A fringe element of Obama critics contends that he’s not constitutionally eligible for office because, they say, he was born in Kenya and not, as Obama says, in Hawaii. They say that his lack of a long form birth certificate is evidence of this, as well as offhand statements by a few people connected with him.
There are several huge problems with this theory:
1. The lack of a long form Hawaii birth certificate is not proof that such a thing does not exist, much less that Obama wasn’t born there. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
2. Even if it could be proven that there is not a sufficiently detailed Hawaii birth certificate, that’s still not proof that he wasn’t born there. Any number of things could have happened to the paperwork.
3. Proving that he wasn’t born in Hawaii still wouldn’t prove that he wasn’t born a US citizen, much less that he was born in Kenya. The two are completely unrelated.
4. Short of airtight documentary evidence that he was born in Kenya, proving that he wasn’t born in Hawaii doesn’t really prove anything.
5. Not that it’s possible to prove where someone wasn’t born, anyway. You can’t prove a negative.
6. None of the evidence claimed by birthers so far, including the supposedly revealing statements by some people who claim to be close to him, is impressive—it’s subjective, speculative, and unfounded by any actual facts or details. I don’t think such paltry rumors could even be admitted in a court.
7. Even if it were possible to show that he was born in Kenya, it’s still possible that he could have been a legal US citizen from birth—it happens all the time. (You may not like this or agree with it, but it’s arguable, and if it’s arguable, the status quo would win.)
8. Also like it or not, the fact is that the Founders’ meaning for “natural born citizen” is not documented or explained anywhere (at least, not to the best of my knowledge—please correct me if I’m wrong). So, even if the first seven barriers were surmounted, birthers would still have to contend with this.
9. He claims that he was born in Hawaii. While his memory obviously can’t know that for a fact, it seems to be his honest understanding. Why question that? We might disagree, vehemently so, with his policies, but that’s no reason to impinge his character. This would seem to be a pretty easy place to give someone the benefit of the doubt.