Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – It’s the same old song and dance. What could we do that would undermine American nationality, that would cause further extended, bloated federal government spending, that would tend to undermine conservative policy and principles in America in the long term? Let’s say every Honduran who sneaks into the country illegally across the Mexican border who has a baby, that baby is a citizen. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: There was a bit of a delay, but we finally made contact with our special guest, Dr. Professor Kevin Gutzman, who is on the Dude Maker Hotline. It’s been a while, professor. How are you, old friend?
Kevin Gutzman: Hello, Mike. How are you?
Mike: I am well. You’re not as well as you were this summer because you’re back in class now, aren’t you?
Gutzman: No, it doesn’t start until next Wednesday for me. Actually it’s supposed to start on Monday but I’m having rotator cuff surgery on Monday, so Wednesday it is.
Mike: I didn’t know that you were a Nolan Ryan wannabe.
Gutzman: I’m not precisely certain how I injured my shoulder but it had something to do with weight lifting.
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Mike: I said Nolan Ryan knowing that you’re a Texan and knowing that he’s a great Texan who had a shoulder problem. Let’s talk about this, one of these subjects that has come up a lot lately, that is this notion or this believed — I guess some people believe this to be true but it’s not, that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees this thing called birthright citizenship. You and I have talked about this many times in the past and have encouraged people to pick up your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution. You also have a chapter in Tom Woods’ book, your book together, Who Killed the Constitution? Certainly a great scholarly work on this matter, and I shared some of it with the audience last week, is Raoul Berger’s Government by Judiciary. The people that are running around saying, like Bill O’Reilly, that there is a consecrated, sacred, guarantee to birthright citizenship in the 14th Amendment are correct or incorrect?
Gutzman: Well, they’re incorrect.
Mike: See how easy that was, folks? Okay, class dismissed. I just read the first, Amendment 14, Section 1. All I have to do is read the first sentence and that pretty much is what it says, isn’t it?
Gutzman: Well, you know, the first — okay. The 14th Amendment was declared ratified in 1868. A few years later in a case called Slaughter-House cases, which was the first one in which the Supreme Court gave an interpretation to the 14th Amendment, the majority opinion said: We will be surprised if this amendment is ever applied to anything other than the condition of black former slaves. What’s happened, of course, is that the 14th Amendment has come to be a kind of catchall for liberals to use in imposing different policies on the rest of us, usually having absolutely nothing to do with blacks, and, of course nowadays, always having nothing to do with former slaves.
The latest one is, if you come into the country illegally and have a baby, you get the gigantic bonus of having that baby be automatically an American citizen. If you think about it, it doesn’t make any sense. There’s no reason why Americans would ever have thought: Wow, you know what we need to do? We need to amend the Constitution to guarantee that if you flout our laws and come here illegally, your child is automatically a citizen if born in the United States. That’s what Bill O’Reilly and assorted other “scholars” want us to think this means.
For example, this past week on The Corner, which is a portion of the National Review site, a kind of running blog, you found some fellow with a law degree from Yale saying: It seems clear to me. This is your typical legal expert’s entire body of historical knowledge on display, in other words he took three seconds to read the first sentence of the 14th Amendment. It’s an absurdity, just a rank absurdity. There’s no reason at all to think, number one, that this policy makes any sense. And since it doesn’t make any sense, there’s no reason to think — and in fact we know that this didn’t happen — that the people who made the 14th Amendment intended it to have this meaning. It doesn’t have this meaning. That’s true regardless of the fact that people who go to law school and haven’t received any historical training and so they’re going to tell you it means this.
I think that’s the entire argument on it. The other side of it is, well, it would be a really great thing if — presently we only have 20 percent of the population of Mexico living in the USA. Why not encourage more people to come here illegally? Honestly, have you stopped to think about that? Twenty percent of the population of Mexico presently lives in the USA.
Mike: I have thought about that, actually, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. Please, continue.
Gutzman: These people, like Governor Bush who is known for recently saying, when it comes to illegal aliens: They have better values than Americans; this is an act of love. These people are going to tell us that it has this meaning. This is typical, of course, of liberal Republicans, among whom, of course, I include the entire Bush clan, the anti-Reagan, anti-Goldwater wing of the Republican Party in the 1960s, ‘70s, all the way through the 1980 primaries. And then, of course, daddy Bush pretended that once he had been chosen for the Republican ticket in 1980 he somehow had changed all of his policy commitments. We saw as soon as he became president that that actually hadn’t been true. Here we have the second of his sons who’s back acting like a Rockefeller, Romney Republican.
It’s the same old song and dance. What could we do that would undermine American nationality, that would cause further extended, bloated federal government spending, that would tend to undermine conservative policy and principles in America in the long term? Let’s say every Honduran who sneaks into the country illegally across the Mexican border who has a baby, that baby is a citizen. Of course, we’re going to have the ACLU lawyers and legal aid and so on going to court and saying: It just wouldn’t be right to have this woman return to Honduras because she has a citizen baby here.
You’ve heard the latest thing is now that the New York Times is on the case, they’ve decided that “anchor baby” is the latest offensive term. Notice what happens over time is that whenever they identify a policy outcome that they would like, they find words in American English that are associated with the position they don’t like and they declare them to be slurs. You can think of examples. The latest one is you’re not supposed to say anchor baby. Why? Because it’s not a baby? Because it’s not an anchor? What? Because they don’t like the fact that there’s truth in labeling. They want the people not to use this term because it’s associated with this policy preference of the New York Times that most people don’t like. Most people don’t like the idea that you can just decide one day in Guatemala: I’m going to walk to Texas and have a baby and then I’ll end up being a citizen. With our present immigration system, eventually I can bring all my cousins, which basically means everybody in my county. [/private]
Mike: I think I’d like to have an American citizen today. What do you think? Northward bound. Road trip. Yes, Conchita, let’s have a road trip.
Gutzman: All I’ve got to do is walk across the border into New Mexico and voila. This is an absurdity. This is what we get. It’s not just Bill O’Reilly. Its various associated left-wing blowhards on radio and TV and in the papers telling us: Of course the 14th Amendment means this. What else would it mean?
Mike: It’s the miracle amendment.
Gutzman: People were concerned that recently-freed black slaves weren’t being given the right to enter into a contract for labor and then go to court and enforce the contract. Clearly their answer to that was to say that 20 percent of Mexico could come into the country illegally and then if they had babies those babies were automatically citizens. How else would you have addressed the problem of former slaves not having rights themselves? That had to be the answer.
End Mike Church Show Transcript