Barrack Obama was not the first sitting president to be accused of foreign birth. That dubious honor belongs to our 21st president, Chester A. Arthur. Mr. Arthur was thought by many to have been born in Canada and by a lesser number to have been born in Ireland.
Without regard, he served his term and moved on into history, the country none the worse for his having occupied its highest office.
I realize that the current controversy is kept alive primarily as a political ploy but it has the potential to do lasting damage to our republic. The time to fight the “birther” battle has long since passed.
Some blame for the birther issue having such long legs must be shared by the mainstream media and by Mr. Obama himself. He could easily have directly refuted claims by people in Kenya, his paternal grandmother included, that they witnessed his birth. The Kenyan hospital that offers tours claiming to be the “Birthplace of the 44th President of the United States” could have been told to stop doing so. And had Mr. Obama chosen to do so, he could have cleared up any rumor of having been a foreign exchange student in the USA by simply releasing his transcripts.
His failure to do any of these is not proof of foreign birth, merely a suggestion that there might be some hidden agenda being served.
The mainstream media, with its ability to get reporters to remote sites anywhere on the planet at the drop of a hat might have dispatched an investigative reporter or two prior to the 2008 election. At this juncture it is far too late to do anything other than to let the matter rest.
Suppose that someone among the “birthers” produced a smoking gun, incontrovertible proof that Mr. Obama was indeed foreign born. Then what? Presenting such evidence would result in a constitutional crises beyond imagination as several thousands of individuals and organizations sued to have everything our current President ever touched be declared invalid. The Federal Courts would be hopelessly log jammed for decades and the status of many worthy programs would be suspect.
In this writer’s opinion the best way to approach the entire birther issue is to ignore it and let it follow Chester A. Arthur’s similar controversy into obscurity. Future historians can resurrect it every now and again to argue the pro and cons as they write scholarly papers on the two individuals who possibly ascended to the highest office in the land without the legal right to do so.
America survived Chester A. Arthur, it will survive Barrack H. Obama without regard to where either of them was actually born.