Reading Comprehension – Harder Than One Might Think!

     Greetings and Salutations. 

     Although it is many, many months until the Presidential Elections,  the Right and Left Wingers are hard at it.   In this post, I am going to focus on a kind of mind-boggling moment from The Donald.   So far,  I could fill a goodly sized tome or two with his pronouncements that are so mind-bogglingly out in Left Field that one wonders if he is making a last minute attempt to take over The Daily Show, and bump Trevor!
     A few days ago, in one of the media events he so loves,  he was talking about how undocumented immigrants were taking over the country, stealing jobs from Americans,  and generally raising the crime rate.  It was part of his usual rant about building a huge fence along the Mexican border, to keep the scruffy ones out.   Well,  this time,  he ramped things up a bit.   Along with his usual rant about collecting and deporting every undocumented immigrant in America,  he went off on the “problem” of these pregnant, Mexican mothers sitting on the border until they are just about to deliver, then, running into America to have their child so the kid will gain “Birth right” citizenship.    He specifically believes that they should NOT get that citizenship, and in any case, he would deport the entire family back to where they came from – Ignoring any citizenship issues.   I could go on about how nuts this plan is, just from a logistics standpoint, but, I am more interested in the Birth Right issue right now.
     For those of us who are not Constitutional scholars, or, were  unable to stay awake in American History when the Constitution was studied…the concept of “Birth Right” citizenship comes from the 14th Amendment.  I will include a verbatim copy of it later on, but, right now, will say that it states, in fairly clear terms that “all people” born inside the borders of the country are automatically citizens of the United States.   Well,   The Donald went on to say that he had talked with a number of very good Constitutional Lawyers who were of the opinion that this clause ONLY applied to the freed slaves, and had nothing to do with anyone else.   Sadly, he has yet to give us the name of even one Constitutional scholar who is willing to say this!   So,  since he has decided that this clause of a Constitutional Amendment is unconstitutional,  he intends to ignore it, and claim that children born of undocumented immigrants are NOT citizens of the USA, but only hold citizenship in their parent’s country.  Now by doing this he removes ANY legal barriers that might keep him from tossing the entire family on to transport back to their country of origin.
     Needless to say, this has generated quite a furor online.   Among the educated, and the Liberals,  it has produced much laughter and many humorous remarks.   Among the Right-Wingers,  it has produced a lot of comments that seem to revolve around the ideas that they love The Donald because he is someone willing to stand up to the establishment, and, hoping that he gets elected so “we can get our country back”.   By the by, I have asked a number of times  what exactly this means, and have gotten NO answers yet.
     Well,  earlier today,   I decided that I would hop on it myself for a bit…so I  spent some time on Facebook, teaching Pigs to Sing. In thiscase, there was a lengthy thread started by an admiring post thatsaid how wonderful the Donald was for finally, accuratelyinterpreting the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Ofcourse, this is total nonsense, and simply demonstrates the ignoranceof the Right-Wingers. I had the following exchange thatdemonstrates my thesis fairly well, I think:

DaveMundt Hum…the Donald seems to have some difficulty with English. I do not see ANY language in the 14th Amendment that says the Birth Right clause applies only to Negroes. As a matter of fact the first two words of the Amendment are “All persons” which seems pretty inclusive to me. Perhaps his problem is akin to dyslexia, except he has some wiring in his brain that simply pulls up random words and inserts them into the text he is trying to read. In any case, Although this is the “Boogie Man” Issue of the Right-Wingers and has been so for decades, I believe it is hardly the most important issue in today’s world.   I really find it difficult to believe that any other nation is attempting to overthrow the United States by creating citizens that will have a legal right to be here!

Oh yes…as for the point about other nations and their procedure for naturalizing immigrants….Not only is it far easier to get a residency permit up front for most of the civilized nations in the world, but, the path to becoming a citizen takes a few years….not the up to 25 years it can take for obtaining US citizenship.

Like· Reply · 2 hrs · Edited

RR Then you have a liberal edited copy of Constitution, for it says former slaves. The 14th amendment did not even include Native Americans. Trump is right exclusively for former slaves.

Like· 1 · 2 hrs

DaveMundt Mr. RR —Here is the copy I was looking at –…/constitution_amendments_11-27… To the best of my knowledge, the National Archives has no political bias. If you wish to claim otherwise…you MUST provide verifiable references to prove it.

That having been said – You are factually correct that the Native Americans wereexcluded from this Amendment.   However, that was for the purposes of determining the number ofRepresentatives a state would have.  It had nothing to do with the Birth Right issue. However, do you have ANY Clue why Native Americans were mentioned in this Amendment?  Let me explain – Native Americans have a special status in the United States. They were considered a separate nation ( a status that continues until today). Here is a short discussion of the issue. This, by the by was eventually modified so Native Americans now are, essentially, holding dual citizenship (Per the 14th Amendment…) as members of their tribes, and as US citizens.  As regards the Reservations,  here is the authoritative word –  

I am quite willing to cede that the intent of the Founding Fathers was to modify and remove the 3/5th designation of humanity that the ex-slaves had at the time. However, I argue that the Founding Fathers were looking PAST that specific use – hence the “All Persons” lead into the Amendment. Add to that the fact that there is NO language that makes the birth right section of the Amendment specific to ex-slaves or other people of color and I can see no logical explanation other than the Amendment  was intended to do exactly what it says….grant citizenship to ANY child born within the borders of the United States.

Hereis the Amendment in question…


Passedby Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note:Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representativess hall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-Presidentof the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation there in shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment. 

     Because The Donald is such a great side show,  he is currently leading the pack of the 17 that want to be the Republican candidate for President.   This has generated a huge amount of attention for him, of course, but, the worrisome thing is that several other wannabes are making a strong effort to jump on the “Trump Bandwagon”  in order to get some of that adulation for themselves.   At least four or five of the potentials have already come out and strongly supported The Donald’s interpretation of the 14th Amendment, and said that if THEY are elected they will implement the same sort of deportation policies  that The Donald is promising.    It does not, in my view, speak well towards either their education, their intellectual abilities, or, their trustworthiness to fulfill the demands of the office and live up to the oath they would take IF they were able to get elected.    

     As with most Amendments,  the 14th  one covers several topics,  and so is likely to be confusing to those with limited reading skills and comprehension (and yes…I know I am being snarky here).   However,   to simply pick and choose lines from the Amendment, in order to push one’s agenda is just as childish, and foolish as picking individual Bible Verses out to prove a point.   One has to take either the whole thing or none of it.   This misuse of the basic document that defines us as a country and a society makes me fear for the long-term survival of America.   

Sleep Well
Bee Man Dave

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