September 9th, 2010

End Birthright Citizenship for All

photo credit: .fenster.

It’s time that we eliminate birthright citizenship. For everybody.

The emotional and often vitriolic discord resulting from the ever-present debate regarding illegal immigration has, amongst many things, focused on the topic of birthright citizenship. Vocal advocates of the alleged “rule of law” refer pejoratively to “anchor babies” and perverse incentives enticing migrants to birth their infants on American soil to secure the spontaneous and immediate status of citizenship for that child. Their sights are set on the Citizenship Clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Leaving aside the particulars of this argument, such as the narrow definition of who is and is not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, it is important to note the near-synonymous way in which people treat residency and citizenship. Many of the more notable champions of laws to crack down on “illegal immigration” seemingly assume that citizenship is the end goal of all immigrants, and therefore argue that this precious commodity should be much more restricted.

This conflation of residency (a denizen) and naturalization (a citizen) has created a very chaotic and draconian set of laws which brings the full force of the federal government to bear against the union of a family, the productivity of a business, or whatever peaceful and productive desires an immigrant may have. When the government assumes that any immigrant is looking to become a citizen, it intimately involves itself in the travel and residency of that person—something to which conservatives, especially, should look with great alarm.

But why do people want to become citizens at all?

At its core, citizenship is about participation in government, whether through voting, or seeking elective or appointed office. Citizens are able to influence what laws are passed, how high taxes will be, for what purpose they will be used, etc. But while the citizens can control the laws, denizens, too, are subject to them and comply through being taxed as well. Thus, your average immigrant simply looking for productive employment and a secure residence will not care so much about participation in government, and thus be content to simply be a denizen. That citizenship is currently sought after so vigorously by so many is primarily due to the added benefits citizens receive to sponsor other immigrants and not be subject to deportation—benefits which only result from our illegitimate immigration laws. Remove the bad laws, and balance may be restored between citizens and denizens.

The larger question—one which after searching I could find nowhere addressed—is, however: should Americans enjoy birthright citizenship? Should an individual born to citizens become a citizen himself, simply by virtue of successfully navigating his mother’s birth canal?

Perhaps another example might clarify my perspective. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, babies do not become members of the Church. Membership is obtained through the ordinance of baptism and confirmation, and children may receive these ordinances once they are eight years old. Despite being born to parents who themselves are members, no membership status is conferred to the child until he or she reaches a sufficient “age of accountability”, where the child (ideally, hopefully) understands what membership means, why it is important, and what his/her corresponding duties as a member of the Church will be.

It would be silly, in this author’s opinion, to confer membership status in a Church to an infant who does not consent him/herself, does not understand the obligations of and benefits for members, and will not be able to recall the ordinance at all. Membership means something, and thus is deferred until the individual is of a sufficient age to proceed.

Likewise, citizenship should mean something—something more than simply being born. It should be understood, earned, and prized by the person who voluntary consents to acquire it. It should not be a free gift, but rather a process through which the willing individual progresses by investing the time and energy needed to demonstrate a capacity to perform the duties of a citizen.

Those who wish to influence the government should possess a basic understanding of its history, nature, structure, and operations. They should be of sufficient age to acquire the status of citizenship, and that status should be separated from any other illegitimate, enticing incentives that would pervert its importance and intent. Taking steps in this direction—separating naturalization from immigration, stripping citizenship of the other benefits unrelated to its core function, and imposing a minimum age and comprehension for all would-be citizens, children of American citizens included—would introduce a healthier balance to our body politic.

In short, the toils of labor and delivery should be deemed insufficient to earning the status of citizenship, regardless of who the parents are. Rather than focusing our anger on migrants who have crossed a jurisdictional boundary to raise a family and contribute to our economy, and advocating their children be denied automatic citizenship, we should encourage discussion about the broader concept, and reassess whether granting citizenship is a good thing to do for any newborn child, despite his or her parentage.

33 Responses to “End Birthright Citizenship for All”

  1. HarleyPig
    September 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    In ‘Starship Troopers’, Robert Heinlein discusses the idea of earning citizenship and goes into some length as to why this should be and benefits derived from it.

