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View Poll Results: Should the requirements to be President of the United States be changed?
Yes, naturalized citizens that meet the other requirements should be eligible. 16 34.04%
No, the requirements should be kept the same. 23 48.94%
I don't care either way 5 10.64%
Who cares? Billfred should be made President for life! 7 14.89%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 09-18-2004, 02:56 PM
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Should the requirements for President be changed?

Alright, this question came up in another thread, and I figured it was a fair question.

Should the requirements for the office of President of the United States be changed to allow foreign-born citizens to be elected?

(For the purposes of the poll question, we'll assume the other requirements (being 35 and living in the US for the past 14 years) remain the same.)
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Unread 09-18-2004, 03:10 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Keep it the same.
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Unread 09-18-2004, 03:24 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

As soon as I said in the other thread that this is an issue that I'll discuss at another time, in another thread, I was waiting how long it would take for it to show up.

What exactly does the natural born citizen definition consist of?

Quote:
Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in those gaps. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:
Anyone born inside the United States
Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S."
With so many nuances, natural born citizenship to me seems like such a technicality. In my opinion, where you were born is as arbitrary as your skin color or gender. Besides Native Americans, don't we all really come from lineage that is of immigrants. Our nation's motto is "E Pluribus Unum," which means out of one, many. I think if we want to fully embrace this, then it's time for change.

What is to say that I'm more equipped to lead our country than my parents who moved here when they were teenagers? Imagine if Bill Clinton (if you're a dem) or Ronald Reagan (if you're a republican) were born "at the wrong place at the wrong time." You'd have great leaders who would have never gotten the chance to be President. I believe that if you do indeed become a citizen, and we'll throw in a residency requirement (to prevent another nation from throwing in a candidate into our election in an attempt to usurp our sovereignty, which is probably one of the main fears and why this requirement came to be originally), it should be up to the people to decide in an election if that person is fit for the job.

I think it's almost important to remember that this should be an issue based on principle, not which politician or political party this might benefit. I come from California and I don't care much for Governor Schwarzenegger. That's not enough reason however for him not to be able to run for President. I say let the man run and I'll not vote for him based on his economic & educational policies, not the fact that he was born in Austria.

As Joan Allen said in the movie "The Contender": Principles only mean something if you stick by them when they're inconvenient.
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Last edited by Kristina : 09-18-2004 at 03:28 PM.
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Unread 09-18-2004, 03:41 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Like i said in the other thread keep it the same, its not worth the ratification of the constitution
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Unread 09-18-2004, 03:53 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Albright
Like i said in the other thread keep it the same, its not worth the ratification of the constitution
The constitution has already been ratified. The Amendment needs to be passed by a 2/3’s majority in congress, and then ratified by 3/4’s of the states. It shouldn’t be about whether or not you think it’s easy or not, it’s about whether or not you think the effect of the change would be a positive step for our country.
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Unread 09-18-2004, 05:29 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Albright
Like i said in the other thread keep it the same, its not worth the ratification of the constitution
I agree with what Ryan said... i was about to post the same thing...
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Unread 09-18-2004, 04:31 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristina
What is to say that I'm more equipped to lead our country than my parents who moved here when they were teenagers? Imagine if Bill Clinton (if you're a dem) or Ronald Reagan (if you're a republican) were born "at the wrong place at the wrong time." You'd have great leaders who would have never gotten the chance to be President. I believe that if you do indeed become a citizen, and we'll throw in a residency requirement (to prevent another nation from throwing in a candidate into our election in an attempt to usurp our sovereignty, which is probably one of the main fears and why this requirement came to be originally), it should be up to the people to decide in an election if that person is fit for the job.
More important than political experience, a president should have experience as a citizen of the country he is goign to govern. Perhaps, the requirement should be changed to certain number of years as a citizen in the US (or perhaps even better, as a voting-aged citizen in the US), but I definitley think some requirement should be made that a president knows what being a citizen in the US is like.

In reality, though, I don't think this requirement is neccesary at all. I really doubt an immigrant who came to the country after entering adulthood, would be elected.
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Unread 09-18-2004, 05:43 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Lobovsky
In reality, though, I don't think this requirement is neccesary at all. I really doubt an immigrant who came to the country after entering adulthood, would be elected.
Actually, this discussion was spawned after discussion of Arnold Swarchzenneger running for president if this could be changed. I wouldn't doubt the possibility of a campaign for Arnold, whether I like it or not.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 11:01 AM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristina
Besides Native Americans, don't we all really come from lineage that is of immigrants. Our nation's motto is "E Pluribus Unum," which means out of one, many. I think if we want to fully embrace this, then it's time for change.
Actually, the national motto translates as "From many, one." The distinction is rather important to the meaning of the phrase.

