By Jeffrey J. Cunningham
 
Jeffrey J. Cunningham is self-employed and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
 
 
Yes, at first glance it does come across as a much wilder and a far more distant dream than any chimeric dream, but if you stay with me during our short exploratory journey and also remember that this is the United States of America, which is quite unlike any other country in the world, the dream will become less of a chimeric dream.
 
The chaos, confusion and unrest that have gripped the nation since 2016 are doomed to fade away and the United States’ citizens and its allies will once again hear and respond to the clarion call of the Soul of the United States to re-unite on the same page forward.
 
Let us during our short exploratory journey set aside the issue of the Iroquois origin of the United States Constitution and go directly to Article II, Chapter 5 of the Constitution as it is, which states:
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 
 
We will re-visit this Chapter 5 later on in our journey.
 
The perpetual fountain of life of the Constitution is in its Fifth Article (Article V), which provides the mechanism for amending the Constitution to help it keep abreast of changing times and is a testament to the insight and wisdom of the Founders.
 
Since the effective date of the Constitution on March 4, 1789, each  amendment  has  mirrored the citizenry’s admirable rising to the occasion to deal with the steep challenges of change and the curveballs it has thrown at the nation and as time marches on, the Constitution will accordingly meet the needs of a great citizenry who can tackle any change of any seismic proportion.
 
The Digital Age has been upon us for some time now and much of what we have been witnessing and experiencing today was not even conceivable when the Constitution was being crafted in the 18th century.  Waves of change are incessantly crashing on the shores of our minds and whether some of us are in denial or not, the knowing eyes of the Digital Age are staring at us.  Because of the Digital Age, the nations of the world are now having highly incestuous relations with one another!  The oft-quoted “the United States needs the rest of the world as much as the rest of the world needs the United States” has never had more relevance in any other age than in the present Digital Age.
 
There are several million American citizens who were born outside the United States to non-American parents.  They are from all walks of life and professions and serve the country faithfully and honorably.  They are part of the dynamic force of the nation and among them, there must be a few with sterling qualities, great courage and fortitude, and bottomless reserves of insight and wisdom that it takes to become great leaders.  Unfortunately, the constitutional barrier has kept them on the sidelines, making spectators out of them, and the best any one of them can do and the highest they can reach is to serve as a cabinet secretary to a native-born president.
 
Let us review the cases of two American top diplomats: Henry Kissinger, the 56th US Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, born in Bavaria, Germany, and Madeleine Albright, the 64th US Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, born in Prague, Czech Republic. 
 
Quite unlike many other United States citizens born outside the United States to their American parents, such as Christian Herter, the 53rd US Secretary of State, who was born in Paris, France, to his American parents, Kissinger and Albright both were born outside the United States to their non-American parents.
 
What was the United States’ experience under the native-born presidents, Nixon and Clinton?  It had to spend an extensive amount of valuable time and resources to deal with the unnecessary and uncalled-for nuisance of their short-sighted, irresponsible and unethical “presidential actions” of the Watergate and Monica Lewinsky sex scandal!  It is quite clear that both Kissinger and Albright would have made better presidents than Nixon and Clinton had it not been for the constitutional barrier before them.
 
Still much worse is the case of a native-born president who happens to be too ignorant to heed any advice and warning from the highly qualified advisors and officials and is simply hopelessly unfit for office beyond a reasonable doubt!  What are the consequences for the United States of having such a president?  The damage done to the United States both domestically and internationally is simply too extensive to be dealt with in our short exploratory journey.
 
Suffice it to say, and just in passing, to prevent any imposter and demagogue from entering the presidential race, the United States is in exigent need of an amendment, better be called “Tax-return Amendment XXVIII”, which makes it mandatory for every presidential candidate and the person he or she taps for the Vice President office to reveal and release their tax returns for at least the last seven years.  Had such an amendment been part of the Constitution, the United States and the rest of the world would not have been condemned to the 45th Administration and its Mobster-in-Chief! 
 
We can rightfully call this constitutional barrier in Article II, Chapter 5 the United States’ self-imposed opportunity loss.  Let us now revisit and review Chapter 5:
 
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; …
 
First, this leaves the door open for a very legitimate argument that one or more of those who were foreign-born citizens at the time of the adoption of this Constitution and could legally run for president would have done so if they had been intensely preoccupied and consumed by the malicious intention of becoming the president to switch sides and betray the United States, but it never happened.
Second, we can also bring a native-born POTUS’s foreign-born spouse into the picture and, considering the influence that spouses have on each other, legitimately argue that since ancient times rulers’ foreign-born spouses have tremendously influenced the rulers’ vital national decisions and conclude that when it comes to the dealings with the country of origin of the native-born POTUS’s spouse, the native-born POTUS will not always choose what is in the best interest of the United States!
Who were the players in those seminal years of the crafting and development of the Constitution?  One of the significant and pivotal figures among the Founding Fathers is Alexander Hamilton, a foreign-born American!  He was born in Charlestown, the capital of the Island of Nevis in the Federation of Saint Kitts & Nevis in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea.  How about Marquis de Lafayette, known in the United States as “Lafayette”?  He was a French aristocrat, a general, and a hero of the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles including the siege of Yorktown.  His involvement was an absolute necessity for the success of the American Revolutionary War.  He did not become an American citizen and returned to France and became a major player in the French Revolution of 1789.  Lafayette Square in Washington, D. C. is named after him.
 
