Natural Born Citizens

By: Nancy Salvato

This is a commentary in response to James Taranto’s recent column in which he takes yet another opportunity to use his bully pulpit to jab at the vast numbers of people who take painstakingly seriously the idea that no person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to hold the office of President.

I used to enjoy reading James Taranto. I used to appreciate his sarcasm and wit. Not so much anymore.

Taranto writes,

“You might have heard of Hawaii, a southern North Pacific archipelago that almost half a century ago became America’s 50th state. It’s known for pineapples, palm trees and tropical weather, and while it’s said to be a lovely place to visit, hardly anyone goes there because it’s so expensive and far away–over 10 hours by plane from New York, and getting there by car literally takes forever.

It’s also the birthplace of President Obama, which has led to some confusion, with various conspiracy nuts, unaware of Hawaii’s statehood, insisting that he’s not a natural-born citizen. But for those who are in the know, Obama’s Hawaiian origins have been very helpful to the state:

Now with the administration of President Obama, who spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, there is a renewed interest for tourists to visit, travel experts say. Obama never ceases to amaze us. If we had told you just a few years ago that Hawaii would one day become a tourist attraction, would you have believed us in a million years?”

I’m starting to find it incredibly annoying that Taranto refers to himself as “us”. Worse, it’s his attitude that he knows more than the rest of “us” and that those of “us” who want to see our 44th President produce a legitimate birth certificate are right wing nuts. Admittedly, I’ve found myself accused of being a right wing nut in the “blogs” but anyone who reads me regularly would be hard pressed to find my work to be anything but “researched opinion.” Furthermore, I usually rely on respected sources, not blogs, so I never gave the accusation more than a passing thought.

According to Title 8 of the U.S. Code, “citizens of the United States at birth” include:

â–ª Anyone born inside the United States, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States

â–ª Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.

â–ª Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national

â–ª Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year

â–ª Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

This is not an exhaustive list of the variety of ways one may fit into the category of natural born citizen, but one may conclude that there is every opportunity to ensure that if a child could remotely be considered as somehow affiliated with this country despite circumstances at birth, the child will be given that opportunity. The law was obviously written so as not to deny anyone what might be considered a natural birthright.

What perturbs the rest of “us” is that President Obama has failed to produce a legitimate birth certificate. He has a team of lawyers who are opposing the examination of his sealed records in Hawaii. What he produced was a certificate of live birth (which some believe to be altered) not a birth certificate. The rest of “us” are appalled at the lack of media examination surrounding the fact that there is no law requiring that a candidate for the highest office in our land produce an authentic birth certificate which proves natural citizenship.

Anyone who is concerned about this issue and wants to pass legislation requiring that future candidates for the office of President be required to prove their US citizenship, need only go to and be part of the solution. Jibes such as Taranto’s should not pass as journalism and should not warrant “our” attention. But sometimes “we” must stand up for what is right.

Nancy Salvato is the President and Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country, specifically the threats of aggressive Islamofascism and the American Fifth Column. She serves as a Senior Editor for The New Media Journal. She received her BA in history from Loyola University and her Early Childhood Education from National-Louis University. She is certified to teach in grades K-9 and 6-12 and as a teacher has worked with students in preschool, 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th grades. She has also worked as an adjunct instructor at the graduate school level. She continues to augment her education and areas of expertise by taking college courses and participating in a variety of workshops. She currently earns her living as the VP of Compliance and Program Expansion at a graduate school of education.

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