By Jonathan Capehart
The Washington Post
Birther nonsense forced Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas, by way of Canada) to release his birth certificate Monday.
As we all now know, the Lone Star freshman was born in Calgary, Alberta. But way too many people fail to accept that, as The Washington Post reported, because Cruz was born to an American mother, he became a U.S. citizen at birth.
(This is not to be confused with the racist birther nonsense that consumed President Obama's first term. Even though Obama was born in Hawaii, the 50th state in the union, many people were convinced that he was born in Kenya, the birthplace of his father. These people also conveniently ignored the fact that Obama's mother was American. So, even if he had been born in Kenya, which he was not, Obama still would be a U.S. citizen. Nevertheless, some folks are still convinced that he's illegally occupying the Oval Office. But back to Cruz.)
Cruz didn't have to release his birth certificate. That he did shows the staying power of the birther movement. But his Canadian birth raises an interesting issue.
Like the United States, our neighbors to the north dictate that anyone born in Canada is a Canadian citizen. So Cruz has dual citizenship.
"Senator Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Dallas Morning News.
"To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce." We now know that's not true.
Legally, Cruz can do whatever he wants. The Constitution is silent on whether dual citizenship is a no-no for the U.S. president.
But if Cruz wants to be president of the United States, which is as plainly apparent as a cloud in the sky, he should renounce his Canadian citizenship.
Personally, I have no problem with dual citizenship. But the allegiance of my president should be unwavering. I say this for no other reason other than it just wouldn't look right.
But it appears that Cruz didn't think it looked right either.
Late Monday night he announced that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship.
"Nothing against Canada," Cruz said in a statement, "but I'm an American by birth and as a U.S. senator; I believe I should be only an American."