We need to go over the list of other prominent American citizens who were born outside the United States to their non-American parents so that it can steer us to the right and reasonable conclusion.
 
The following is the list of four-star generals and one four-star admiral, who were all born outside the United States to their non-American parents, handled sensitive and great responsibilities with distinction, served the country honorably, and at all times were ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for the United States:
 
1. Gen. Benjamin Lear, Jr. (Canada) 2. Gen. Walter Krueger (Poland) 3.  Adm. Hyman G. Rickover (Congress Poland) 4.  Gen. James Ferguson (Turkey) 5. Gen. Kenneth McLennan (Canada) 6. Gen. John Shalikashvili (Poland) 7.  Gen. Frank Gorenc (Yugoslavia) 8. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend (Bavaria) 9. Gen. Robert B. Abrams (Germany) 10.  General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy (Canada)
 
Besides Kissinger and Albright, the following is the list of other prominent American cabinet secretaries, who advised the POTUS.  They were all born outside the United States to their non-American parents:
 
1. Alexander Hamilton (West Indies) (The 1st U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 2. Albert Gallatin (Geneva) (The 4th U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 3. George Campbell (UK) (The 5th U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 4. Alexander Dallas (Jamaica) (The 6th U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 5. William Duane (Ireland) (The 11th U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 6. W. Michael Blumenthal (Germany) (The 64th U. S. Secretary of the Treasury) 7. Carl Schurz (Germany) (He served with distinction in the American Civil War as a general in the Union Army.) (The 13th U. S. Secretary of the Interior) 8. Franklin Lane (Canada) (The 26th U. S.  Secretary of the Interior) 9. Sally Jewell (UK) (The 51st U. S. Secretary of the Interior) 10. James Wilson (UK) (The 4th U. S. Secretary of Agriculture) 11.        Carlos Gutierrez (Cuba) (The 35th U. S. Secretary of Commerce) 12. Rockwell A. Schnabel (Netherlands) (The  8th U. S.  Deputy  Secretary of  Commerce) 13. William Wilson (UK) (The 1st U. S. Secretary of Labor) 14.  James Davis (Wales) (The 2nd U. S. Secretary of Labor) 15. Elaine Chao (Taiwan) (The 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor and the 18th U. S. Secretary of Transportation) 16. Anthony J. Celebrezze (Italy) (The 5th U. S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare) 17. Mel Martinez (Cuba) (The 12th U. S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development)
 
Do the above lists not give us an inkling of a sense that there has been something amiss since the effective date of the Constitution on March 4, 1789?
 
These Americans on the lists, along with millions of their fellow Americans who were also born outside the United States to their non-American parents, never had any control over their birthplaces, but they consciously and determinedly chose to live their lives as U. S. citizens.  For the few of them with great leadership qualities and capabilities, the cultural and social transformation they have undergone is an added advantage in seeing the bigger picture in its totality and developing a worldview to lead the United States responsibly and sure-footedly, especially during domestic hardship or difficult times of international turmoil.
 
All of this makes a compelling case in favor of ending the United States’ self-imposed opportunity loss and allowing a naturalized American citizen to run for POTUS or be tapped for V-POTUS.
 
Going by how human nature works, a naturalized POTUS is at least as anxious as, if not far more anxious than, a native-born POTUS to perform the presidential tasks, duties, and responsibilities outstandingly and be remembered accordingly.  Until we have one or more naturalized presidents, it will be completely safe to think that such a presidential candidate does not have, nor can he/she afford to have, the luxury of a native-born presidential candidate in dragging a slew of scandals, lawsuits, and allegations into the White House and thus tainting the inner sanctum of the United States.
 
The removal of the constitutional barrier with an amendment will not result in having a naturalized POTUS any time soon, but it will heal the injured and hurt relations between the two immigrant and native-born groups and will have a calming and settling effect on the nation’s nerves, which will be felt within a generation after school children at a tender age learn that any American citizen regardless of where they were born can become the president and head of state of the United States of America.  The perpetuation of a nation’s strength and greatness depends on the degree to which great men and great women around the world are willing to perpetuate it!