Naturalized Citizens: Should They Run for President?Opinion
SAN ANGELO, TX - The current presidential election has stirred many questions over what qualifications are necessary to produce a candidate worthy of leading this great nation. Supporters on both sides of the aisle have their complaints regarding the current party candidates Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican), but this is a topic that doesn't have a happy conclusion, for many are concerned that the future of the U.S. will eventually fall into the hands of one of these candidates.
In this case, however, I would rather spend time discussing a topic that many people may or may have not considered regarding a presidential election; and that is, should a naturalized citizen be allowed to run for president of the United States?
The U.S. Constitution states in Article 2, section 1, 5th paragraph, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the age of 35 years, and been 14 years a resident within the United States."
As I have just become a naturalized citizen, I would never question the authority of a document that I hold very dear, as many of those reading would also agree. But the reason I ask the question of a naturalized citizen becoming president is more hypothetical.
Growing up in the states, I learned a lot about the culture that made both my family, and myself, proud to be living here. I enjoy watching happy faces when fireworks light up the sky on the night of July 4th, and gathering around the family table to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. These are just a few of the celebrations that have made me thankful to be part of this country I call home.
This is why I was always surprised when friends would tell me during my naturalization process that I am “More of an American” then they are. I always took this to mean a welcoming gesture, but then I realized it was much more. Being told this was a promise. It meant that person had full support in me for the decision I had made.
It’s truly been a blessing to be welcomed into this nation, and getting a chance to stand up for all that America has taught me since moving here. One of these lessons includes standing by your friends, family, and neighbors no matter what challenges you might face.
America isn’t the only country where citizens show strong feelings towards their country's flag, but when everybody stands in unison, as the red, white, and blue is presented, it makes me think of everybody making their own personal promise in that brief moment. Regardless if you can stand on your own, or have to stand in your heart because of any physical limitations, it’s a promise that we all make.
To get back on the topic of naturalized citizens, having a chance to run for office is an extension of that same promise. Anybody who has moved to America, and has had the opportunity to share in these experience might tell themselves, “I want to put my heart, mind and soul into this country.” I understand serving in one of the five branches of military is the greatest service you can do for your country, but the Presidency is a different way of serving outside of that honor. It’s a chance to walk up to other world leaders, and even other citizens, and show them you would give everything to protect your home.
There will always be disagreements of who should be given the title of President of the United States, a position that essentially makes you one of, if not, the most influential person in the world. It’s not an easy job to fill, and it was designed for that reason. The President holds many different positions, from the Chief Executive, to the Commander and Chief of the U.S. Military. It’s a position that requires quick thinking and good judgment.
Knowing this, let me pose a scenario. When a naturalized citizen hears from more than one individual he or she is more of a citizen than those individuals, this single act has now given that person the approval to go out there and continue to stand for what they have showed thus far. If this approval could be given from more than half the country, then should that naturalized citizen be given a chance to stand on the debate stage with a natural born citizen for the role of President?
Again, this is just a hypothetical question. Amending Article 2, section one, of the U.S. constitution wouldn’t be a top priority for the country at this time. But there is always the dream that one day a naturalized citizen may stand on the debate stage with a business person, or career politician, and say, “I love this country, and I'm ready to do all I can for it.”
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