Of all the conservative accusations targeting President Obama, the claim that he is “shredding the Constitution” may be the most popular; in part because most conservatives are clueless about what is in the Constitution and because many honestly believe that an African American President is unconstitutional. Republicans are serial projectionists, that is accusing someone else of doing what they themselves are guilty of. And so it is that although most of the Republican actions that are contrary to the Constitution are less than obvious to the ignorant American, since 2010 they have made little secret they lust to shred the Constitution in a very, very big and very public way.
There is nothing more, except impose theocracy, that many conservatives would rather do than deny certain groups of people inclusion in America; something this country has not done since four years before the Civil War. Since the election of Barack Obama, there has been a robust movement in this country yearning to deny non-Christians, non-whites, and non-conservatives the same rights as white Christian Republicans. If they were able, the neo-conservative movement would impose harsh prohibitions on who gets to be “an American;” something that did happen one other time in America.
From the nation’s founding until 1857, it was common law in America that all people born in this exceptional nation were automatically citizens; it just made sense. However, the racist Supreme Court abolished that “common law” in 1857 during a white supremacist crusade and ruled that no human being of African ancestry, whether they were a slave or free man or woman, could ever be a citizen of the United States; that “exceptional nation” founded on the fallacious notion that “all men are created equal.” Americans could only be white.
It took a bloody Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation,” and ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 to make what was a “common law” from America’s founding into a Constitutional right of citizenship; a right that more and more Republicans want abolished and not solely to eliminate birthright citizenship. It took a general election in which Hispanic voters supported Barack Obama in 2008, and prodding by teabaggers, to convince mainstream Republicans to embrace ‘white supremacy’ as official policy and make immigrants a particular target of Republicans’ evil machinations. Indeed, since 2010 Republicans have been targeting predominately Hispanic immigrants as part of their devotion to nativism and drive to deny them inclusion in America.
Nativism normally means severe hatred targeting immigrants and immigration, and nativists characteristically support any and all efforts to eliminate the legal status of specific ethnic, religious, or cultural groups the “natives” regard as dangerous and hostile to the “legitimate culture.” The nativists’ hatred of “other” is founded on the assumption the “other” cannot be assimilated into ‘the superior native culture‘ because, in the case of Republicans, the “others” are the wrong race, come from the wrong country, and vote for the wrong political party. To completely legitimize the nativists’ incomprehensible hatred for immigrants that are not of white European descent, Republicans in ever-growing numbers have joined the five-year crusade to officially shred the Constitution, particularly the 14th Amendment, because it guarantees what the Founding Fathers’ considered “common law;” birthright citizenship.
One of the more hateful anti-immigrant Republicans, next to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Representative Steve King (R-IA) started a crusade in 2010 to put an immediate end to the scourge of the U.S. Constitution; the 14th Amendment. According to King, the amendment that “grants everyone born in the United States of America the right of citizenship” is behind the “plague of anchor babies” and he wants Republicans to shred the Constitution to make it go away. King, and many other Republicans, claim Hispanics and their Democratic cohort use the 14th Amendment as a scheme to gain a stronghold in America by emigrating under the guise of seeking a better life, and then having children. King has introduced legislation to “shred the Constitution” and end the 14th Amendment in every session of Congress since 2010.
This crusade to abolish the 14th Amendment is not reserved for immigrant-obsessed King, or more recently Donald Trump. On Sunday, Trump officially endorsed ending the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship and the following day the Koch candidate Scott Walker called for “shredding the Constitution;” not necessarily to keep pace with Trump, but because Hispanics do not vote for Republicans like Walker who cannot stand the thought of them in the United States.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich supported ending birthright citizenship religiously in the past, but now that he is attempting to be “less-evil” than other Republican presidential hopefuls he said combatting illegal immigration may not require abolishing the 14th Amendment. Rand Paul claimed the 14th Amendment does not apply to “illegal aliens” (GOP epithet for Latinos) during his 2010 Senate campaign. Rand Paul is a fool because it is impossible for a person born in America to be an illegal alien. Since then he has been pushing for a new Amendment to replace the 14th Amendment. Other candidates jumping on the anti-immigrant, shred the Constitution, bandwagon are; New Jersey’s Chris Christie who said the United States Constitution “needs to be re-examined;” Louisiana Governor Piyush Jindal curiously joined the nativists and said “We need to end birthright citizenship;” and former Senator Rick Santorum supports ending what he calls rewards for illegal immigrants in the 14th Amendment; just one part of the Constitution he supports ‘shredding’ to keep America religiously pure and white.
The Republican “shred the Constitution’s 14th Amendment” fever even incited longtime immigration reform advocate Senator Lindsey Graham calling on Republicans to change the Constitution because he believes immigrants only come to America to simply “drop and leave” their kids. Texan, and religiously-twisted Republican, Louie Gohmert is convinced that all those Latino immigrants were dropping “anchor babies” that al Qaeda uses to “raise radicals with American passports.”
What is an abominable is that all of the Republicans panting to “shred the Constitution” by abolishing the 14th Amendment are beneficiaries of birthright citizenship at some point in their ancestry. The only human beings that are natives to America are Native Americans; every other person’s ancestors emigrated, many “illegally,” from some foreign country which is why the Founding Fathers considered ‘birthright citizenship’ just common sense and common law; the natural order of things. Republicans just cannot see it that way and this is another case of teabagger Republicans wanting to “take their country back’ to America’s darkest period while the nation was being nearly rent in two because birthright citizenship for people of color was appalling; and Republicans want to shred the Constitution to revert back to legal white supremacy.
The Constitution is clear; anyone born in America is a citizen and the Supreme Court has consistently held that the Fourteenth Amendment grants automatic citizenship to “anyone” born on U.S. soil. It is the only ruling the Court can possibly make because there is nothing in that Amendment that is in any way, shape, or form ambiguous. What is curious is that so many of Republicans seeking the presidency are purposely degrading an already pathetic standing with the Hispanic community.
Some pundits and political commentators claim Republicans are heading towards a dangerous nativist trend, and one wonders exactly where they have been for the past six years. Because this anti-immigrant, shred the Constitution, trend did not begin with Donald Trump; he is just tapping into a well-conditioned, angry and hateful segment of the population that hates “the other,” and Republicans are confident that the conservative base will gleefully support shredding the Constitution if they think it protects their precious white America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.