Presidential Eligibility

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Presidential Eligibility

I was just reading the news and came upon an article where Obama asked a 7 y/o boy from Hawaii if he had a birth certificate, jokingly.

So I just wondered, why is it completely necessary for the POTUS to be U.S. born? What do you think and why do you think it? And why age 35?

ETA: by U.S. born I mean a natural native of the U.S regardless of actual birth spot, not an immigrant etc.

Joined: 03/14/09
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I think that it is a ridiculous rule for a country that wants people to believe it is "the land of the free." Let the people choose.

Joined: 05/23/12
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Children who weren't born here but were very small when they immigrated here may call the U.S. home and feel the same affiliation with the U.S. as children who were born here. Just even minutes could make or break one's eligibility to become POTUS. I don't think birthplace alone makes ones feelings for anyone.

If it's strong ties and honor of this country (etc) which concerns voters, they can decide based on getting to know the candidate. I am not sure birthplace alone can make or break that decision for me. There are LOTS of people born here that should never be president and would probably never win anyway. There could be great people born elsewhere but brought up here or otherwise naturalized and feel a lot of love and support for the U.S. perhaps even more than some people born as citizens.

And then I can't understand this magical number 35. It's kind of odd to me that there is a minimum age limit and not really a maximum. If there is a super smart person under 35 who could do well as President, then why the age barrier?

Basically becoming "Naturalized" as part of the immigration process gives all rights except Presidency (and of course VPOTUS). I just don't see how birthplace (and the other 2 rules) make one's eligibility and I certainly don't agree with these rules.

Joined: 04/12/03
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"myyams" wrote:

Children who weren't born here but were very small when they immigrated here may call the U.S. home and feel the same affiliation with the U.S. as children who were born here. Just even minutes could make or break one's eligibility to become POTUS. I don't think birthplace alone makes ones feelings for anyone.

It can now, but at the time the Constitution was written a few minutes would not have made the difference in citizenship. When the delegates met to draft the Constitution, they wanted to ensure no one person would become too powerful. They had just finished up a war to get away from that kind of rule. Loyalties the new country would be much stronger for those born in the US than those who immigrated here. Perhaps that's not true anymore, but it will take an amendment to change that. There was talk years ago about the "Arnold amendment" but it was really just talk.

If it's strong ties and honor of this country (etc) which concerns voters, they can decide based on getting to know the candidate. I am not sure birthplace alone can make or break that decision for me. There are LOTS of people born here that should never be president and would probably never win anyway. There could be great people born elsewhere but brought up here or otherwise naturalized and feel a lot of love and support for the U.S. perhaps even more than some people born as citizens.

Where would we draw the line though? Is it enough to come here at age 25 and become a citizen then later president? How about 5 so they were educated in the US? It would again end up an arbitrary number.

And then I can't understand this magical number 35. It's kind of odd to me that there is a minimum age limit and not really a maximum. If there is a super smart person under 35 who could do well as President, then why the age barrier?

Well, the average lifespan was much shorter. By 35 candidates would have experiences and maturity that younger citizens wouldn't have. It's never been an issue since all have been older than 35. A maximum age wouldn't be necessary for the same reason. It would be an arbitrary number; if we set it at 60, we would have disqualified 9 presidents. Three presidents were over 65. None have been over 70 thus far.

Basically becoming "Naturalized" as part of the immigration process gives all rights except Presidency (and of course VPOTUS). I just don't see how birthplace (and the other 2 rules) make one's eligibility and I certainly don't agree with these rules.

Why not? You have 2 jobs - just 2 - the require being born in the US. That's it. Only 43 different people have served in the position of POTUS and 47 VPOTUE in 223 years. Is it really an issue? Have we lost out an potentially wonder candidates because of this requirement?

You don't need to be a natural-born citizen to serve in Congress, yet there have only been about 60 who fit this description. It doesn't sound like it's something that needs to be addressed at the POTUS level.

