Editorial: ‘Birthers show true colors’


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during the 2014 Family Leadership Summit on issues concerning the Affordable Care Act and amnesty granted for children smuggled illegally across U.S. borders. The summit took place Aug. 9 at Stephens Auditorium.

Editorial Board

Ted Cruz became the first politician to officially announce his 2016 presidential candidacy. Cruz made the announcement at Liberty University — a school that banned its College Democrats and all but dragged students to Cruz’s speech — and has been making the rounds on the national talk shows.

Cruz’s announcement of his candidacy was met with some additional controversy, specifically about his citizenship and eligibility to be president. Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father and the Constitution states, “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.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, the question of Cruz’s eligibility comes in the definition of a “natural born” citizen. The Naturalization Act of 1790 added that children of U.S. citizens who were born outside of the United States, should be “considered as” natural-born citizens. But the question lies in whether “considered as” is the same as natural born.

All Constitutional ambiguity aside, the skepticism surrounding Cruz’s eligibility has been mostly dismissed and it seems the political process can continue business as usual, but it should not go unnoticed that the ever present political outrage of the Republican party and right wing media has remained mostly silent — beyond slight skepticism from Donald Trump — on the subject of Cruz’s less-than-all-American origin story.

During President Obama’s two presidential campaigns, questioning Obama’s birthplace was all the rage. The groups who demanded to see Obama’s birth certificate to validate his American birth and citizenship are referred to as “birthers”. Now that we have, in Cruz, an unquestionably foreign born candidate, the birthers will surely rise again, right?

Well, so far the answer is no, they won’t. There is certainly a striking hypocrisy to be seen in the fact that birthers relentlessly attacked President Obama and are, as of yet, leaving Cruz alone. The defense offered for the birthers is that the situations are in no way similar, being that the belief about Obama was that he fabricated his American birth certificate — a claim they had and have no evidence to support — but Cruz is just fine because he makes no attempt to hide his Canadian birth.

This reasoning is unabashedly biased. Surely it couldn’t be that Obama birthers would have sought any excuse — reasonable or not — to attack a politician they didn’t want in office, right? The birthers know exactly why no outrage has been issued regarding Cruz’s birth.

If these people actually believe in the doctrine they spouted in 2008 and 2012, they had better start making some noise, sooner rather than later, and prove they are Constitutionally motivated. Instead, we will soon know that their movement was just another partisan effort to discredit a rival politician, and we will know them all to be hypocrites.

Each and every one of them.