As if the existence of a “paranoid style” in American politics required any further proof, the birther movement refuses to die. It’s adherents claim, contrary to all available facts, that Barack Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen and is therefore ineligible to serve as President. Like all good conspiracy theories, it will never completely go away no matter how much evidence there is to disprove it. Ignorance and hatred are powerful things and the American right-wing has a shortage of neither.
Aside from the fact that the birther movement appears to be little more than another in a long series of attempts by the right-wing to delegitimize their opposition rather than engage with it, there is amidst all of this sound and fury, an important question that has yet to be thoroughly explored: what if the birthers are right? What if Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii? I have read speculation ranging from the idea that it would actually make Obama a British subject to the constitutionally unsound notion that he would be designated as ineligible and that therefore John McCain would be President.
I believe the answer is quite simple and that it is not one the birthers will like: even if Obama really was born in Kenya, he would still be a U.S. citizen. That’s right, being born in Kenya would not disqualify Obama from being President.
Think about it. John McCain was born in Panama, but no one seriously question his citizenship. Why is that? Is it a simple case of racism and double standards? No. John McCain is a citizen because his parents were citizens. The children of U.S. citizens born overseas are U.S. citizens.
But wait, you say, Obama’s father was Kenyan. Fair enough, but it doesn’t matter, Obama still meets the criteria.
- His mother was a U.S. citizen;
- She lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years before he was born; and
- A minimum of 5 of those 10 years were after her 14th birthday.
Case closed. Not only are the birthers idiots, they’re wasting their time. Even if they could somehow prove their conspiratorial fantasies, they would STILL LOSE. What morons.