Also, you only have to be 25 for the House and 30 for the Senate. As you age, you gain experience. I know I would never vote for a 35 YO to be president. If s/he's that good, s/he will be better at 39, 44, 48, etc. Several have been elected the 2nd time around.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

It can now, but at the time the Constitution was written a few minutes would not have made the difference in citizenship. When the delegates met to draft the Constitution, they wanted to ensure no one person would become too powerful. They had just finished up a war to get away from that kind of rule. Loyalties the new country would be much stronger for those born in the US than those who immigrated here. Perhaps that's not true anymore, but it will take an amendment to change that. There was talk years ago about the "Arnold amendment" but it was really just talk.

Where would we draw the line though? Is it enough to come here at age 25 and become a citizen then later president? How about 5 so they were educated in the US? It would again end up an arbitrary number.

Well, the average lifespan was much shorter. By 35 candidates would have experiences and maturity that younger citizens wouldn't have. It's never been an issue since all have been older than 35. A maximum age wouldn't be necessary for the same reason. It would be an arbitrary number; if we set it at 60, we would have disqualified 9 presidents. Three presidents were over 65. None have been over 70 thus far.

Why not? You have 2 jobs - just 2 - the require being born in the US. That's it. Only 43 different people have served in the position of POTUS and 47 VPOTUE in 223 years. Is it really an issue? Have we lost out an potentially wonder candidates because of this requirement?

You don't need to be a natural-born citizen to serve in Congress, yet there have only been about 60 who fit this description. It doesn't sound like it's something that needs to be addressed at the POTUS level.

Also, you only have to be 25 for the House and 30 for the Senate. As you age, you gain experience. I know I would never vote for a 35 YO to be president. If s/he's that good, s/he will be better at 39, 44, 48, etc. Several have been elected the 2nd time around.

Basically from all you have stated, it seems like these laws are outdated. We don't really know if eligibility is an issue because it is kind of a moot point for others to consider. Slowly...very slowly...our leadership is becoming more diverse. Perhaps it js something that should be looked at. It seems a little insulting that a naturalized citizen cannot become potus or aspire to be. Last year in my son's citizenship class in school, many kids said thye wanted to be the POTUS who were immigrants. At some point they will find out they cant despite being deeply vested in every way in thus country. I realize it is just something that looks so amazing esp to kids, and maybe few actually desire that or have potential for it. It is the principle, such a distinguishing line. It is almost like one is not fully accepted in society.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I don't know, I don't think it's weird or unfair to require that the leader of your country have been born in it. It's not like any legal citizen can't work in government at an extremely high level, or rise to a position of tremendous influence or power. I have no issue with the age limit either; if you're young, all you have to do is wait.

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"myyams" wrote:

Basically from all you have stated, it seems like these laws are outdated. We don't really know if eligibility is an issue because it is kind of a moot point for others to consider. Slowly...very slowly...our leadership is becoming more diverse. Perhaps it js something that should be looked at. It seems a little insulting that a naturalized citizen cannot become potus or aspire to be. Last year in my son's citizenship class in school, many kids said thye wanted to be the POTUS who were immigrants. At some point they will find out they cant despite being deeply vested in every way in thus country. I realize it is just something that looks so amazing esp to kids, and maybe few actually desire that or have potential for it. It is the principle, such a distinguishing line. It is almost like one is not fully accepted in society.

Amending the Constitution is a long, difficult process (rightfully so). It seems like a waste of time to bother.

As for finding out you're not eligible for POTUS, .0000001% of the population has held that position. If my math is right, the odds of winning the lottery are greater than becoming president. Should we really change the Constitution so immigrant children can feel the delusions most of us felt when we realized we won't be president? There are lots of things I wanted to be when I was a child only to found out later I wasn't eligible.

Sure you have to be a natural-born citizen, 35 or older, and lived in us for 14 years prior. Then there's that pesky thing that stands in the way of most people: getting elected. Which requires some sort of name recognition, proven leadership skills (military, Congress, governor, lawyer), some sort of speaking skills, and gobs of money. The "poor" presidents were military leaders. And for 219 years a white man.

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I do think the rules in place are there for a reason and should not/can not be changed without a constitutional amendment.

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I agree with ethanwinfield, cant really think of anything else to say.

Oh except I am 35 and there is no way I would vote for someone younger then me, probably not even someone 45. I think the kind of experience needed to do the job of POTUS takes way longer then 35 years to gain.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Loyalties the new country would be much stronger for those born in the US than those who immigrated here. Perhaps that's not true anymore, but it will take an amendment to change that.

