Friday, May 02, 2008

is john mccain a real american?

I was wondering when the legal and constitutional status of John McCain would become a news item. Now it has, with the Senate passing a resolution that it believes McCain, born in the Canal Zone (in Panama) to two American citizen parents, is a "natural born" American and therefore eligible to be President.

I agree with the Senate, as do many legal scholars. I don't like McCain, but the fact that he was born outside of the United States doesn't change the fact that he is a natural born citizen - the fact that his qualification as an American citizen was based on who his parents were rather than the accident of where he was born does NOT change that fact.

But I think we should go further. The restriction against non-natural born citizens assuming the Presidency is archaic. The Founding Fathers inserted it to prevent some sort of puppet being installed by a European power - as happened in Mexico, for example, during the US Civil War, when France installed an Austrian as an emperor (and puppet of France) for Mexico.

But that was then. No country is going to be able to impose a President on the US. So why have this ONE limitation that precludes naturalized citizens from having full rights of an American citizen? I probably wouldn't vote for him, but Arnold Schwarzenegger SHOULD be allowed to run for President if he wants. Likewise Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, born in Canada but living in the US since she was a small girl.

Come on, Congress and the states. Let's pass a Full Citizenship Amendment to let any talented naturalized American seek the highest office in the country.

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