  2. Jayce^
    September 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    I’m going to have to agree with harleypig here. Starship Troopers ( is a great book to use in discussing this exact question. Just dont’ watch the movie version expecting to learn anything, it’s nothing like the book.

  3. David
    September 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I have had this same thought before. I once mentioned it in passing and obviously touched a nerve.

    To me, the heart of what you are proposing is captured in an article called American By Choice. I wrote my thoughts on this on Independence day of 2007 but the idea is put very concisely from that article in this statement:

    The idea of being an American by choice points to an important, and perhaps unintended truth: being American is not simply reducible to the happy accident of birth. Americans, both natural and naturalized, must be trained–they must be made.

  4. JJL9
    September 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Interesting thought. I know you threw this together rather hastily, so maybe you’ll agree that this statement “Those who wish to influence the government should possess a basic understanding of its history, nature, structure, and operations” might not be what you really think.

    If it is what you really meant, then I suppose there would have to be a test. If there was a test, then some bureaucrats or politicians would have to decide what the questions were and what the correct answers were. I don’t think they would come to you for the questions and answers.

    I’m sure you wouldn’t want Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, deciding what test questions your children would have to answer, AND more importantly you wouldn’t want Obama, Pelosi, and Reid indoctrinating your children with what they believe to be the correct answers to those questions.

    I’m just sayin….

  5. JJL9
    September 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    By the way, prior to the 14th amendment, what was the process of obtaining citizenship for children born in the US to US citizen parents?

  6. Connor
    September 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    If there was a test, then some bureaucrats or politicians would have to decide what the questions were and what the correct answers were.

    I’m not saying I like it, but this already exists.

    I don’t know that indoctrination can be achieved through a single exam, and I’m confident that some process could be effectively put in place to ensure the historical accuracy and non-partisan set of questions and answers.

  7. Connor
    September 9, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    By the way, prior to the 14th amendment, what was the process of obtaining citizenship for children born in the US to US citizen parents?

    From what I’ve researched, birthright citizenship for American citizens dates back to the founding of the country—and before that, from common law, for subjects of the Crown.

  8. mormonlibertarian
    September 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    a very interesting thing to consider–

    Not sure what I think of it–

    either way. If *I* felt that the “country” worked–
    as in . . . if it was what it *says* it is–

    then perhaps this would be something to consider. Otherwise, feeling somewhat disenfranchised by not finding the two-party system effective, etc.–
    by having felt that after decades of working to ‘right’ things and feeling that I made no significant difference, then I am not sure it matters to *me* either way. I am a citizen, and much of what *my* government does troubles me, such as never-ending wars in countries that have done nothing to hurt *me*.

    Connor, this is a conundrum, and I appreciate your bringing to the forefront something about which I have never thought–

    though about citizenship I have felt helpless and frustrated for a very long time.

    I am a many/many generations citizen on several sides of my family; I am married to a person who was raised by a European immigrant, and I have watched that family with interest.

    It’s not a simple issue, though; I do know that.

  9. JJL9
    September 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    I’m very aware that it already exists. I married a Canadian, who is now a US citizen. I helped her prepare for the test.

    I’m of the firm opinion that such a test does not prove anything at all, and that there is no process that could ensure historical accuracy and non-partisan questions and answers.

    I have no problem with an objective set of standards that must be met to obtain citizenship, but I believe that a test to prove a basic understanding of its history, nature, structure, and operations, could do as much harm as it could good.

  10. Connor
    September 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m not married to the idea of a test. I am married to the idea of ensuring that citizenship as more meaning. What form that takes is a discussion I’d love to see happen and be part of.

  11. ThaddeusQ
    September 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I see a flaw in your rationale. In the LDS Church, babies born to active LDS parents are usually given a name and a blessing. At that point, those babies become “members of record.” Any child given a name and a blessing, is assigned a LDS Membership number. The LDS General Handbook of Instructions says that when a child who is already a member of record is baptized, that child should not be presented as a new member of the church. The child had to do nothing for themselves to be put on the membership rolls of the church.

