Opposition to Birthright Citizenship is un American

First of all can we just say that Donald Trump is unfit to be President? The sideshow he’s running, while entertaining, is Palinish and that might actually be disrespectful to Sarah. I’m tempted to expound on hypotheticals about how Trump would be treated were he a woman. But I digress. The real question is what world is the Republican Party in? Why do they persist in running on issues that they have no hope of winning?

An issue that is on the Republican Platform is repealing birthright citizenship. I mean really? Repealing Birthright citizenship?! Honestly, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Frankly anyone talking about repealing birthright citizenship is un-American and unpatriotic.

If we look at the revolutionary war, we can see that most of the people involved in it could only have two claims for independence. One of them was by virtue of defeating the British, they could say they were independent from the British. However, that really does not give them a legitimate claim on the land that they were fighting to keep. However, if we do a cursory review of the lineage of the founding fathers we can see that most if not all of them were actually born in America. It is by the dint of their (read their slaves) hard work and their own birth in America that they felt they were legitimate owners of property and citizens of the land. Here we can see that birthright citizenship even as far back as the revolutionary war had to be a fundamental ingredient in American citizenship. Being a white male landowner, ostensibly with birth roots in America is what made a person a citizen. After the Civil War, part of the drive to make the most out of freedom for many former slaves was that they were already generations deep in America and their birth and work on American soil gave them a legitimate claim to American citizenship. Later, many other immigrants came to America and their children became citizens through their hard work and the fact that they were born on American soil.

The argument that most other nations do not have birthright citizenship means that America should not have it reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of America. America is not a “normal” nation, wherein indigenous people have been living in a certain region of the planet for centuries and over time they coalesced into a nation. America was forged by “immigrants” settling (stealing) the land and creating a nation of “immigrants.” A significant part of the concept of American exceptionalism, is the idea that people from all over the world can come to America for a chance to live in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Any effort to exclude some of the people from the American dream or to preclude that dream for those innovative and courageous enough to actually get here from some other place so that they or their children may one day contribute to America is antithetical to American values and is contrary to the ideas that animate this country. Elimination of birthright citizenship would fundamentally change the character of America is such a way that within a couple of generations America might not be recognizable in its ideals or philosophy.

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