I don't think that has ever been true except on an individual basis. If you love a country enough to give up a life somewhere else, you really love it. So much more of a commitment than your mother happening to be somewhere when her water broke.

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"blather" wrote:

I don't think that has ever been true except on an individual basis. If you love a country enough to give up a life somewhere else, you really love it. So much more of a commitment than your mother happening to be somewhere when her water broke.

I agree with this. I also dislike the argument that it doesn't affect that many people, so why change it. I think equality is equality, no matter how many people it affects. It doesn't bother me that so few people will ever actually be president, so long as we all have equal opportunity to try if we wish.

I agree that it won't be changed without a Constitutional amendment. That's pretty much a given, I think.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I agree with this. I also dislike the argument that it doesn't affect that many people, so why change it. I think equality is equality, no matter how many people it affects. It doesn't bother me that so few people will ever actually be president, so long as we all have equal opportunity to try if we wish.

I agree that it won't be changed without a Constitutional amendment. That's pretty much a given, I think.

Many things aren't "equal." There are age limits for military, LE, vision/hearing requirements, depending on the job, race, gender, weight height, etc.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Many things aren't "equal." There are age limits for military, LE, vision/hearing requirements, depending on the job, race, gender, weight height, etc.

I would say that anything that is relevant to job performance is fine to put requirements on (for example, fitness requirements for a physically demanding job.) I'm not convinced that place of birth is relevant to the job performance of POTUS. I would argue that any naturalized citizen of the US should have the same rights as any other citizen of the US. Simply being born here is no true guarantee of loyalty after all.

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Wow, this is bringing back memories of 5th grade! I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Mathews, who made learning about our country so much fun. I simply couldn't wait to learn about the next state on the list! One thing the very wise Mr. Mathews said about this issue was that people who come to this country should be vested enough in this country to want their kids to be born here, and they should be vested enough in this country to want to raise their kids here. Anyone can *come* to America, but to stay & raise your family means that you're truly committed to the long-term good of the country. It's not about you, it's about ensuring that people who love this country stick around to keep making it better for the next generation. And that's why it's so important for the POTUS to a natural-born citizen.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Wow, this is bringing back memories of 5th grade! I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Mathews, who made learning about our country so much fun. I simply couldn't wait to learn about the next state on the list! One thing the very wise Mr. Mathews said about this issue was that people who come to this country should be vested enough in this country to want their kids to be born here, and they should be vested enough in this country to want to raise their kids here. Anyone can *come* to America, but to stay & raise your family means that you're truly committed to the long-term good of the country. It's not about you, it's about ensuring that people who love this country stick around to keep making it better for the next generation. And that's why it's so important for the POTUS to a natural-born citizen.

I had an amazing wise 5th grade teacher too! I never enjoyed school as much as I did that year.

And I agree with what your teacher had to say on this issue

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"Spacers" wrote:

Wow, this is bringing back memories of 5th grade! I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Mathews, who made learning about our country so much fun. I simply couldn't wait to learn about the next state on the list! One thing the very wise Mr. Mathews said about this issue was that people who come to this country should be vested enough in this country to want their kids to be born here, and they should be vested enough in this country to want to raise their kids here. Anyone can *come* to America, but to stay & raise your family means that you're truly committed to the long-term good of the country. It's not about you, it's about ensuring that people who love this country stick around to keep making it better for the next generation. And that's why it's so important for the POTUS to a natural-born citizen.

So but even though you are committed enough to come to the US, do the work to become a naturalized citizen, raise your kids here, et cetera, YOU yourself (as the immigrant) can't be considered committed enough to be POTUS?? That's confusing to me. In this scenario, it was the immigrant parents that made the huge commitment, not their kids. All kids did to prove their commitment was be born here, which only happened because their parents made that commitment in the first place...

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I do think it is very reasonable to expect the POTU to be natural born.

