The Asinine Error of “All”
Human communication is fraught with possibilities for ambiguity, but normally ambiguity goes unnoticed and as a result errors of interpretation creep in. Usually with ambiguity, only one of two (or more) possibilities is actually true and any others are false or wrong. This fact is an element in the understanding of Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President . Errors of thinking, errors of logic have crept into the thinking of what constitutes a “natural born citizen” -which is what the Constitution requires the President to be.
This is the result of an ambiguity that is so infinitesimal that it is unnoticeable. Learned and wise men have failed to notice it, and some of them, being in positions of legislative or judicial authority, have conveyed their naturally held beliefs because of not recognizing the ambiguity inherent in their overly simplistic view of what exactly a natural born citizen is and is not. What was their error? It was in conflating two distinctly different circumstances of birth in relation to the United States.
One circumstances makes one a natural born citizen, while the other does not, but has historically been confused with the first circumstance because they have almost everything in common, in fact, perhaps 99.9% in common. To understand the important of the difference, all one has to do is considered a recipe of a healthy mixture of natural grains, and then recognize that there is another version of that same recipe, but it contains .01% warfarin, the blood thinner. When ingested it thins the blood of rats and mice to the point that it kills them, -rat poison.
The only reason that anyone pays any attention to the .01% warfarin is because it is fatal. If it weren’t, people would make the logical but erroneous assumption that both recipes are the same. Such a presumption exists in the American practice of Naturalization Law, which has had the error creep in that since historically 99.9% of native born citizens are also natural born citizens (born to citizen parents), therefore the two are essentially one and the same, -interchangeable. But that concept is equivalent to calling the rat poison healthy rodent food. The devil is in the details, or, one should say, the distinction is in the details.
This error has led to a totally fallacious extrapolation regarding Obama’s eligibility to be President. The false illogical leap has been that since he is a native-born citizen (unproven still) therefore he is also a natural born citizen and thus eligible to be the President. “Native equals natural”. That is true 99.9% of the time, and therefore produced the false assumption that “All native born citizens are natural born citizens”, which is False because of a tiny percentage of exceptions to the generally true statement.
Let’s parse the language that has led to this misunderstanding. The result of ambiguity leads to the eventual use of the word “all”, which immediately renders otherwise true statements false.
1. Men love women, women love men. True
2 All men love women, all women love men. False.
The addition and use of the word “all” drastically alters the statement, changing it from being a simple, true general statement to being a complex, specific statement that is false. “All” adds precise specificity to the statement which it had lacked in its simpler form. “All men” is very specific and is free of ambiguity, but it is also free of accuracy, making it a false statement since it doesn’t take into account men who don’t like women, and women who don’t like men.
Another example is; “Females are female by birth into the female gender.” True. “All females are female by birth into the female gender.” False, since some become female by transsexual surgery. Again, the use of the word “all” renders the statement False.
In the Constitutional realm one would be correct to say that “natural born citizens are also native born.” But by adding the word “all” (All natural born citizens are also native born.) it becomes false because some are born outside of the borders of the United States, such as John McCain, -if he was born on a U.S. military base in Panama.
Also, it is true to say “persons born in the United States are citizens.” but it is false to add the word “all” -“All persons born in the United States are citizens.” because those born in the U.S. to visitors from foreign nations, are not citizens because they are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” because their parents are not subject, which is required in order for the 14th Amendment citizenship to apply. Such children are not Constitutionally citizens of the United States. The reason they are recognized as citizens is because of the perpetuation of an erroneous idea that sprang from settling on a seemingly true but nevertheless false concept that resulted from an unrecognized ambiguity.
Since, until recent decades, perhaps 99.9% of U.S. births to aliens occurred to permanent legal residents who were legally viewed as being subject to U.S. jurisdiction, their children were naturally accepted as meeting the requirement of the 14th Amendment, and were therefore citizens of the United States, whereas visitors were not. Today the government cannot order alien visitors to register with the Selective Service, nor draft them, nor order them to buy individual health care insurance, nor to not travel nor trade with Cuba. They are the rare exceptions which disproved the rule when the word “all” is added.
