27 April 2011

To The Donald (Again)

Oh, Donald. Dear Donald:


You have to stop! You’re making such a fool out of yourself that even in this age of shame and gracelessness, you’ve achieved a triumph of national embarrassment. I don’t think we can stand anymore.

Now that you’ve beaten the dead horse of Obama’s birth certificate to a liquefied pulp, you’re starting on his education? That he didn’t deserve to go to Ivy League schools because you heard he was a terrible student? Is this for real? The guy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. That puts him in the top 5 percent of graduates of one of the best schools in the entire world. That works for me. How much more do you need? Or rather, how racist can you be? The birther issue wasn’t enough – now it’s about his grades?

And speaking of universities, Donald, we need to talk. About the many interviews in which you boast of your own excellent education. How you repeat, over and over, how very smart you are and how you went to the best schools. Yes, you went to Wharton. You say you mention it so the media doesn’t think you’re crazy due to the birther thing. But it isn’t working. You must see that. We think you’re a nut, Wharton or not.

Perhaps you should get an alumna university sticker for the back of your limo – or do they make big ones for private jets? Maybe one to plaster across your forehead: ‘Wharton Grad’ – save yourself the trouble of bragging. It won’t be more ridiculous than the hair already on there.

But I’m not writing to you about your education or the President’s.  I want to tell you about my sons. 

They happen to be good students too (at least so far). But due to some old, outdated laws they are among the few American kids who don’t believe they can grow up to be President. Despite the fact that we are about as American as they make them. My father, a son of the greatest generation, volunteered for two wars for our country. My mother, a naturalized citizen, still recalls the day she became an American as one of the greatest in her life.

I love my country. My sons do too. I taught them to sing the national anthem within 24 hours of 9/11, though they were only 5, 3 and 1 at the time. (OK, it took the youngest a little longer.) My eldest is a born politician, loves debate. I remember him at two and a half, I told him it was time for bed, and he informed me my reasons were ‘ri-dic-klee-us.’ At 11 he won a speech competition among four schools, and this year he attended the Model United Nations at Unesco headquarters in Paris. A politician, born and in the making, who like Obama did, hopes to go to Harvard Law and help save the world.

So it made me wonder exactly what the natural born criteria means. Are my boys, all three American citizens, born of an American mother and issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, considered natural born? If not, it is only because I lived outside the U.S. and elected not to travel back my last month of pregnancy.   

Jon Meacham examines the issue.* He attributes this effort to you and your revival of the birther movement. It turns out while ‘natural born’ remains open to interpretation; the clause comes from more than 200 years ago. America (at the time a very young nation) feared a European nobleman could come from abroad to take over the country.

There’s very little risk of that today, on that much we can agree. But it points out what is most ludicrous about this birther saga – how little it actually matters.

So, please, Donald, please, I beg you. Give it a rest. Challenge Obama if you want, but do it on the real issues, not ancient history. Stop accusing him of being the greatest con man alive. Unless, as my son hypothesized, you are the real con. Perhaps you truly believe in Obama and are doing one heck of a job pretending to be a right wing nutter so as to hand our President re-election on a silver platter. It would certainly make more sense.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic blog - and your timing is unbelievable! Do you have an inside scoop on White House Press Announcements?!! Thanks for telling off the Donald - and I hope if he wants your son can run for President someday (although why anyone would want to???)

    In any case, Alexis, you're a great writer and deserve to have a huge audience!


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