Born in the U.S.A.

This is political and probably has no place on this blog.

On tonight’s “Daily Show”, Jon Stewart took on the alleged movement to eliminate or modify jus soli in the United States.

It should be said that by most accounts, I’m a fairly liberal person, and I also fully understand that “The Daily Show” is “fake news” by their own admission, and meant to be entertainment. That said, this segment makes one of my most disliked logical fallacies and Stewart needs to be called out on it: he begged the question.

To wit, he attempted to make the point that birthright citizenship is correct and desirable because it’s specified in the Fourteenth Amendment. Far from an airtight case, wouldn’t you say? His argument, in a nutshell: because more politicians thought it was a good idea than the politicians who thought it was a bad idea, absolute birthright citizenship must be protected. I think I’m paraphrasing correctly, but if you disagree, let me know.

I don’t necessarily disagree that birthright citizenship has played a role in making the United States one of the most diverse and accepting countries on the planet. But I don’t necessarily disagree, either, that it presents some sticky legal problems with regards to illegal immigrants.

If you checked the linked Wikipedia article (and I don’t want to get into the possible lack of exactitude therein), you probably read that jus soli is observed in roughly only 16% of the world, and even amongst that 16%, some operate under a modified version. France, for example, requires the “manifestation of will”–essentially, the child herself, if born to foreign parents, needs to request nationality at the age of majority. In Australia, a child must have at least one parent who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. And it goes on.

The point is, there isn’t one right way to go about this. I agree that birthright citizenship is valuable, but you can put me in the camp of Americans who think that at least one parent should have some legal entitlement to be in this country. I’m not certain why I should be lumped together with the clearly racist and paranoid Senator Edward Cowan of Pennsylvania (1861-1867) just because I have a different view on Stewart’s sacred cow. That’s as ignorant and specious as the emotional, irrational poppycock espoused by the grandstanding politicians that Stewart, himself, regularly lampoons on his show.

For the record, I’m a big fan of “The Daily Show”, but Jon Stewart, like anybody else, should be kept honest. This isn’t a black and white issue.

2 Replies to “Born in the U.S.A.”

  1. Somehow, I didn’t get the idea that Charlie Wax was political. He just does the job. As long as there are plenty of people for him to kill, he’s happy.

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