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Yes, the kids benefit from the parents' commitment, but it's not like the kid is going to skate scot-free into the presidency. (Well, there is GW, but...) The kid himself needs to make other huge commitments to become qualified & experiences & get elected. I think there's definitely an allegiance to one's place of birth that isn't quite the same for a naturalized citizen. And I also think there's a good argument to be made along the lines of "institutional knowledge," that is the oral history & social values that are passed down from generation to generation, that a recent immigrant doesn't get from not growing up here.

If, and this is a big "if," there was ever to be a constitutional amendment on this issue, then it should include a citizenship requirement of at least 30 years or more, which would allow adults who came here as children to be eligible but preclude famous wealthy people like Ah-nold from essentially buying the White House with their fame rather than working for it as everyone else has done. I'd also be delighted such an amendment would include a mandatory minimum number of years of public service to be eligible; it will be good experience in how our democracy works, and if you can't get elected to a city council or state assembly, you probably have no business running the country.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Wow, this is bringing back memories of 5th grade! I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Mathews, who made learning about our country so much fun. I simply couldn't wait to learn about the next state on the list! One thing the very wise Mr. Mathews said about this issue was that people who come to this country should be vested enough in this country to want their kids to be born here, and they should be vested enough in this country to want to raise their kids here. Anyone can *come* to America, but to stay & raise your family means that you're truly committed to the long-term good of the country. It's not about you, it's about ensuring that people who love this country stick around to keep making it better for the next generation. And that's why it's so important for the POTUS to a natural-born citizen.

Yes! I don't think it's unreasonable for the leader of our nation to be a citizen at birth.

I would much rather see the 22nd amendment repealed than a amendment changing eligibility.

Joined: 08/17/04
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This is something I'm okay with. I think in some ways it stinks that if you came here at 1 then you can't be POTUS but there has to be a line somewhere. I'm not okay with someone coming here and having the ability to become the leader of our nation that just happened to become a citizen as an adult. I think that makes us very vulnerable as a society.

I also disagree that immigrating here makes one automatically Pro-USA. In fact, I've seen the opposite a lot. People move here for opportunities but hate the country and want to go back to their country of origin and think that it is better. I would not want that mentality running for POTUS.

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I don't think that it's true that being born here automatically makes one-pro USA either. I've also seen the mentality among people that are born here that they think the US is crap and they wish they could move.

My point is not "Let's just make any old immigrant President!" Obviously they would have to be vetted, run, be elected, et cetera, just like anyone else. My point is, if a (naturalized) immigrant wants to run and can be elected based on their own merits, (meaning people look at when they came to the US, what their history with the US is, as well as their ideas, their platform, et cetera) then why not? I guess I just don't see how that "leaves us vulnerable" or anyway, any more vulnerable than we are with any other president that we actually vet and elect.

It reminds me of when people were saying that we can never elect a Catholic as a president because they might have a bigger loyalty to the Vatican than to the US people.

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I agree with you too that not everyone born here is pro USA either but I liken it to our family relationships. Majority of people tend to be closer to the families they grew up with vs. families they marry into for example. If you were forced to choose we would probably pick our mother vs. our mother in law. Does that make sense?

I'm much more for naturalized citizen who has been a citizen for quite some time. I guess I just figure out a decent line for it.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Wow, this is bringing back memories of 5th grade! I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Mathews, who made learning about our country so much fun. I simply couldn't wait to learn about the next state on the list! One thing the very wise Mr. Mathews said about this issue was that people who come to this country should be vested enough in this country to want their kids to be born here, and they should be vested enough in this country to want to raise their kids here. Anyone can *come* to America, but to stay & raise your family means that you're truly committed to the long-term good of the country. It's not about you, it's about ensuring that people who love this country stick around to keep making it better for the next generation. And that's why it's so important for the POTUS to a natural-born citizen.

I totally disagree. With the way people move around the world now, it's much different. Immigrants often DO come here, settle here, and stay here - and invest heavily and make a live for themselves.

Joined: 05/23/12
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"Spacers" wrote:

Yes, the kids benefit from the parents' commitment, but it's not like the kid is going to skate scot-free into the presidency. (Well, there is GW, but...) The kid himself needs to make other huge commitments to become qualified & experiences & get elected. I think there's definitely an allegiance to one's place of birth that isn't quite the same for a naturalized citizen. And I also think there's a good argument to be made along the lines of "institutional knowledge," that is the oral history & social values that are passed down from generation to generation, that a recent immigrant doesn't get from not growing up here.