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Unread 09-20-2004, 11:56 AM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

You've got to look for a good return for your effort, or in this case a good return for what we pay our congress men and women for. That is for me to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the us, to take an active and peaceful presence in the world, and the create fair laws as solutions to problems. I don't see changing a two hundred year rule which has to my knowledge not be challenged for the last 150 years(just a guess) by constitutional admendment is not a good return for my tax dollars.

There is many things foreign born nationals can do in this country. They can become governors, senators, supreme court justices, and any other political office. I think it is fair to reserve our top office for natural born citizens, which covers a very large population of people.

I guess I'll never be the president of Canada because I think effort should be proportional to results. And changing this law would be a "small step" but not particularly forward, or backward, more like a "small step" nowhere. I think thinking about changing this law comes somewhere after thinking about a healthcare and prescription drug plan.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 01:02 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Perhaps you don't understand the significance (or lack thereof) of it being 200 years old. A constitutional law is a constitutional law and has supreme legal standing. What possible relevance to this does the fact that it hasn't been challenged have? The bottom line after all should be: is it just or unjust?

Here's a three-step plan to figure out where you stand:
1) do you believe immigrants should be afforded the same rights and freedoms to those who were born in the United States?
2) do you believe those who can run for mayor or governor should be allowed to run for president?
3) do you believe a president shouldn't necessarily have to be US-born?

I see this rather black and white: If you disagree with either of the first two, your disagreement with the third makes sense (which I believe might be where ngreen is coming from). If you disagree with only the third, you've made an error in logic. I happen to agree with all three.

That argument of yours with respect to expenditure is almost fair, but do you know for a fact how many tax dollars it would take? Would you be of the same opinion if you, or someone you knew were born in Canada, and at age three decided that being President of Canada wasn't good enough and moved to the States? What if this person, having grown up in US schools and voted in US elections, decided he or she wanted to be President of the United States?

That's my thinking.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 06:02 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

I would like to ask a question of those who seem to be a bit more knowledgable about this subject.

What would this change do socially really? For example, many people have cited that the more important concerns are those of healthcare and education and national wellbeing. However, socially, how would our country actaully react to a foreign president running?

And most interestingly, what comes first? A woman in presidential office, or a not-naturally born citizen?

Not meant as a criticism, I just think that socially this would have an intense impact. Many individuals currently hold prejudices towards individuals from various countries, how could this possibly change the policies if they were put in place?
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Unread 09-20-2004, 06:42 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenia Gabrielov
And most interestingly, what comes first? A woman in presidential office, or a not-naturally born citizen?
Ok, I didn't get a chance to thoroughly read this thread through and I see it started about asking if a non U.S. born citizen should be allowed to become president but I like Genia's point of what about a woman holding office. At this day and age I don't see why the Constitution can't be ratified to allow a woman to become president. Woman have made many social advances in this country in the past 50+ years and this is one hurdle they can't conquer because of the current stipulations of our Constitution. We can have woman governors and supreme court justices but why not president? What ever happened to "equal rights"?
Now as for a non U.S. citizen, I don't see why after so many years of living here they couldn't be allowed to run. Think about this, of all the people in the U.S. didn't thier distant relatives, and some not so distant relatives, come to the U.S. from other countries. I don't see why others shouldn't be allowed to represent this country since it's a country of many different backgrounds to begin with.

My .02



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Unread 09-20-2004, 06:47 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Women ARE allowed to run (assuming they're natural-born, 35, and have lived in the country for 14 years--sorry Genia). It's just that neither of the major parties have staged a major campaign with a female candidate.
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Unread 09-18-2004, 11:57 PM
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Re: Should the requirements for President be changed?

Honestly, what's the big deal?

Sure, it's nice to say that anyone who leads America was born here, it's a psychological thing, it's one more thing in common between us and the president. That being said, it'd be fairly hard for anyone who wasn't a white, Christian, naturalized American to be elected into office in any case, but even so, what's the big deal? Due to the way most Americans will vote, I don't think this is even an issue, and neither will it be an issue for some time to come.
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