  12. Connor
    September 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Then why, in the confirmation ordinance, are children (and all newly-baptized converts) “confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”?

  13. J. Max Wilson
    September 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm #


    I can see why this approach might feel appealing. However, I think that it is a very, very dangerous proposition.

    …citizenship is about participation in government, whether through voting, or seeking elective or appointed office. Citizens are able to influence what laws are passed, how high taxes will be, for what purpose they will be used, etc. But while the citizens can control the laws, denizens, too, are subject to them and comply through being taxed as well.

    If they are subject to the law and taxation, but do not have the right to vote or hold office, then isn’t that a glaring case of taxation without representation?

    There is a good chance that such a system would backfire by actually creating a huge number of people who have no personal investment or attachment to the history, nature, structure, and operations of the country because they are not permitted to participate in its government and determining its laws; a semi-permanent underclass even more easily stoked to rebellion by demagogues.

    As long as they feel like the existing system provides them with some means of influencing the laws and obtaining justice (voting and the ability to run for office) then they would be more inclined to work within the existing Constitutional system. Denied the ability to vote or run for office, while still being subject to taxation, would sever their personal interests from the constitutional system. Marxists would immediately label ‘Citizens’ the ‘bourgeoisie’ class and the ‘Denizens’ the ‘proletariat’, and because they are not invested in the current system, the ‘denizens’ would be easily swayed to attempt a Marxist style revolution.

    People have to feel like they have a just means of influencing their government, especially if the government is going to tax them.

  14. ThaddeusQ
    September 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Confirming them a member of the church is not the same as making them a member of the church.

  15. Connor
    September 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm #


    If they are subject to the law and taxation, but do not have the right to vote or hold office, then isn’t that a glaring case of taxation without representation?

    But they have the clear and easy opportunity to become represented. It is not being denied them—only distanced through a low barrier that requires a demonstration of the desire and capacity to be a citizen.

    And current permanent, legal residents already fall under this category. I don’t see them revolting with pitchforks for being taxed without being represented.

    I disagree with your speculation about a revolting underclass. This theoretical scenario would only work if the “upper” citizen class was denying the lower class the privileges they themselves enjoy. As that would not be the case—again, the barrier of entry would be quite low—this would never happen.

    People don’t have to feel like they are influencing the government under whose jurisdiction they reside and work. Talk to your average migrant worker, and they’re not too concerned about being able to vote. They just want to work and be safe and happy.



  16. J.M.Harris
    September 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    At first glance the idea of a “citizenship rite” appears to hold the best interests of the nation at heart. It will create a barrier, even if only a psychological one, against the carefully cultivated apathy that preys on the upcoming generation.

    However, the proposition also has some hidden teeth, and maybe even a fatal flaw.

    Currently, the United States Congress is vested with the power to regulate “Naturalization” under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.

    “Naturalization” is defined variously as

    “The proceeding whereby a foreigner is granted citizenship” 1

    “The acquisition of citizenship & nationality by somebody who was not a citizen or national of that country when he or she was born.” 1

    Clearly, as indicated by separate sources, Naturalization, as currently defined, does cover citizens born on American soil, only those who are seeking citizenship as a “(person) who was not a citizen or national of that country when he or she was born.”1

    This is a crucial point when we reconsider the text of the United States Constitution. Let’s once more look at the text…with the new definition of “naturalization” in mind.

    “Congress shall have Power To…establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”1

    Let us now replace “naturalized” with our current vernacular definition.

    “Congress shall have Power To…establish an uniform rule (regarding he proceeding whereby a foreigner is granted citizenship)” 1 2

    Notice also that the Framers very carefully said “Congress shall have…an uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

    An Rule. One rule, not plural rules. One rule, not to be mistaken for a transient affair in which a Congress may arbitrate according to the whims and fancies of the day who and who not is considered a citizen.

    Therefore, I contend that not only is it a bad idea to have Congress change rules regarding Naturalization (for reasons I’ll explain momentarily) it is very probably unconstitutional.

