November 28, 2005
Debate 24: "Becoming President: Natural-Born Citizens Only or All Citizens?"
In Debate 24, Forrest McDonald and John Yinger each defend their opinion on whether natural-born citizens or all citizens should be eligible to become president of the United States. It is safe to say that for the most part every boy and girl has been taught that he or she has the capability to become the next president when they grow up. However, what each boy and girl is not taught is that this statement is not entirely true because it cannot be met by all. According to the Constitution, not every American boy and girl has the chance to lead this country. In fact, any individual that has not been born a citizen of the United States is automatically disqualified from the race to become president. Article II, section I of the Constitution states clearly that only natural-born citizens of the United States can be eligible to become president. This means that foreign-born citizens or naturalized citizens are ineligible. Some may agree that natural-born citizens should be the only ones with the privilege to become president, while others view this as an important civil right that is being taken away from naturalized citizens. In the following debate, Forrest McDonald expresses why he believes natural-born citizens should be the only ones to become president, while John Yinger presents the importance of creating a constitutional amendment to allow foreign-born citizens to be president.
Forrest McDonald, a distinguished university Research Professor of History, believes that only natural-born citizens should become president. He opposes the idea that a constitutional amendment allowing naturalized citizens to be eligible to become president because of the possibility of foreign influence. The fear of foreign influence exists because it can spread and effect people in many different countries. According to...