Andres Martinez missed a crucial point in his Feb. 9 commentary, "A Natural for the White House." Arnold Schwarzenegger holds dual citizenship with Austria, his country of birth, and the United States of America, his chosen place of residence to earn mega-millions.
Schwarzenegger can't have it both ways and have the Constitution amended so he can run for president of this country. Schwarzenegger can run for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat if he's so inclined, but to amend the Constitution for just this one man? Isn't that placing Schwarzenegger at an advantage over "natural-born" citizens? If he considers himself more of an Austrian than American, then all I can say is, "Hasta la vista, baby."
Richard A. Meade
Martinez's commentary shows the absurdity of perpetuating the antiquated constitutional provision that a person has to be born in the United States to be eligible to run for president. I am somewhat unique for a Democrat in that I favor a drastic curtailment of legal and illegal immigration. I favor restricting the number of immigrants to the United States each year, only because I believe that our nation, and particularly California, is already overpopulated.
I harbor no animosity toward immigrants per se. I am the son of two immigrants, one of them an Auschwitz survivor. There is no reason then why an otherwise qualified person should be automatically barred from seeking our nation's highest office because of nothing more than an accident of birth.
Equally, there is no reason why we, the voting public, should be denied choosing our preferred candidate because that person first saw the light of day in another country. To say that a person, regardless of how otherwise qualified, cannot run for and be elected president of the United States just because of having been born somewhere else is unenlightened and contravenes modern thinking.