    Of course, the case can easily be made that “Naturalization” has changed its common usage since the 1800’s, as have many words.

    But now, I quote from the official Merriam Webster Legal Dictionary Such a resource should be considered supreme and is undoubtedly the final say in a words meaning. (sarcasm, of course. The dictionaries online, for goodness sake. Additionally, for those fanatic link-clickers out there, the legal definition is a little bit down the page.)


    “NATURALIZATION. The act by which an alien is made a citizen of the United States of America. ” 1

    There you have it. The current legal precedented interpretation of the word. And it clearly states that it is dealing with “aliens” which are defined easily as…

    “a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.” 1

    Or in other words…a “foreigner” the same as was mentioned in the above definitions.

    Now, even though I mocked the “legal dictionary” above, it still represents the current legal thought and precedence behind the term “Naturalize.” To change the definition, and thus grant powers to Congress to regulate NON-foreigner Naturalization processes would be an epic legal battle, fighting uphill all the way against decades of accumulated legal precedent.

    Thus we learn that the “alien” (in strict legal, textualist interpretation) ONLY is subject to whatever laws regarding “naturalization” the Congress may pass. (Might I add, pass once, although on second analysis that claim seems slightly petty even to me. Take it as you will.)

    In sum up…


    Their citizenship is implicit.

    Congress, as intended by the framers, has ONLY THE POWER TO REGULATE FOREIGN APPLICANTS FOR U.S CITIZENSHIP.

    Now, for why I think that Congress getting heavily involved in Naturalization is a bad idea…and the potentially fatal consequences of a “naturalization ritual” such as is described above.

    Well, I’ll save that for a bit later.

  17. J.M.Harris
    September 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    “Clearly, as indicated by separate sources, Naturalization, as currently defined, does cover citizens born on American soil…”


    I mean of course that it does “NOT cover citizens born on American soil…”

    How embarrassing.

  18. Jeffrey T
    September 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Personally, I think that a simple oath—the same oath that any elected officer makes—to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic, and to never vote for anything contrary, is sufficient for me. That would serve as a low enough bar that anyone who wished to could claim the right of citizenship. And just as we can point to the oath of office to remind our elected officers of their obligations, we could point to the same oath for voters to remind them of theirs.

    Personally, all I want is some moment that I can point to, and say, that is when I became a citizen, and took upon myself the obligation of respecting the Constitution that grants me that citizenship.

    What do you think, Connor?

  19. Jeffrey T
    September 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    J.M. Harris,

    It’s clear to me that as the Constitution presently stands, implementing this idea would require a Constitutional amendment. But I’m ok with that.

  20. David
    September 9, 2010 at 9:18 pm #


    You might want to check your source on that. When children receive a name and a blessing they become children of record but they are not members, despite the fact that they have record numbers assigned. They only become members once they are baptized. Being a child of record is equivalent to being a denizen or permanent resident but it is not equivalent to being a citizen. It might be considered a first step on the path toward citizenship and the church takes an interest in those who take such a first step such that they keep a record for that individual, just as a nation might keep a record of those who indicate a desire for citizenship even before they become citizens.

  21. Elkanah
    September 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    I am intrigued by the idea. I can certainly see the potential benefits to having an informed and educated electorate.

    My concern comes with how long it would remain a “low bar.” I see the same idea in the concealed carry permit argument. Training is a good idea and someone mandated it. They also decided a permit was needed. “Low bars” as some might say. But then the training has to be approved and the instructor has to be certified by the state so there the state can limit availability of instructors. You then have to pay for the training and in some places that can be several hundred dollars. Then you apply for the permit and between the issuing authorities fees, the background check fees, the fingerprinting fees, etc, it racks up to another couple hundred or more. Suddenly, the “low bar” is more than a weeks pay for some people. I’ll forego expanding the comparison into the May-Issue aspect of some states with permits.

    Laws creep. My big fear is that the “low bar” of citizenship you propose would do the same. And based on the course of government everywhere I have seen, it would certainly do so.

