Why the Birth Certificate Matters

An article out of the National Review Online today discusses the Barack Obama birth certificate issue, an issue which has been plaguing Obama since before the election. In it, NRO states:

The birth-certificate zealots are essentially arguing that 64 million voters should be disenfranchised because of a contested technicality as to whether Obama was born on U.S. soil. (McCain narrowly escaped the problem by being born in the Panama Canal zone, which is no longer American.)

What difference does it make to the future of this country whether Obama was born on U.S. soil? Advocates of this destructive campaign will argue that the constitutional principle regarding the qualifications for president trumps all others. But how viable will our Constitution be if five Supreme Court justices should decide to void 64 million ballots?

This is a similar argument made by those at HotAir, who argue that the matter is relatively unimportant, because it makes conservatives who believe it sound like crackpot 9/11 Truthers. HotAir likes to use the ad hominem that, because Phillip Berg, a 9/11 truther, is leading the campaign, it must be incorrect. These are specious argument, because they completely ignore the rule of law upon which this country was based.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that for many who believe Obama is not naturally born, the entire purpose is to make his presidency illegitimate. Much of it might come from fringe conspiracy theorists, but that is beside the point.

Logic and reason were the basis of our constitution. The founding fathers wanted to ensure that the President was free from all foreign influence. Even though Obama has spent most of his life living in the United States as a US citizen, if he was born in Kenya, he is legally not naturally born. Therefore, he cannot be President. This is not a technicality. It is the constitution.

The problem is that they are looking at this from an illogical point of view. The election of Obama plays out as a logical argument:

If you are a natural born citizen, you can serve as President.

Barack Obama is a naturally born citizen.

Therefore, Barack Obama can serve as president.

This is referred to as Modus Ponens, referred to as confirming the antecedent. If we look at it in terms of Modus Tollens, or denying the consequence, we would say:

If you are a natural born citizen, you can serve as President.

Barack Obama is not a naturally born citizen.

Therefore, Barack Obama cannot serve as president.

I have no doubt that 64 million Americans cast their vote for Barack Obama. I have no doubt that if the United States Supreme Court ruled that he was ineligible, there would be a great deal of civil unrest and chaos. But at the same time, I have no doubt that if he is ineligible, and yet serves as President anyway, we will face a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen.

We cannot pick and choose which parts of the constitution we enforce. And the fact that NRO would take this stand, for no greater reason than to coddle the masses, is sickening and is the antithesis of conservatism.

We cannot undo the election. But we must follow the law. If the way the law is written is unjust, then it should be changed or amended. But it cannot be ignored. If he is incapable of serving as President, Obama should never have been able to run in the primaries to begin with!

I’d hate to see the Supreme Court decide another election, but I’d also hate to see the constitution trampled in the interest of fairness.