“WE THE PEOPLE” MUST QUALIFY CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 1, 2019) — Shortly after the opening of Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered” at 12:00 EDT on Wednesday, Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov, in a vehement repudiation of Donald Trump’s recent remarks about the city of Baltimore and its elected congressman, Elijah Cummings, declared, “A ‘birther’ means that you are a racist.”
Tarlov was referring to Trump’s public questioning in 2011 of Barack Hussein Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president and commander-in-chief amid credible reports that he was born in Indonesia or Kenya and not Hawaii, as Obama has claimed.
Trump’s strident calls for the White House to release Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate to ostensibly prove his eligibility led to the release of an image on April 27, 2011 which a 5+-year criminal investigation declared to be fraudulent in early 2012. From there, the investigation concluded that nine or more items were electronically lifted from an authentic Hawaii birth certificate and replicated onto a computer-generated template and the finished product presented to the American people “with the intent to deceive.”
The mainstream media and Obama sycophants coined the term “birther” as a pejorative to single out anyone questioning Obama’s life narrative or constitutional eligibility given the numerous conflicting reports as to his birthplace, when he lived in Indonesia, and why no paper documentation as to his origins appears to exist.
In addition to the long-form birth certificate image, the lead investigator on the case, Mike Zullo, found early on that Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form is also a forgery. Curiously, the Selective Service System (SSS) director, Obama appointee Lawrence Romo, appeared unconcerned at investigators’ conclusions and declined to allow Zullo and then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio to inspect the original or a certified copy at SSS headquarters.
The forgery of government documents is not a “racist” issue, but rather, a federal felony.
Tarlov’s conclusion is intellectually dishonest. It is not “racist” to question any candidate’s eligibility for the office he or she seeks. Since at least 1916, presidential eligibility has been a subject of public discourse, as it was in the case of Charles Evans Hughes, who was born in the United States to British-citizen parents and challenged Woodrow Wilson that year.
Was Breckinridge Long, a white man, motivated by “racism” when he questioned the eligibility of Hughes, another white man? Nearly a century later in 2008, was Jonathan Turley “racist” when he wrote an essay probing whether or not Arizona Sen. John McCain was eligible to the presidency due to his birth in Panama? Absolutely not.
Presidential eligibility is disassociated from race, gender, ethnicity, creed, religious beliefs, and any other personal identifier. It concerns only the requirements set forth in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
Questioning a candidate’s eligibility is not racist; rather, it is what all concerned citizens should do, from considering who should serve as members of a city Council, mayor, state legislator, governor, Congressman, U.S. Senator, and the president. Those elected to government must qualify for the positions they seek in respect of ordinances, state statutes, and federal law. Political parties have refused to vet candidates, but it was always the citizens’ responsibility to hold their government accountable.
Just as we want only U.S. citizens to vote in our elections, so should we also demand that all candidates for office meet the constitutional qualifications for service, which are few but hard-and-fast. In the case of the president, at least one candidate was disqualified for being under the required age of 35; others have been stricken from primary ballots for having been born outside of the United States consistent with a basic understanding of the term “natural born Citizen.”
If Obama or anyone else serving as president were born outside of the United States, his or her constitutional eligibility would be in doubt. As Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, his eligibility was openly questioned at The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, and other mainstream outlets. Were those challenging his qualifications labeled “racist?”
If a person is born in the United States to parents who are not U.S. citizens, does that person qualify as a “natural born Citizen” within the framework of the Founders’ intent, as expressed in John Jay’s letter to George Washington on July 25, 1787?
According to the strictest interpretation of “natural born Citizen,” former diplomat Alan Keyes is most likely eligible to serve as president. Conversely, if Andrew Yang’s parents, described as “immigrants” in his Wikipedia biography, were not naturalized at the time of his birth in Schenectady, NY, he is not eligible. Elizabeth Warren is very likely eligible, while Kamala Harris’s eligibility is in serious question despite her birth in Oakland, CA.
Should Kanye West ever choose to seek the presidency, it appears he is eligible. Sen. Mazie Hirono, however, is not, based on her biography. Sen. Tim Scott is likely eligible, while former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a naturalized citizen, is not.
Because the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to address the question, We the People must. Do we want the lowest standard of allegiance in the nation’s chief executive or anyone else serving in public office, or the highest?
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.