  22. mormonlibertarian
    September 10, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    all right, now this may not seem to apply here–

    I was asked on the Mormons, Mosques, etc.–
    thread to start linking some things that have made me question the government’s ‘stand’ on religion, race, etc.–9/11 . . .

    As I am reading this discussion about what it means to be a citizen I remember this particular video. It might be disturbing to some, but the fact is that I question what it even means to be a ‘citizen’–
    what does that mean?
    I mean, not what we have been TOLD it means, but what does it really mean?

    This video, while it might be disturbing, raises a lot of questions. Yes, it applies to the other blog topic–about Mormons and Muslims and Mosques–

    it applies to everything, I think–

    for those who wanted to see links–

    I liked the part about how if a person could ask a fish what that fish noticed about his/her environment, the last thing the fish would say is: water

  23. mark
    September 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    A very good question indeed Connor. I am more inclined to allow those born in the USA be granted citizenship. BUT if the parents are not citizens then the baby stays and the parents leave OR they all leave. As for the LDS rule of membership I will remind you of the Mountain Meadows. You did not want to be an eight year old on that historic day.

  24. Jeremy
    September 12, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I’m with J. Max Wilson and others on this I think. I’ve been tossing the idea around in my head. And while I wouldn’t be opposed to a very limited bar of citizenship, you do very much create the line of haves and have nots that will, over time, become a very divisive line, leading potentially to more tyranny, not less. Automatic citizenship has it’s problems, but I’m not so sure that going the other way (at least long term) is any kind of good solution. Look at legal immigration right now, it’s bad enough without more political focus on it to give it even more power.

    The argument for easier citizenship doesn’t have to be tied to citizens at birth. It sure would be better if we had a lower bar and better immigration policy. I’m not sure this is the right route to take to get there.

  25. Michelle
    September 12, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    What about the formerly apathetic voters and citizens who have recently awakened by events that have happened in our country? I could see people like that getting quite discouraged to finally wake up and then realize they had not power to vote because they were not citizens. Unfortunately that might add to the hopeless feeling of their situation and might discourage some of them to give up rather than take the time and effort to become citizens. Just a thought.

  26. Jeffrey T
    September 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm #


    Right now, most of the people you are talking about are dissuaded from voting because of the simple requirement of registering. I have many friends who wanted to vote, but never went through the time and effort to simply register.

    I don’t think this would add anything more (in my mind, at least) to the process than taking an oath and proving a period of residence, first.

  27. Ben K
    September 12, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    The original requirement in many of the colonies and states was that of property ownership. It was assumed that a man (gender indication is intentional) who owned property would be sufficiently engaged and motivated to protect said property to inform himself of what was going on in government. It was not until later in the development of the United States that manhood suffrage became the norm.

    Thinking about this though, I believe that all non-slave persons were considered citizens, and therefore granted the protections of citizenship, but that voting was not originally considered a right synonymous with citizenship. What then are the benefits to citizenship if not the ability to vote?

    I think that the biggest protection is that you were allowed to be secure in your property and person if you were a citizen. If you were not a citizen, you were often a slave. Almost by definition, slaves are not secure in their properties or persons, but only are allowed these at the goodwill of their owner.

    In today’s world, a citizen cannot be deported. A legal resident can.

    The one thing that I do like about birthright citizenship is that it is a condition which cannot be legislated. If you were born here, you are a citizen, and no legislative act can alter that fact either before or after you were born. The small bit of distrust that I have of all governments really likes that part.

    I can see the allure of breaking the union between citizenship and voting rights. That seems to be what most of the comments focus on.

    I think that it might be a good idea to resurrect a denizen class, or perhaps a citizen class that is denied the right to vote. I might suggest that those that are here illegally now eventually be allowed to become denizens secure in their property or persons, or citizens denied the right to vote. Such a situation could not be hereditary, or we would have a permanent underclass.