If, and this is a big "if," there was ever to be a constitutional amendment on this issue, then it should include a citizenship requirement of at least 30 years or more, which would allow adults who came here as children to be eligible but preclude famous wealthy people like Ah-nold from essentially buying the White House with their fame rather than working for it as everyone else has done. I'd also be delighted such an amendment would include a mandatory minimum number of years of public service to be eligible; it will be good experience in how our democracy works, and if you can't get elected to a city council or state assembly, you probably have no business running the country.

I've heard of so many stories of teens being deported back to Mexico because they were illegal here. (another issue) but basically their heartbreak was they know NOTHING of Mexico and have grown up here their whole lives. They had no attachment to Mexico. they didn't even know long lost relatives in Mexico. Mexico to them is not the same as the U.S. is for them. I am sure there are other countries as well but the stories I remember reading were these.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I would much rather see the 22nd amendment repealed than a amendment changing eligibility.

I do not want the 22nd amendment repealed either. I confess I did a quick Google search to see which amendment it was. I think a 2 term limit is very wise for POTUS. I think term limits on Congress and The SC would be wise as well.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I agree with you too that not everyone born here is pro USA either but I liken it to our family relationships. Majority of people tend to be closer to the families they grew up with vs. families they marry into for example. If you were forced to choose we would probably pick our mother vs. our mother in law. Does that make sense?

I'm much more for naturalized citizen who has been a citizen for quite some time. I guess I just figure out a decent line for it.

Okay, but if you were adopted by a new mom when you were 3 and were raised to adulthood by the adoptive mom, who would you be closer to as an adult, bio mom or adoptive mom? Would it be fair if people assumed that you weren't as loyal to your adoptive family as other family members simply because you weren't born there?

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Good point Alissa. As I said, I think it stinks that those that were "adopted" by the US as babies and young children when their parents came here cannot get to that position but I still don't know how or where we put the line. I don't think having this as a requirement is without some merit.

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There has to be some requirement. I dont believe that there is a way to draw the line without leaving somebody ineligible for the position.

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Why can't the requirement be either citizen or naturalized citizen who also earns the trust and confidence of the American people through the campaign/election process (I assume it's a given that if the American people don't trust them and don't trust their commitment to the US, they won't be elected.)

ETA: My point is, I don't think we need a constitutional requirement to protect us from someone who moved here 10 years ago as an adult and has questionable loyalties; I don't think that the American people would elect someone that had questionable loyalties.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I don't think that the American people would elect someone that had questionable loyalties.

I disagree. You do not always know who someone's true loyalties are. I am sure there are many divorced people out there who thought they knew someone when they got married, only to find out they were a monster later.

Being born outside of the US does not mean you are not loyal to the US. Being born in the US does not mean that you are. It is just one safeguard of many that tries to ensure that America is protected.

I am thinking of many movies where the spy has lived in America years and years and no one knows.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I disagree. You do not always know who someone's true loyalties are. I am sure there are many divorced people out there who thought they knew someone when they got married, only to find out they were a monster later.

Being born outside of the US does not mean you are not loyal to the US. Being born in the US does not mean that you are. It is just one safeguard of many that tries to ensure that America is protected.

I am thinking of many movies where the spy has lived in America years and years and no one knows.

I honestly don't think their political party would put them forward as a viable candidate if it were even questionable (again, like if it was someone that moved to the US as an adult, ten years ago.) I think the only time they would even bother is if it were someone who had moved here as a young child and been educated here and clearly considered the US their home.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I honestly don't think their political party would put them forward as a viable candidate if it were even questionable (again, like if it was someone that moved to the US as an adult, ten years ago.) I think the only time they would even bother is if it were someone who had moved here as a young child and been educated here and clearly considered the US their home.

I think you have too much faith in the process.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I think you have too much faith in the process.

I'm a fan of democracy. Wink

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I disagree. You do not always know who someone's true loyalties are. I am sure there are many divorced people out there who thought they knew someone when they got married, only to find out they were a monster later.

