Stephen Kahn

What difference does it make?

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Our nation has been obsessed with the birthplace of Barak Obama. Was he actually born in the United States? Various people have jumped on this train–for example–Donald Trump, about whom I would ask: was he actually born in this solar system?

Nonetheless, I fail to understand the point of the concern. If Obama is a bad President, he is a bad President, no matter where he was born. If he is a good President, he is a good President, no matter where he was born.

Perhaps the point is that we worship the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps it was drafted by God and whispered into the ears of the Constitutional Convention by angels. In my superficial opinion, the Constitution is a pretty good document as such documents go, but some of our early ideas–such as slavery of black people and taking of Indians’ land–were rather dubious. As a matter of fact, over the years we have revised the Constitution and have a process for doing so in the Constitution.

Was the requirement that the President be a native-born citizen a good idea at the time? I doubt it. If some scholar can explain it to me, I will read his or her comments with careful attention. If someone will point me to such an explanation, I will be grateful. Regardless, it makes little or no sense today. Instead of fussing about whether Obama was born in Hawaii–a state, incidentally, we stole from its owners–we should just get to work and amend this ridiculous and at best obsolete detritus from a pretty good document.

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