I am running for President of the United States because, in the spirit of the Manifesto of Radical Democracy, I believe I can do as good a job as any of them, but primarily because I want to prove that as a naturalized citizen, older than 35 and a resident for more than 14 years, I am eligible according to the clear language of the Constitution.
It is amazing how in the course of the last two centuries America has accomplished a de facto Constitutional Amendment, excision of a whole phrase, without changing a word in the text of the presidential eligibility clause, Paragraph 5, Section 1, Article 2: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
The clause has three elements: nationality, age, and residency. The nationality phrase, actually twin phrases, lists two types, Citizen 1, natural born, and Citizen 2, naturalized. It is immediately clear that had it not been for the conjunction of Citizen 2, there would have been no Republic: Citizen 1, 11 years old at most, would have been disqualified by the double whammy of age and residency, leaving no one standing in the field to go on and assume the all-important role of President as commander of the army and defender of the infant nation.
To the rescue came Citizen 2, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, et al., in fact, anybody older than 11 who, born prior to 1776, were not natural born and had to be naturalized by swearing allegiance to the new Republic. Though mentioned after Citizen 1, Citizen 2 was not any less than Citizen 1. On the contrary, Citizen 1 revered Citizen 2, his parents, treasuring naturalization, their enabler and legitimizer.
Though designed for all time to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” the Constitution is a human artifact, bound by time and space. After prevailing from 9-17-1787 to perhaps the early decades of the 19th century the happy conjunction of Citizen 1 and Citizen 2 gave way to different social dynamics. Citizen 2 died off without succession by his biological children, who, automatically swelling the ranks of Citizen 1, chose not to honor the spiritual and legal heirs of Citizen 2, ignoring the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868: “All persons born or naturalized… are citizens of the United States.” Despising the latter-day Citizen 2, “the wretched refuse from the teeming foreign shores,” in spite of their own ancestors, just as wretched refuse only a short while before, Citizen 1 went on to bump Citizen 2 off the eligibility roll. So complete and entrenched is the American belief that only Citizen 1 can be President that in the latest elections the Birthers could focus on the forgery of Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate, the ultimate legal basis of their drive, disenfranchisement of the naturalized, never called into question.
I am propelled to the candidacy by my patriotism for America, the country of my conscious choice, as it was for the founding fathers, the original Citizen 2, not something dropped in my lap by biological accident, though I certainly do not demean it. My children and grandchildren have all been born here and I take genuine pride in their birthright. I expect my candidacy to outrage many good Americans, not to mention the Birthers, who have taken natural birth of any Presidential candidate for granted. I want to remind them that as Big Brother to the whole world the United States is duty bound to throw off its North American blinders, obsessions, and truly globalize in perspective and sensitivity.
Against the Birthers I will argue before the Supreme Court, before the American public:
I. The de facto Constitutional Amendment of the eligibility clause should be stopped forthwith and Citizen 2 restored to his rightful place, as the conjunction of Citizens 1 and 2 is as vital now as in 1787, committed as we are to the cause of Americanizing the world with the founding ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and defending it against ignorance, greed, and terror.
2. The natural-born requirement for the President, head of the executive branch, violates the equality of the three branches of government, as currently there is no such requirement for the Speaker of the House or the Chief Justice.
3. Americans may set aside any concern about the loyalty of a foreign-born President. The traitors that have done most harm to the United States have all been natural born, like John Walker and Edward Snowden, not naturalized. Besides the modern day US President, the most protected but also the most watched, cannot really sell out the country that easily, as perhaps George Washington could have done by a secret deal with Britain.
4. Finally, in the hypothetical case of our country going to war against Korea, will I be able to shoot at my own countrymen? Yes. I went through the Korean War where Koreans killed Koreans, though they looked the same, spoke the same language. So did Americans during the Civil War. Once the line is drawn, you shoot at the enemy or get shot at.