Being born outside of the US does not mean you are not loyal to the US. Being born in the US does not mean that you are. It is just one safeguard of many that tries to ensure that America is protected.

I am thinking of many movies where the spy has lived in America years and years and no one knows.

If we can't be sure either way, I don't see how loyalty by birthplace can be established either way and so therefore can't be used as a safeguard.

A candidate for president doesn't just pop out of no where. If he/she can be a candidate, people WILL know that person Smile

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I just want to through out in Canada in the last 2 elections the main oposition party put forward a dual citizen (with France) and a guy who had lived out of the country for the last 20 years. I don't know if that contributed to them losing both elections or if is why they aren't the main oposition party anymore but it did bother me!

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I disagree. You do not always know who someone's true loyalties are. I am sure there are many divorced people out there who thought they knew someone when they got married, only to find out they were a monster later.

Being born outside of the US does not mean you are not loyal to the US. Being born in the US does not mean that you are. It is just one safeguard of many that tries to ensure that America is protected.

I am thinking of many movies where the spy has lived in America years and years and no one knows.

Of course you don't always know someone's true loyalties. But are you really saying if you questioned a potential spouse's loyalties you would still marry that person?

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I assume it's a given that if the American people don't trust them and don't trust their commitment to the US, they won't be elected.

ETA: My point is, I don't think we need a constitutional requirement to protect us from someone who moved here 10 years ago as an adult and has questionable loyalties; I don't think that the American people would elect someone that had questionable loyalties.

The voting public isn't always very smart. Incumbents routinely win re-election when they haven't done a very good job and even when they've been accused of crimes. The electorate of the State of California elected Arnold Schwarnegger, a man with no political experience and questionable business experience, a man who says he decided to run while sitting in the green room of the Tonight Show. A man who, in the televised debates that I saw, seemed to have no plan for the state except to get himself elected. The State of California has the highest population of all the United States and has the 8th largest economy in the WORLD. And we elected Ah-nold. You have a lot more faith in the system than I do.

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I happen to think that democracy is imperfect, but that it's better than any alternative, and that if I didn't trust the public to elect reasonable candidates, naturalized immigrants would be the last of my worries. LOL Should we also have a constitutional amendment that we can't elect people who decide to run in the green room of TV shows, to protect us from our own idiocy? LOL

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"Spacers" wrote:

The voting public isn't always very smart. Incumbents routinely win re-election when they haven't done a very good job and even when they've been accused of crimes. The electorate of the State of California elected Arnold Schwarnegger, a man with no political experience and questionable business experience, a man who says he decided to run while sitting in the green room of the Tonight Show. A man who, in the televised debates that I saw, seemed to have no plan for the state except to get himself elected. The State of California has the highest population of all the United States and has the 8th largest economy in the WORLD. And we elected Ah-nold. You have a lot more faith in the system than I do.

If you're going to rip someone up, you should make the story sound less dramatic and more correct. People were tired for the run of the mill 'politicians' and he was/is different. I'm not making a judgement for or against him, but merely stating that people are TIRED of the politician image etc. And besides, CA was already a quickly sinking ship.

