Jewish World Review April 25, 2011 / 21 Nissan, 5771
Wake up, conservatives; Obama was born here
By Betsy Hart
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once again, mainly in response to The Donald's foray into presidential politics, my email box has been filled with Barack Obama conspiracy theories. The most front and center, of course, is that the president is not a natural-born citizen. Thereby, I suppose, nullifying his presidency.
Now in this space I'm not offering a political treatise as much as I am a call for responsible citizenship. I've been talking about this with my children a good deal lately, partly because we know folks who are, to different extents, caught up in this specious quest.
Thankfully, several conservatives and others have answered well the facts of the matter here -- i.e., even if it could be somehow shown, despite all evidence to the contrary, including a valid certificate of live birth, that he wasn't born in Hawaii or anywhere else in the U.S., Obama's birth to an American mother made him a citizen the moment he was born. A "natural-born" citizen if ever there was one. And that's regardless of his father's or stepfather's citizenship, a later adoption or anything else. Just looking at case law and legal precedent, it's clear that a court battle on this issue would get nowhere at best, and so then to what end pursue it?
To cynically tear down the legitimacy of a duly elected president. And that makes it a wholly irresponsible course.
Here's why I know these attacks are for the most part cynical: because it's clear that so many of the folks demanding more "proof of citizenship" for Obama would be profoundly disappointed if an original Hawaii birth certificate were produced. Actually, I fear many would determine it to be a fraud, no matter the facts otherwise.
Instead, conservatives and Republicans across the board should be the first to want to establish and encourage the legitimacy of our government when it is, in fact, legitimate. Obama was freely and fairly elected president of the United States. We must respect that, and call on others to honor it, no matter how much we would like the election to have gone differently.
Can anyone imagine Ronald Reagan getting hung up on demonstrably baseless arguments about a political opponent's citizenship?
There is so much else on which to challenge Obama.
Look, I agree that Obama is far more left-wing than I had guessed he could be; I find his policy agenda, and even his view of America's place in the world, to be destructive; I'm angry that during the presidential contest of 2008 John McCain refused to make Obama's associations with terrorist Bill Ayers and race baiter Jeremiah Wright an issue. And yes, I very much want to see him leave office in 2013.
I even agree that the left is more likely to demean the public debate than is the right. Yet, typically, only the latter is held accountable by the media for such things.
All true, but so what? As conservatives, we have the responsibility to fight vigorously, to oppose the president on the merits -- in my view, to work hard to unseat him. But to fight on legitimate turf. That's the essence of preserving our democracy.
Conservatives rightly took on the left for its seething, unending rage against George W. Bush during his presidency. But now, too many on the right are doing something similar when it comes to Obama. We should know better. If we don't defend and respect the legitimacy of our duly elected government and our president, we only make it easier for others to irresponsibly tear down those we want to see in office.
Wake up! I, for one, don't want my children to reap what too many on the right are sowing on this issue.
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