No, this isn’t an article about gays in the military. It’s about Obama Conspiracies (duh). The idea came to me, as do all my best ideas, while I was mowing the grass and thinking about the article I was writing about James Buchanan and his father’s citizenship.
The Obama citizenship denialists say that eligible presidential candidates must have two citizen parents. One would think that the eligibility of those who run for president is a fairly basic question. So let’s ask the question about the parent’s citizenship for US presidents going back in time.
The first is George W. Bush. That’s pretty easy. You can go to the Wikipedia and quickly find that George W. Bush’s father is George H. W. Bush who must have been a life-long citizen or else he himself could not have been president. Before that was Bill Clinton, whose father (again the Wikipedia) was born in Sherman Texas. Oops! Clinton was elected 1992, and the Wikipedia wasn’t founded until 2001. Anyone interested in Clinton’s family didn’t have the Wikipedia.
We can scroll back further and come to a time before Al Gore created the Internet and all we had was the books and the media. Now tell me, can you ever recall any time in your life before Obama came on the scene where anybody posed the question, “was this presidential candidate’s father a citizen?”
It’s not an easy question. I have had to do considerable digging to research individual cases, and I used resources on the Internet that would have been beyond the reach of most citizens as recently as 30 years ago. The only way the average citizen could know would be for the media to tell them, and I know of no record where this question was asked or answered by the media. Could it be that no one asked because there never was such a requirement for eligibility? (Of course there isn’t but play along with me.)
One might assume that biographies contained this information, but biographies of presidents are written after they leave office, not before and in any case, you will not find such things in biographies. Chester A. Arthur’s father was not a citizen when Chester was born, and there was no discussion of it in the newspaper. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
Even with all the resources available on the Internet and the public library’s research databases, I’m having a devil of a time finding out the citizenship status of James Buchanan’s father. The citizenship of Vice President Curtis’s mother (an American Indian) is quite ambiguous (Curtis used to say: I’m 1/8th Indian and 100% Republican).
If this had ever mattered, someone would have asked and someone would have told, but they didn’t. It certainly didn’t matter in New York in 1844:
After an exhaustive examination of the law, the vice-chancellor [in Lynch v Clarke (1844)] said that he entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen; and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.
In re Look Tin Sing