have to go through the process of “naturalization” to become a citizen. Those who don’t have to go through the naturalization process breaks down into two areas:

  • A person born in the USA (regardless if his/her parents are citizens)
  • A person born outside of the USA who has at least one American parent

So, yes, Cruz, because he did not have to go through the naturalization process, is by definition a “natural born” citizen.  His father was a naturalized citizen and his mom was born in Delaware. He can and does claim citizenship from either or both parents.  Because of his American parentage, could have been born on the Moon and he’d still be a natural-born American citizen. Whether or not Cruz was born in Canada, as he had at least one American parent, is not a factor.

Cruz may be arrogant, goofy, and hold some loathsome views, but yeah, he’s a natural born American citizen.  So let’s not waste any more time on such silliness.  That said:

Let’s Get Rid of It!

Frankly, the natural-born-citizen-clause is a hopelessly outdated. There’s no reason, none, that someone who, say, immigrated to the USA as a young child and became a citizen shouldn’t be qualified to be president, especially if said naturalized citizen renounced any and all claims of loyalty to his’ or her’s nation of birth.

There’s little chance of an aristocrat capturing the presidency and hasn’t been in oh, a long while now. All we’re doing is excluding potentially fine people from the office. Let’s get rid of it and rid ourselves of one more outdated rule that conspiracy theorists use to distraction.

Some references:

Probably the definitive document on the definition of “natural born” from the Congressional Research:

A really well written Wikipedia entry on the subject:

Some goofiness from a Clown Who Would Be President (Donald Trump, of course!).  Proof, in a way, that it’s time to take one more weapon away from those who drive us to distraction with idiocy:


About zghortaman
Attempting to navigate the modern day with every tool available

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