On the way to the office this morning, listening to Glenn Beck as I normally do, I heard some propaganda so vile I decided to post about it. I am a big fan of Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, listen to both of them quite a bit and agree with them mostly, but also expect too much perhaps and occasionally what they say makes me angry enough to post something here on this blog. Recently, I responded to Levin’s shoddy conclusion that Cruz is a natural born citizen, as that phrase must be interpreted under the constitution, and his name-calling of those who disagree with him.
This morning, Glenn Beck surpassed Levin’s shoddiness and also engaged in name-calling of those who believe Cruz is not eligible. In playing clips of “The View” where those hosts brought up that Ted Cruz was born in Canada (a total red herring and straw man because place of birth is not relevant to the question of whether one is a “natural born citizen” in the constitutional sense; only citizenship of the father at birth is relevant to that question), Beck proceeded to make fun of these hosts (okay fine, they are fools) but then Beck makes the statement on air (and I paraphrase since I caught it driving in):
“Every constitutional scholar agrees that if a person is born abroad and both parents are US citizens at time of birth, that person is eligible to run for president.”
I don’t have any problem with that statement, on its face. [Mario Apuzzo, Esq., a scholar on natural born citizenship whom I respect, would also require birth in US in addition to both parents being US citizens at time of the birth. However, I disagree that place of birth is at all relevant because if you accept that the Founders adopted the natural law view that each individual is natural born citizen (NBC) of one and only one country, then you must also take the traditional view that NBC is inherited (your children don’t become subjects of another country simply because you are traveling), and such inheritance must come through one parent only because parents may have differing citizenship and a “both parents” rule would result in some children not being considered NBC of ANY country–an obviously ludicrous result inconsistent with natural law. Traditionally, it has always been the father’s citizenship that was inherited. (There are good reasons for this–for example, it is mainly fathers that fight. BTW, did you know that Ted’s father fought to put Fidel Castro in power?) At time of the founding, wife’s citizenship generally followed that of the husband’s. As distasteful as it may be in our politically correct age, you have to pick one or the other or the entire natural law view of the clause, as originally intended, is meaningless.]
What really bothers me about Glenn Beck’s statement is the LOUDLY IMPLIED assertion that both of Ted Cruz’ parents were US citizens at time of Ted’s birth–which is PALPABLY FALSE! Ted Cruz’ father was a Cuban citizen at that time, and in fact never became a US citizen until just a few years ago. GLENN BECK NEVER POINTED THIS OUT. Ted Cruz himself was a dual citizen of both US and Canada until he recently renounced his Canadian citizenship (acquired by reason of his birth in Canada) less than a year ago. Did the Founders intend dual citizens to be eligible? I think not! Is the concern of the Founders remedied by simply filling out a renunciation form? I think not! The Founders insisted that a president be a NATURAL born citizen under natural law principles because you can only be NBC of one and only one country.
Look, Ted Cruz is an exciting candidate, a true patriot, and more Reaganesque than Reagan himself. I would have a hard time not voting for him if he wins the nomination even though he is not NBC because the alternative would be electing a Democrat and all the unnatural ACTS that implies.
My concern is that enough of the grassroots will be concerned about the NBC issue that it will weaken grassroots support for Cruz perhaps even more than the grassroots were weakened by nomination of moderate Romney. Nor can we expect the Left to ignore the issue (even if their understanding of it is imperfect as with “The View”).
A bit later in the broadcast, as I pulled in to my parking lot, Beck commented that the Nazis through Goebbels learned about propaganda from the US. Goebbels would be proud of what conservative commentators such as Beck and Levin are doing on behalf of Cruz.