Those who suggest that there is no distinction between "citizen" and "Natural Born Citizen" would have us believe and accept that such a person might have been eligible to run for President of the US simply because he was born in America. According to defenders of the alleged eligibility of
So, to say that every child born in America is a natural born citizen is also to say that any foreign interest whose child was born in the US could be allowed to raise that child abroad as an enemy of the US and return that child to this country in time to meet the Constitution's 14-year
Considering that Islam has been at war with itself and the rest of the world at least since the death of Muhammad almost 1400 years ago, it takes very little imagination to project how a powerful enemy of the US might take the necessary 35 years and other resources to groom a "Manchurian Candidate" for the US Presidency. If we accept the premise that every person born in the US is a natural born citizen, we allow the establishment of a flawed precedent permitting a family such as that of Anwar al-Awlaki (or a communist government, or a Mexican drug cartel, etc.) to gain control of our country through an orchestrated, long-term attack on the Presidency.
The Constitution itself argues against the assertion that every child born in America is also a natural born citizen. Constitutional eligibility requirements for members of the House and Senate include that they be "citizens," with progressively tighter restrictions on length of residency for Senators and the President. Following that same pattern of progressively increased restrictions, the Constitution also requires that the President must be, not just a citizen, but a "natural born Citizen."
The natural born citizen requirement is not an incidental flourish of language, but a national security provision of the supreme law of our land. It is not a "big tent" invitation but an intentionally restrictive, but not racist, prohibition. It serves as a foundation on which to permanently secure and preserve the rights and freedoms which are the heritage of all Americans. Its purpose is to ensure, to the greatest possible extent, that every American President has sole allegiance to the USA by virtue of a childhood steeped in the richness of American culture, anchored in a respect for freedom, emboldened by the spirit of independence and innovation, and committed to the continuation of the noble experiment of a republic created and protected by free men and women and their progeny.