  28. Steven Diamond
    September 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    At the beginning of this country the right to vote was reserved for people who had earned that right to vote. They had to be 21 years of age, educated, property owners, naturalized citizen, take an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, renounce any other citizenship, and had to be free.
    A slave was not considered a citizen (only ¾ of a person) therefore could not vote.
    1. Not educated
    2. Could not own property (They were property)
    A woman could not vote.
    1. Not educated
    2. Even if over the age of 21 (not considered wise enough)
    3. Could not own property
    4. Could not hold public offices.
    We have removed these barriers which I believe have improved our country. I believe that we should still be born citizens, but be required to pass the same test the every immigrant passes to become a citizen, in order to qualify to vote. I believe that the voting age should revert back to 21. This is the age our society believes an adult has sufficient understanding to control his actions with alcohol and tobacco, but an 18 year old has suffice understanding to vote? That does not make any sense. I think what you are pointing to is the power of the vote Connor, not citizenship.
    My Grandfather came to America from Greece. He had a third grade education. He went through the process of becoming a United States citizen. It was one of the proudest things he ever did. I do not know if he every voted. I do know that passing a test to vote would precluded many people from the opportunity. The South enacted laws requiring proof they could read and write in order to vote. This was done to prevent many black people and poor people from voting. I am just glad that spelling is not a requirement.
    I believe that citizenship should be a right of birth, but voting should have a minimum requirement = citizenship test for naturalization in order to vote. This would create the equal under the law. People need to know our history, our laws, our customs. It would also make voting a privilege that was earned. Not voting because you like the way a certain candidate looks, but what he stands for. There are my two cents.

  29. Joseph Scott
    September 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    The idea of placing an additional process and importance on “becoming” a citizen is appealing on an emotional level. On a practical level I have doubts.

    If we decide you can not become a citizen until age 15, what official status do you have prior to that time? You are not a citizen and therefore have no claim on the protections and powers of the state.

    Creating a citizen limbo for those who have either not made the commitment or not reached the proper age solves few problems and creates many more.

  30. Jeffrey T
    September 22, 2010 at 8:56 am #


    “You are not a citizen and therefore have no claim on the protections and powers of the state.”

    Why not? Non-citizens today have claim to the protections of the state. At least, they should. They pay taxes, they have rights. Why should the police not protect them? Why should they not get due process of law?

    Non-citizens do and should have claim on the protections and powers of the state. Becoming a citizen makes it possible to vote and thus have influence on the state.

  31. Joseph Scott
    September 22, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Given how poorly we have treated citizens in certain cases it seems likely that a new group of non-citizens will likely be treated even worse.

    What passport would they carry? If they run into issues over seas would the U.S. still intervene?

  32. john f.
    November 8, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Connor, this is such a bad idea that it is literally scary. I am assuming that you consider yourself one that would merit citizenship because, based on your writings, you consider yourself to possess the one true interpretation of the Constitution and of the intentions of its drafters. But what if someone else is in control of who deserves citizenship and you fail to pass muster in the framework which they set up?

    It pains me to say it since you are a fellow Latter-day Saint but I have to confess that I also do not trust you that if you personally were in charge of deciding who “deserved” to be a citizen that you would handle equitably and not ideologically.

  33. john f.
    November 8, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Also, to a certain extent, birthright citizenship is actually part of the package of American liberty. That is actually why it is included in the 14th Amendment — to correct the horrible abuses of chattel slavery, it was necessary not just to abolish slavery but also to remedy the fact that a large number of people born in the United States were nevertheless not US citizens, like others who were born in the United States.

    Although we believe that our constitutional republic functions best when citizens adhere to principles of civic republicanism, which includes public morality and discharge of civic duties (as well as ingrained respect for the rule of law), universal sufferage is a far better aim to induce people to become involved in government and to make their voices heard through appropriate electoral and political channels than a test for citizenship. Civic republicanism is something that can be brought about through example, teaching correct principles and trusting in people to vote in their own best interest. That takes a modicum of faith in our fellow citizens but there you have it. (Also, please note that citizens voting in their best interest will not always be voting in the way that you think they should be voting; nevertheless, this is how representative government works and you need to respect the outcome of elections that have results with which you don’t agree if you are going to be part of the process and system. Anything that would interfere with people’s rights to represent their interest is a substantial step backwards in our governmental system.)

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