2003 California recall election

Main article: California recall election, 2003
For years, Schwarzenegger had discussed with friends, potential donors, advisors and political allies a possible run for high political office. On April 10, 2003 at the Los Angeles Peninsula Hotel, for example, he met with Republican political operative Karl Rove to discuss a future campaign. Seized emails from Enron show that Schwarzenegger also met with Ken Lay on May 17, 2001 at the Peninsula Hotel where Lay lobbied business leaders and future gubernatorial candidates such as Richard Riordan and Bill Simon to support a solution to the California energy crisis that included an end to "countless investigations into allegations that suppliers manipulated power prices."[3][4]
In March 2001, Schwarzenegger was asked to run for governor by the California Republican Party.[5] In the months leading to the recall election, Schwarzenegger was widely rumored to be considering a run at becoming Governor of California. In the July 2003 issue of Esquire Magazine, he said, "Yes, I would love to be governor of California ... If the state needs me, and if there's no one I think is better, then I will run." When a petition to recall Democratic governor Gray Davis qualified for the ballot on July 24, Schwarzenegger left many wondering whether he would jump into the contest. Schwarzenegger was just wrapping up a promotional tour for Terminator 3 and said he would announce his decision on whether to run on August 6 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In the days and even hours leading up to the show's taping, political experts and insiders concluded that Schwarzenegger was leaning against running in California's October 7 recall election. Even his closest advisors said he was probably not going to run. Rumors leading up to the announcement said that his wife, Maria Shriver, a Kennedy family Democrat, was against his running, and he wanted her approval in order to run.
When announcing his candidacy on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he joked, "It's the most difficult [decision] I've made in my entire life, except the one I made in 1978 when I decided to get a bikini wax". Ultimately, Shriver said she would support Schwarzenegger no matter what he chose, so he decided to run. Schwarzenegger told Leno, "The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing. The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor of the state of California."
As a candidate in the recall election, Schwarzenegger had the most name recognition in a crowded field of candidates, but he had never held public office and his political views were unknown to most Californians. His candidacy was immediate national and international news, with media outlets dubbing him the "Governator" (referring to The Terminator movies, see above) and "The Running Man", and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (both names of his movies) and "Terminator 4: Rise of the Candidate" (referring to his movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines).
Schwarzenegger was quick to make use of his well-known one-liners, promising to "pump up Sacramento, California" (the state capital) and tell Gray Davis hasta la vista. With his humor, it was refreshing to see a politician accept the value of humor in a seemingly humorless field. At the end of his first press conference, he told the audience "I'll be back." Schwarzenegger looked to follow in the footsteps of former California governor and one-time movie star Ronald Reagan and also made references to following in the footsteps of progressive California governor Hiram Johnson.
However, due to his status as a naturalized citizen, he would not be eligible to seek the Presidency unless the Constitution were to be amended (as proposed in 2000 by Congressman Barney Frank (Democratic, Massachusetts), and in July 2003 (the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment) by Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) ). Amongst his campaign team were actor Rob Lowe (a Hollywood Democrat, but a moderate), billionaire moderate Democrat Warren Buffett, and moderate Republican George Shultz, a former Nixon and Reagan aide.

REF: HERE

Joined: 03/14/09
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"Danifo" wrote:

I just want to through out in Canada in the last 2 elections the main oposition party put forward a dual citizen (with France) and a guy who had lived out of the country for the last 20 years. I don't know if that contributed to them losing both elections or if is why they aren't the main oposition party anymore but it did bother me!

I don't like the man or his party, but for policy reasons. This is really sad that you feel that way. Living outside of a country doesn't mean you love it any less. Nor does having a tie to another country.

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Posts: 6545

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Of course you don't always know someone's true loyalties. But are you really saying if you questioned a potential spouse's loyalties you would still marry that person?

I am saying you might not doubt that person's loyalties until you are already married and it is too late. I do think there should be basic requirements before someone can run for POTUS. Being a natural born American and at least 35 are very reasonable requirements. I think in most every job there are requirements. To be in the military, you need to be healthy. To vote, you need to be 18. To rent a car you need to be 25. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think that requirements should be directly related to job performance (such as being physically fit to work in a physically demanding job) rather than simply playing to people's paranoia about immigrants and the democratic process.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

I think it is reasonable to say that actually being American your whole life is important to being the president of the United States of America.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

If being an American is the only life you remember, I would qualify that as being an American your whole life regardless of where you were born.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

So where do you draw the line? 2 years old? 4 years old? 20?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think you draw the line at naturalized citizen and let the citizens make up their own mind about whether or not they trust each individual candidate for all of the different reasons, including background, just as we do with the democratic process today.

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Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

"blather" wrote:

I don't like the man or his party, but for policy reasons. This is really sad that you feel that way. Living outside of a country doesn't mean you love it any less. Nor does having a tie to another country.

Why?
I am currently a Canadian living in the US and I agree that living outside does not mean you love the country less. His status didn't affect my vote either because I think policy is the main factor but it does bother me. My choice would be a naturalized citizen who has lived at least the last 10 years in country. I would also expect a dual citizen to renounce their other citizenship. Even though it may not change how they feel about their other country, I think there is strong symbolism in saying that as a leader of one country, that is the citizenship you chose.

