No, This Has Nothing to do With Arnold

According to the U.S. Constitution, only natural born citizens of the United States are eligible for the Office of President. I think this was appropriate at the time it was written, but things have changed a lot, and the United States has always been a nation with a large immigrant population. In fact, immigrants who have experienced life outside the United States may even have a deeper appreciation of the American way of life and government than those who have never experienced anything else. Surely, they may always retain a love for their homeland, but this isn’t a problem. A person may love two countries while maintaining a singular, special loyalty to the United States in executing its highest office.

On the other hand, it would be foolish to permit the Presidency to a new citizen who had moved from Botswana two years ago. This person could not possibly be rooted deeply enough in American culture, thinking, procedures, or issues to properly be President of the United States. Moreover, loyalty to America would have been by that time impossible to determine.

So I have an idea that I think would make a fine Constitutional amendment. The minimum age requirement for holding the office of President is 35 years old. (No one has ever been nearly this young, but that’s the criterion.) I propose that we open the Presidency to those who are natural born citizens or who have been naturalized citizens (not merely legal residents) for at least 35 years. This is like a lifetime of citizenship. It is a long time, no doubt, but doesn’t seem unfair to me; we’re talking about the President, after all. This would open the Office to immigrants, but not imprudently. I would also add that the President of the United States may have had but cannot have duel citizenship.

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One thought on “No, This Has Nothing to do With Arnold

  1. Kate says:

    I am a naturalized immigrant, and I approve this message.

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