“Natural Born Citizen for Dummies,” correctly identifies its target audience. It says that the historical record shows US Presidents must have citizen parents, and that liberals are using propaganda and legislative tricks to change it. Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite, as has been shown in numerous articles1 and comments here, not to mention in the Press and in the law journals.
The video is slick and obviously designed to instill confidence in the viewer, to make the viewer of a mind to reject out of hand any opposing view as liberal lies. It’s a classic example of the rhetorical fallacy, “poisoning the well.”
Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a logical fallacy where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say.
Comments are closed on the video so that no counterarguments can be attached. Allowing comments would be a problem in this case because it is easy to verify lies in it. So let’s examine it here, where I will make good on my claim that there are 9 lies in the first 45 seconds.
The video says:
For some time now liberals have attempted to eliminate that [natural born citizen] constitutional requirement altogether, seemingly without a care that to do so would actually require a constitutional amendment ratified by at least 38 states. To try to change the Constitution they have made numerous end-runs around it even though it plainly details how those changes are to be made.
From Natural Born Citizen for Dummies video
The opening sentence announces the overall plan: bias the viewer against the historical consensus view by attaching the name “liberal” to it. What follows is a list of past proposed House resolutions and Senate bills that the video describes as liberal attempts to get around the “natural born citizen” requirement of Constitution while avoiding the proper path of constitutional amendment. The video invites the viewer to believe that liberals are going to lie to them, proven by the fact that they have been sneaky in the past with the bills and resolutions listed. The list looks like evidence, but is it? The viewer has to trust the video over what these resolutions and bills are really about and such trust would be misplaced. I suppose 99.9% of the viewers aren’t going to check the details, but I did.
Here’s the list on the video screen while the narrative preceding was spoken.
- 1975 – H.J.R. 33 “Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jonathan B. Bingham (D-NY) with no cosponsors. Given the resolution’s title, it is without a doubt not an example of what the narrative claims it is: an example of liberals trying too make an “end run” around the process of constitutional amendment. The video lies.
- 1977 – H.J.R. 38 Identical to previous. Lie #2.
- 2003 – H.J.R. 59 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States…” It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. The bill was sponsored by Vic Snyder (D -AZ) with 6 cosponsors. Lie #3.
- 2003 – H.J.R. 67 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D – MI). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Lie #4.
- 2004 – S2128 This bill would define “natural born citizen,” a term that is not defined in the Constitution itself. The definition it offers adds eligibility for foreign-born adoptees to the consensus view. The Sponsor is Sen. Don Nickles (R – OK) — a fiscal and social conservative. While some might honestly argue that this is an attempt at an end run around the Constitution, they cannot honestly say that Sen. Nickles is a liberal. Lie #5.
- 2004 – H.J.R. 104 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Republican and global-warming doubter Rohrabacher is no liberal either. Lie #6.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 2 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” Same as 2003 – H.J.R. 67. Lie # 7.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 15 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” Same as 2004 – H.J.R. 104. Li3 # 8.
- 2005 – H.J.R. 42 “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States….” The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D – MI). It’s obviously not an attempt to get around amending the Constitution. Lie #9.
Nine lies in 45 seconds! Stay tuned for more on this nasty piece of work.
1I wrote about another Dean Haskins video on the same subject back in January of 2009.