There is growing controversy in the US over the possible ineligibility for the presidency of leading candidate Ted Cruz and Tea party favourite. This is something of an ironic birther twist given what many Tea baggers were saying about Obama. This video from the Young Turks summaries the situation.
For those unfamiliar with the controversy, to be president of the US you have to be “a natural born citizen of the US”. However the constitution is vague about who qualifies. Some argue that just being a citizen born to a US parent counts. Others argue you have to actually be born on US soil. Nobody will dispute the fact that Obama’s mother was an American. And the president’s birth certificate lists his birth place as Hawaii. What the birther’s alleged is that A) his birth cert is fake and B) that you have to be actually born on US soil for it to count.
However what is not in dispute is that Ted Cruz was born in Canada. Hence rather than releasing his birth certificate, he released his mother’s birth certificate (his would be bilingual anyway, and we know how Republicans feel about foreign languages!). Obviously, this implies that even if the Birther’s were right all along, Obama would still qualify.
However, its now being alleged that Ted Cruz’s mother was on the electoral register in Canada at the time of his birth. This is important, because you cannot vote in a Canadian federal election without being a Canadian citizen. And you can’t be a dual citizen of both Canada and America. The implication is that she gave up her citizenship and was technically Canadian at the time she had Ted Cruz – disqualifying him from being allowed to become president. Indeed its worth noting that Mc Cain, Obama’s opponent in 2008, also wasn’t born in the US (in military base in Panama).
Of course what this controversy shows is not just the deep hypocrisy of the American right….such as how they can be pro-life but also pro-death penalty, or what to fight terrorism but not if it means some basic background checks on gun owners. It also highlights the inherent racism within the party. The reality is that all of this Birther crap was just code word for “we don’t want no N****rs in the White House”. And while the Tea Party will welcome Canadians with open arms, Mexicans or Syrians face the threat of being thrown out and treated like second class citizens. Not because they are a risk to jobs or security, but purely because their skin colour doesn’t match with the GOP colour chart.