In order to understand the controversy regarding Presidential eligibility, Americans must first disabuse themselves of the notions that politicians obey the law and journalists tell the truth. As a class, neither is driven by service to the nation, but by political expediency to protect and enhance their own financial interests.
Although politicians and journalists would have you think otherwise, the laws defining Presidential eligibility are unambiguous.
In addition to being over the age of thirty-five and a resident of the United States for fourteen years, Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution requires that the President be a natural born citizen.
The term “natural born citizen” was well-known during the time of the writing of the Constitution from Vattel’s “Law of Nations” (1758), which stated “natural-born citizens are those born in a country of citizen parents” (Volume 1, Chapter 19, Section 212).
Subsequently, the binding Supreme Court precedent Minor vs. Happersett (1875) defined a natural born citizen as a US citizen born to two US citizen parents at the time of birth.
According to that definition, Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum are ineligible to be President. None of them fulfill the requirement of natural born citizenship because at least one parent was not a US citizen at the time of their births.
Why is there a controversy? Because, I repeat, politicians and journalists are driven by political expediency in order to protect and enhance their own financial interests.
Lewis H. Lapham (“A Wish for Kings”) accurately described how the US Government operates:
“The politicians dress up the deals in the language of law or policy, but they’re in the business of brokering the tax revenue, and what keeps them in office is not their talent for oratory but their skill at redistributing the national income in a way that rewards their clients, patrons, friends and campaign contributors.”
That is, our permanent political class and the symbiotic media, who feed off the system, are the beneficiaries of an extortion racket, which remains in business only through a continuous flow of taxpayer dollars and a burgeoning debt.
Not unlike common criminals, politicians do not wish to be constrained by the rule of law, particularly the Constitution, which inhibits their political maneuverability and desire for an ever-expanding central government.
The censorship and disinformation campaign about Obama’s ineligibility began in February 2008, about the time he started to overtake Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Presidential primary.
In a classical political diversion, Obama supporters fabricated a controversy that questioned the eligibility of Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The basis of their challenge was that McCain was born in a Panamanian hospital while his U.S. Navy officer father and his U.S. citizen mother were serving at a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone.
The fake McCain controversy was settled in April 2008 through Senate Resolution 511, which, in essence, was a political deal struck between the Democrats and Republicans that provided validation for McCain and, hopefully from the Democratic standpoint, cover for Obama on the issue of eligibility.
SR 511, a non-binding resolution with an unrecorded vote, had no force of law, but by passing it Congress created the conditions whereby the Constitution could be amended de facto through a back-room political pact.
Republican involvement in SR 511 and the fear of being branded a “racist” by the liberal media prevented any meaningful vetting of candidate Obama after he secured the Democratic Presidential nomination in June 2008.
Complicit with the Democrats in violating the Constitution, the Republicans joined them in a deliberate campaign of disinformation to hide the truth about Obama and the natural born requirement; an effort that continues to this day.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties know that exposing Obama now would reveal their dereliction of duty, their collusion to undermine the Constitution and their uninterrupted flouting of the rule of law. They all know that the truth would upend the status quo and terminate their exclusive grip on political power, allowing the American people to regain control of their government; an outcome that they will go to any length to prevent.
The partisan and dishonest liberal media will continue to attack Ted Cruz and shield Barack Obama. The cowardly Republicans and conservative pundits will remain silent to protect their financial stake in a corrupt political system.
As a consequence, the country will be lesser for it.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.