There was misinformation in Donald Trump's Fourth of July speech aside from the obvious that planes did not exist in 1788 when the Constitution was ratified, nor were many ramparts to be rammed in the War of 1812 which was fought mainly on the lakes, rivers and the sea. He and his speech writers seem not to have actually read the Constitution.

He is now focused, for the moment, on "citizens."

Our country has a 200-year history with the idea of citizenship changing over time. The Constitution, as ratified in 1788, essentially said whoever was living here was to be counted beginning with the first "enumeration" in 1791. All free persons, indentured servants and three-fifths of slaves should be counted to allocate congressional representation. Counting slaves as three-fifths of a person helped to equalize the population between the North and the South.

As time went by, the 14th Amendment was added in 1869 which said all persons born or naturalized in America would be counted. In those days, naturalization was essentially swearing allegiance to the United States.

That has evolved until today one needs to study the Constitution in order to pass a citizenship test. I have seen that test and helped some folks prepare for it. Most of those folks had children who were citizens by birth.

It is my opinion that our country's strength comes from our diversity. We all have something to contribute. Marginalizing some does none of us any favor.

Leslie Krous


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