On a side note, I also get irritated when people run for leadership of a party (don't know how this works in the US) and they haven't been doing any public work (federal, provincial, city etc).

I do have an American daughter. I do find it somewhat ironic that if we moved back to Canada she could still be president if she moved here as an adult.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"Danifo" wrote:

Why?
I am currently a Canadian living in the US and I agree that living outside does not mean you love the country less. His status didn't affect my vote either because I think policy is the main factor but it does bother me. My choice would be a naturalized citizen who has lived at least the last 10 years in country. I would also expect a dual citizen to renounce their other citizenship. Even though it may not change how they feel about their other country, I think there is strong symbolism in saying that as a leader of one country, that is the citizenship you chose.

On a side note, I also get irritated when people run for leadership of a party (don't know how this works in the US) and they haven't been doing any public work (federal, provincial, city etc).

I do have an American daughter. I do find it somewhat ironic that if we moved back to Canada she could still be president if she moved here as an adult.

Only if she has lived her for 14 years before running. So technically, you could move back to Canada when she's 15 and she'll be good. LOL

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"Danifo" wrote:

I would also expect a dual citizen to renounce their other citizenship.

Hmmm. I find it funny that you would expect that. Especially since you seem to be an immigrant and understand how hard it is for people to immigrate, and what a headache it would be to get a visa for another country after giving up citizenship.

If I gave up my Canadian citizenship to take a job I was offered here which required citizenship of the country I live in, I doubt if the current anti-immigrant anti-worker party was still in power, that I would be able to get a working visa to go back to work and help my parents when they got older. That scares the bejeezus out of me. I would never give up my citizenship.

In this global economy, when people have family and jobs that take them all around the world, and those people are the best and brightest, it is completely backwards to say "sorry, you have all the skills we need, but the reason you have those skills; your mulitlingualism and multiculturalism and adaptability, is unacceptable."

Also, I live outside of Canada and am more invested in the politics of my home country than most people who live there. I'd rather have someone who lives outside the country but cares, is interested, and has been a social ambassador for my country to be elected than someone who could possibly represent Canada at its highest levels and has no idea what's outside its borders.

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Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

"blather" wrote:

Hmmm. I find it funny that you would expect that. Especially since you seem to be an immigrant and understand how hard it is for people to immigrate, and what a headache it would be to get a visa for another country after giving up citizenship.

If I gave up my Canadian citizenship to take a job I was offered here which required citizenship of the country I live in, I doubt if the current anti-immigrant anti-worker party was still in power, that I would be able to get a working visa to go back to work and help my parents when they got older. That scares the bejeezus out of me. I would never give up my citizenship.

In this global economy, when people have family and jobs that take them all around the world, and those people are the best and brightest, it is completely backwards to say "sorry, you have all the skills we need, but the reason you have those skills; your mulitlingualism and multiculturalism and adaptability, is unacceptable."

Also, I live outside of Canada and am more invested in the politics of my home country than most people who live there. I'd rather have someone who lives outside the country but cares, is interested, and has been a social ambassador for my country to be elected than someone who could possibly represent Canada at its highest levels and has no idea what's outside its borders.

To be a leader of a country I think you should not be a subject of another country. For everyone else, I think being a dual citizen is your own decision. I have lots of dual citizens in my family but at a certain point you make a choice of where you want to be even if you keep the dual status. I know several people here who've had to renounce their Canadian citizenship because "security" requires only US citizens. That is their decision. I would not make that one but they made it because they married a US citizen and this is where they see their life. My mom has not lived in the US since she was a child, she would give her American citizenship up if she had to. My step brother has live here for over 15 years and will probably never go back to live in Canada. He would give his Canadian citizenship up if he had to.

For me it comes down to for any other job you can have done whatever and lived wherever but I expect someone running for leader to have strong physical ties to only one country.

Despite saying that, I would still vote on policy.

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Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Only if she has lived her for 14 years before running. So technically, you could move back to Canada when she's 15 and she'll be good. LOL

Well, even if she just came back for school and then chose to live here as an adult Smile

I have to say I wouldn't wish being leader of any country on anybody. I feel like we don't get enough family time; I can't even imagine what any of their lives are like. Added to that, half of the country always thinks you are a horrible person.

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