Reading over some new material on citizenship from early in our country’s history, I was suddenly struck by the thought: John McCain probably isn’t a natural born citizen of the United States. If we were talking about President McCain today instead Obama, how would the story be different?
The historical fact is that McCain was nominated by the Republican Party to run for president, and that he was on the ballot in all 50 states. A lawsuit was filed, Hollander v. McCain, that challenged his eligibility, a lawsuit that was dismissed. We can reasonably presume that the lawsuits against Obama, had they been filed against McCain would have been similarly dismissed for the same reasons, reasons that are not tied to the truth or falsehood of his eligibility.
McCain’s (and Obama’s) eligibility was not a significant factor in the election. Given that the Senate had already unanimously declared John McCain a natural born citizen in Senate Resolution 511, it hardly seems credible that any Senator would have objected to the certification of his election and an objection must be raised by one Senator and one House member before an objection is recognized. There were articles written by law professors challenging McCain’s eligibility, but I don’t see a mechanism by which the process would have run any differently than it did.
So how bad would it be it if someone like John McCain became President? The Framers of the Constitution were concerned about the president being a foreigner. John McCain is not, by any stretch of mind, a foreigner. Even if he weren’t a US Citizen at birth (a distinct possibility), it wouldn’t seem to be that big factor in self image or in his national identity.
Some call the Constitution a living document meaning that it has to change as our culture changes. There are some who reject the living document approach and insist on original intent. I guess I have a little appreciation for both of them.
I tell you, if McCain had been elected, I might be displeased, but there would be no Dr. Conspiracy and I wouldn’t be running around thinking I was the one ordained by Providence to bring him down. I wouldn’t be playing dress-up as a grand juror, and I wouldn’t waste time running a web site, or hounding the web sites of others demanding they accept my version of the truth. I’d be thinking about the next election, and hoping the current president does better for us than we deserved.