Illuminating Our Presidential Nominees

Obamacare just keeps getting better and better. Not only will government bureaucrats have access to your medical records, but now we find out that the law will require all doctors to probe each patient’s sex life, with very intrusive questioning, regardless if a particular medical specialist needs the information or not.  So, if you visit your cardiologist or gastroenterologist in the not-to-distant future, get ready for a sex questionnaire.  And all this, mind you, from a President who has chosen to keep most of his life away from the eyes of the public.

As you recall, there was great controversy over Obama’s birth certificate, which hasn’t really been solved, but that’s another story.  He has failed to release: school records, including transcripts and admission records; passport records, to see where and how he traveled overseas; medical records, even though he wants to government to see ours; or his records from his stint as an Illinois state senator.

But are these records relevant to the American people?  What do the people have a right to know? I fully believe we do have a right to know everything about a presidential nominee, for it will tell us more about those who aim to preside over the federal government, and as much power as the White House has accrued in recent years, the public needs to make wiser choices and can only do so with full disclosure.  If all were known about Obama, would he have been elected?  Even with the media fully in his corner, I’m guessing not.

So let’s look at one major example from Obama.  Why have we not seen his college records and transcripts?  Is it because, as Donald Trump contends, he was a terrible student?  Or is it because he most likely received foreign scholarships and minority assistance, as some have contended?  It could be both.

Living in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather, Obama, then known as Barry Soetoro, was a citizen of that country as a young boy and probably used that status to gain access to some of the best schools in the nation.  For how did he attend such prestigious institutions as Punahou prep school in Hawaii, Occidental College in Los Angeles, Columbia in New York City, and Harvard Law School?  His grandparents, with whom he later resided in Hawaii, certainly didn’t make that kind of dough.

Or is there another reason?  Author and former libertarian vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root, who also attended Columbia University at the same time as Obama and studied in the same pre-law/political science program, does not remember him.  He has done an extensive amount of research to discover if the President actually attended or not and contends that he was never there, though he possesses a degree from Columbia, or at least claims to.  After this year’s 30th anniversary reunion, Root reported that none of the other political science students from the Class of 1983 could recall meeting Obama either.

Even long-time Columbia history professor Henry F. Graff, a legend on campus, also does not remember Obama.  In fact, Graff contends that he “taught every significant American politician who ever attended Columbia,” but never Obama.  And according to Professor Graff, none of the other professors in history or political science ever taught him either.  Strange indeed.

Is it possible that Obama was simply passed through without ever having done any of the work?  Quite likely.  This is something we should have known.  The media sent dozens of reporters to Alaska to investigate Sarah Palin in 2008 but not one to Columbia, or to Hawaii, Harvard, or Chicago for that matter.

So, in the absence of a real news media, and to quiet speculation and tone down the conspiracy theories, I propose that Congress adopt a “Presidential Candidate Records Disclosure Act,” which will require presidential and vice presidential nominees to release all vital and pertinent records to the American people within 15 days of receiving a party’s nomination.

These records should include an original birth certificate, financial records for at least seven years, all college records and transcripts, medical records, passport records, and records from all previous public offices held by the nominee.  If such records are not produced in the requisite amount of time, then the campaign will face a fine by the FEC of $1 million per day and forfeiture of the right to participate in the presidential debates.  No extensions should be allowed by the law so as to keep a campaign from simply stonewalling until November.

The American people have the right to know where a nominee was born.  The release of the long-form birth certificate from the state records office, and not the campaign, should be sufficient to clear up any confusion in the future.

We the people have a right to know where a candidate went to school, their performance while in attendance (or if they really did attend), their publications and major projects such as theses or dissertations, and if the taxpayers paid for it or not.

We should know where they traveled overseas and why they did so, and how they got there, especially if the country was off limits to US travelers.  Obama went to Pakistan in the 1980s when Americans were prohibited from such travel.  How did he do it?  What passport did he use?

We have a right to know a candidate’s financial history, how they made their money and where they invested it.  This will tell a lot about the policies a President is likely to support or oppose.  It would also make it much harder for liberals to hide the fact that many of them invest in oil companies while supporting green energy jobs. But conservative wouldn’t be off the hook either.  Mitt Romney seemed very hesitant to reveal his financial history in 2012.  We should know why.

And, probably most importantly, we have a right to know a candidate’s medical history, if they have any diseases that might affect performance in office, particularly if the candidate is of an advanced age.  A “doctor’s note” is not sufficient.

President Chester A. Arthur wanted a second term in office in 1884 but secretly had Bright’s disease.  Thankfully he did not receive his party’s nomination that year, for he finally succumbed to the kidney ailment two years later.  He would not have survived a full term in office.  That was something the people needed to know.

Though it might seem that such a law is very intrusive, and it could be argued that many good candidates might not want to disclose such information, well, then, in that case the solution is simple – Don’t Run!  Our right to know outweighs a candidate’s right to remain secretive.  Good candidates don’t have something to hide, and if they do then they have no business being the leader of the free world.

But alas it probably won’t ever happen.  To borrow a phrase from Jesus, it might be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for politicians to willingly disclose themselves to the public.  For the future of the republic, though, we the people should force the issue, or force them from office.

Laurel Leader Call, Saturday, September 28, 2013

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