It’s true to say; “native born persons are natural born Americans.” because that is true 99.9% of the time, but it becomes false when “all” is added; “All native born persons are natural born Americans.”. It is false because even though 99.9% of native born persons are natural born Americans who were born to American citizens, some native born persons are born to foreign visitors, or illegal aliens, or to permanent resident non-naturalized foreigners who have no U.S. citizenship to pass to their off-spring as their birthright. But that falseness has gone unrecognized by many who reject the implication that since Barack Obama was born to a foreign, non-permanent resident who was subject to a foreign government, and who had no U.S. citizenship to pass to his son, therefore he did not receive citizenship via the 14th Amendment nor via natural law, -the traditional method of transmitting membership in a group (by being born into it). They must reject the clear conclusion that Obama’s citizenship status is outside of the historical and natural description of a natural born citizen.
Instead they cling to the life-preserver idea that “native born = natural born” even though it is clearly based on an erroneous assumption due to ambiguity. That assumption has been passed down through generations of immigration lawyers and judicial opinions because no one bothered to question the assumption on which it was based. Each generation quotes previous generations as their authority, but when you reach back to the farthest erroneous conclusion by influential authorities, you discover that they did not base their conclusion on logic, knowledge, nor the deduction that flows from them, but instead based their view on what they saw around them without any insight as to the immutable principle that lay beneath the surface, the foundational principle that was blocked by England from having its normal traditional role in the American colonies. That principle was the one that had been in effect in essentially all societies and nations for thousands of years, -which was the transmission of the parents’ group membership (citizenship) to their offspring, rather than membership being determined by where one was born. In colonial America, anyone born within the King’s domain was considered his subject, rather than being a subject because their parents were subjects, as it was in England where one was born as an Englishman because of birth to an Englishman.
Let’s examine an extreme example. An illegal couple cross the border and deliver a child in an American hospital. By the principles present when our nation was founded, that child would not have any basis for being considered an American, especially after the family returns to their own country. Though the child was born in the U.S. (native born) it is not a U.S. citizen by any logical reasoning. But if a U.S. couple cross the Mexican/Canadian border and the pregnant wife gives birth just feet from the U.S. border, the child, though not native born, is nevertheless an American citizen, and a natural born citizen also. But not a Constitutional Article II natural born citizen because of its foreign birth, -being “American bred” but not “American born”, and just that fact alone would not be within the definition that the founders had in mind in regard to Presidential eligibility. The wording they used was ambiguous, so no one can say how the Supreme Court, or any court would rule if such a person were to run for President but was confronted with a court case contesting his eligibility.
The question arises about how the U.S. government’s view of citizenship and immigration could be incorrectly based through multiple generations. The answer is simple. Once an error is accepted as fact, it begins to become ossified, it becomes “indisputable” precedent, because what is undesirable in the legal profession is ambiguity and uncertainty, both of which are avoided by settling on a fixed belief, even it it turns out to be wrong.
How can an error be perpetuated so easily? Because it comes naturally to do so. Who have you ever heard anyone pronounce the name “Porto Rico” correctly? Are you aware that there is no such place as Porto Rico in the Western Hemisphere? There is an island that was claimed by Columbus on his second voyage which is named Puerto Rico, [pwerto reeko] similar to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico in that the word “port” in Spanish is part of the name. But can you recall ever hearing it pronounced correctly? The error is even embedded in judicial history in the case of Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298 (1922), -in which the Supreme Court held that certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution did not apply to territories not incorporated into the union. It originated when Jesús M. Balzac was prosecuted for criminal libel in a district court of Puerto Rico.
Have you ever hear the word “culinary” pronounced correctly? Everyone says “kal in air ee” when its correct pronunciation is like the word cuticle (not pronounced cut e cal ) or peculiar (not “pee kal ee ar”. Everyone is wrong, (just like legal scholars who perpetuated an erroneous assumption as legal dogma), it is pronounced “qyu lin air ee”. The “C” is pronounced as “Q”.
Sometimes everyone can be wrong. Native Americans are still called “Indians” even though they have no connection to India. 500 years of error. It doesn’t matter how many people believe a lie, or an error, it doesn’t make it true, -regardless of the numbers or level of education. The history of science and medicine is a history of errors being embraced with total certainty and anyone discovering the truth being vilified or professionally shunned. The legal profession is not immune from perpetuated error, and the asinine belief that “native born = natural born” is one of the biggest.