As the Founding Fathers met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1778, producing word-for- word the greatest governing document in all of recorded history, they were haunted by a number of major concerns. Among their most critical concerns was the long term sustainability of the constitutional republic they were creating. How could they prevent it from being subverted?
General George Washington, president of the Constitutional Convention, read a July 25, 1787 letter from John Jay, a member of the Continental Congress, who would later become the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It was just five years and eleven months since Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown and Jay was concerned that the administration of our federal government might one day fall into the hands of a man who might find it difficult… because of divided loyalties… to always do what was in the best interests of the country. He was especially concerned over what might happen if command of our Army and Navy should ever fall into the hands of such a man.
In his letter, Jay wrote:
“Permit me to hint whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government; and to declare expressly that the commander-in-chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen (emphasis added).”
In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton expressed the widely-held concern of foreign influence in the affairs of government. He wrote:
“These most deadly adversaries of republican government (cabal, intrigue, etc.) might actually have expected to make their approach from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this than by raising a creature of their own to the Chief Magistracy of the Union?”
Taking into account the concerns expressed by Jay and Madison, it is easy to understand why the Founders produced a constitution under which only two of the 145,400,000 jobs in the United States… public sector and private sector combined… require the incumbents to be “natural born” citizens. Those two jobs are president and vice president of the United States. So, precisely what was it that the Founders found so worrisome about future presidents… so worrisome that they placed such tight restrictions on access to the position?
The Founders rightly understood that the most influential factor in a child’s upbringing is the parenting he/she receives as a child, and that the fundamental cultural, philosophical, political, and religious influence of a child’s parents establishes the direction of his/her future conduct. Accordingly, what the Founders feared most was the danger that a future president… during his formative years and during the years in which he was developing intellectually… would be exposed to an environment in which he would come to reject the values and the principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Although they were not alive to see it, their worst fears were realized in 2009 when Barack Hussein Obama occupied the White House.
Obama’s mother was a citizen of the United States. However, under the tutelage of her liberal Democrat parents she grew up to be a radical leftist, while his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was a devout Kenyan-born socialist. Obama spent most of his formative years as a citizen of Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation on Earth, where his name was changed to Barry Soetoro and his school records list his religious preference as Islamic. Then, upon returning to Hawaii at age 10, he was mentored during his teen years by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, Frank Marshall Davis. It was not the sort of environment conducive to the political and intellectual development of a man who would one day follow in the footsteps of patriots such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan.
Obama went into office promising the most transparent administration in history, and that he would bring an end to the revolving door of lobbyists moving into and out of the White House. Instead, the revolving door at the White House has been set spinning with lobbyists coming and going, while even the most liberal media outlets insist that his is the least transparent, the least responsive, and the most secretive administration in history.
He went into office promising to depolarize American politics and government and to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans. Instead, he pokes his thumb into the eyes of Republicans at every opportunity, and what has always been a healthy mistrust between the major parties now approaches bitter animosity.
He went into office promising to reduce unemployment and to spur economic growth. Instead, he has steadily shrunk the size of the U.S. workforce, increased the ranks of the unemployed, and, with little understanding how the U.S. economy works, stymied economic growth.
He promised to provide healthcare insurance for some 30 million uninsured, while improving the quality of healthcare and reducing the cost of healthcare for everyone… and all of that without increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Instead, many workers have lost their insurance, doctors are giving up their practices, and employers are reducing the working hours of employees so as to avoid paying the burgeoning cost of healthcare benefits.
He went into office promising to close the budget deficit and reduce the national debt. Instead, in the six years he’s been in office, he has not produced a single balanced budget and the national debt has increased from $9 trillion to $18 trillion… more than all previous presidents combined.
He went into office promising to reduce poverty and to shrink the income disparity between the rich and the poor. Instead, the number of Americans living below the poverty line has gradually increased, nearly 50 million Americans are on food stamps, and the wage gap between the rich and the poor has steadily widened.
He went into office promising to heal the scars of racism and to bring our people together. Instead, he has played the race card at every opportunity and race relations are now more tenuous than at any time in the past one-hundred years.
He went into office promising to solve the illegal immigration problem by first securing our borders. Instead, millions upon millions of illegals from Mexico and Central America stream across our borders, while he uses every conceivable device to insure that the invaders can stay in the U.S. and that they will one day become reliable Democratic voters.
He went into office promising to improve relations with the Russians; to bring peace to the Middle East; to draw “red lines” in Libya and Syria that radical Islamists would not dare cross; to promote friendship and cooperation throughout the Arab world; and to heal any rifts that may have developed between us and our allies. Instead, relations between the U.S. and Russia are at an all-time low; every nation in the Middle East is either at war or about to be at war; “red lines” were crossed but Obama failed to respond as threatened; our enemies throughout the Middle East are emboldened; the most dangerous purveyor of state-sponsored terror is just weeks or months away from having a nuclear weapon; our Arab allies no longer trust us; and our long-time allies in Israel and in Europe must now face a dangerous world without our leadership.
In short, Barack Obama is precisely what the Founders feared most when they wrote Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, limiting access to the presidency only to those who are natural born citizens. In just six short years, Obama has become the “poster boy” for national suicide.
Unfortunately, the intellectually lazy in both major parties, representing the entire ideological spectrum from left to right, have failed to satisfy themselves of Obama’s eligibility. Those on the left were so anxious to recapture the White House, especially with a young attractive black man as their standard bearer, that they paid no attention whatsoever to warnings that he was lacking in qualifications. While on the right, it is all but impossible to find a conservative commentator or a political leader with the courage to challenge the bona fides of a black Democrat… horrified at the prospect of having to defend themselves against charges of racism.
Hence, what they have done is to create a de facto amendment to the U.S. Constitution without going to the trouble of consulting the provisions of Article 1, Section 3; Article II, Section 1; or Article V of the Constitution.
Now, because of the duplicity of the left and the cowardice of the right, we are confronted with a potential constitutional crisis involving the candidacies of Senator Ted Cruz (D-TX), Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)… all prominently mentioned as potential presidential nominees in 2016, but none of whom are eligible for that office because they fail to meet the “natural born” requirement of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.
Will Democrats, knowing that they supported and elected a usurper in 2008 and again in 2012, allow Republicans to do the same in 2016? Are we to simply accept that two wrongs make a right? Anyone who believes that Democrats are not so duplicitous as to glorify Obama’s illegal presidency while crucifying a Republican candidate guilty of the same offense, simply does not know Democrats. Some liberals and Democrats are already clamoring for Ted Cruz’s long form birth certificate. The wisest course would be for Cruz, Jindal, and Rubio to do what is best for their party and their country by removing themselves from consideration.
The worst fears of the Founders have been realized in Barack Obama. Republicans should not repeat the outrage.