“If You Were Born Via Caesarian Section You Can’t Be President”
Rush Limbaugh read a letter titled “More Modern Way of Living” on “The Rush Limbaugh Show” February 15, 2013. The letter was originally published in the Carteret County News-Times on January 23rd.
The letter is real. It was sighed, “A Proud Democrat.” But there’s some question as to whether it was sent in by a conservative making fun of liberals or by a die-hard, low-information voter. Snopes thinks it’s a parody. We don’t know because there is no name attached to it.
While I think Snopes is right, I’d be willing to bet that a lot of low-information voters would agree with every part of it.
One paragraph caught my attention.
“The Republicans are just trying to stand in the way, because the president is black. They even dared to question whether he was born in this country. I think all this demonstrates that the Constitution needs to be amended when it comes to the qualifications for being president. Right now, it says that a person has to be 35 years old and be a natural born citizen. Well, that is obviously unfair because there are a great many otherwise qualified people who cannot run for president because their mothers had to have a C-section. But because the Constitution was written a hundred years ago, nobody even thought of the discrimination that would result from a doctor having to deliver a baby in this unnatural way. Now that we Democrats are in control of the government, that’s just one more thing we should change in our drive to make life fair.”
A C-section is a Caesarian section. A woman who delivers a baby via C-section does not deliver the baby “naturally.” Anyone born this way would not qualify for the constitutional requirement to be “naturally born.” This is called equivocation: giving equal meaning to a word when the word requires two or more meanings. It’s a common mistake that liberals purposefully make all the time. Like the line in Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven”:
“There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”
There are enough ignorant people out there who would believe this argument. I’d love to test it. I know I’m right.
But there’s another point to be made. The implication of the letter writer (spoofing real low-information voters) is that the Constitution does not fit the definition of “modern.” The constitutional framers were smart men, not like Democrat Congressman Hank Johnson from Georgia who claimed that too many people on the island of Guam would tip it over. “My fear,” Johnson said to Admiral Robert Willard, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, “is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.” Johnson was overwhelmingly reelected.
Again, “natural-born citizen” doesn’t have anything to do with how a person was born but where he was born and who were his parents.
Our founders were quite aware of Caesarian births. They were students of Roman government and history. The word “Caesarian” has the word “Caesar” in it. (Some etymologists believe that the word comes from the verb caedere, to cut.) It was often said that Caesar was born via a C-section, although this has been disputed. The procedure, however, was known and practiced thousands of years ago.
“Pliny the Elder refers to a certain Julius Caesar (not the famous statesman, but a remote ancestor of his) as ab utero caeso, ‘cut from the womb,’ a godly attribute comparable to rumours about the birth of Alexander the Great. This and Caesar’s name may have led to a false etymological connection with the ancient monarch. Notably, the Oxford English Dictionary does not credit a derivation from ‘caedere,’ and defines Caesarean birth as ‘the delivery of a child by cutting through the walls of the abdomen when delivery cannot take place in the natural way, as was done in the case of Julius Cæsar.’”
Notice the phrase “natural way.” The first modern successful Caesarian delivery was done in 1881.
It’s no wonder with the ignorance that floats about that low-information voters believe the constitutional phrase “general welfare” means wealth confiscation and wealth distribution, when it meant nothing of the sort.
So the next time you come across one of these spoof letters, don’t be too quick to dismiss it. There’s a great deal of truth in a parody.