O, say! Does that woman’s lamp still burn beside the golden door?


Liberty stands gazing out at about 265 feet* above the water of New York Harbor, a fixture there since construction in the 1880s.

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.

The Statue of Liberty has been a fixture in the U.S. and American psyche, too.  Excuse me, or join me, in wondering whether we have not lost something of our former dedication to the Statue of Liberty, and the reasons France and Americans joined to build it.

Poem-a-Day sent Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” out this morning (Poem-a-Day is a wonderful service of the American Academy of Poets — you may subscribe and I recommend it).  There it was, waiting for me in e-mail.   My students generally have not heard nor read the poem, I discover year after year —  some sort of Texas-wide failure in enculturation prompted by too-specific requirements of federal law and state law, combining to make a slatwork of culture taught in our classrooms with too many cracks into which culture actually falls, out of sight, out of mind; out of memory.  I fear it may be a nationwide failure as well.

Have you read the poem lately?  It once encouraged American school children to send pennies to build a home for the statue.  Today it wouldn’t get a majority of U.S. Congressmen to sign on to consponsor a reading of it.  Glenn Beck would contest its history, Rush Limbaugh would discount the politics of the “giveaways” in the poem, John Boehner would scoriate the victims in the poem for having missed his meeting of lobbyists (‘they just missed the right boat’), and Sarah Palin would complain about “an air-bridge to nowhere,” or complain that masses who huddle are probably up to no good (they might touch, you know).

Have you read it lately?

The New Colossus

by Emma Lazarus

Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde - Wikimedia Commons image

Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde - Wikimedia Commons image

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

AAP makes poems available for iPhones, too, and you can see how it appears, phrase by phrase.  “The New Colossus” takes on more of its power and majesty delivered that way.

Is the Academy of American Poets playing politics here?  It’s September 12.  Yesterday many Americans took part in ceremonies and service projects in remembrance of the victims of the attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.  In much of the rest of America, there is an active movement to nail shut the “golden door,” to turn out a sign that would say “No tired, no poor nor huddled masses yearning to breathe free; especially no wretched refuse, no homeless, and let the tempest-tost stay in Guatemala and Pakistan.”

Would Americans bother to contribute to build a Statue of Liberty today?  Or would they protest against it?

Does that lamp still shine beside the golden door?

Stereoscopic image of the arm and torch of Liberty, at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia

Stereoscopic image of the arm and torch of Liberty, at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; Robert N. Dennis Collection, New York Public Library. The arm was displayed to encourage contributions to the fund to build a pedestal for the statue, from private donations.

_____________

*  I’m calculating Liberty’s gaze at about 40 feet below the tip of the torch, which is just over 305 feet above the base of the statue on the ground.  The base is probably 20 feet higher than the water, but this isn’t exact science we’re talking about here.

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31 Responses to O, say! Does that woman’s lamp still burn beside the golden door?

  1. Jim Stanley says:

    Morgan asks, >>”What is it about a strong woman that has you so frightened?”<>”Where does this even come from? It’s just a bizarre non-sequiter?”<<

    Hi James. I believe it's the textbook definition of a strawman. And a classic indication that someone knows — yet again — he has been proven wrong.

    Like

  2. James Hanley says:

    Freeberg wrote:

    What am I saying Palin said that she didn’t actually say?

    But I already told you that in my first comment.

    her quote doesn’t contain the words “personal sovereignty” or “freedom.

    At least not in the quote that has been the topic of discussion. I’m sure she has used those words a lot, but did she use those words in reference to the Statue of Liberty?

    My point is that you’re criticizing thomas for misrepresenting her, even though he used actual words she used (like socialism), but then you try to represent her using words that aren’t even in the quote. That’s pretty hypocritical.

    What is it about a strong woman that has you so frightened?

    Where does this even come from? It’s just a bizarre non-sequiter. I wasn’t even criticizing Palin–I was criticizing you. And if you consider yourself a strong woman, that’s great, but criticizing your error is hardly equivalent to being afraid of you.

    The funny thing is, I’m in academia. I’m surrounded by strong women, and I get along pretty well with nearly all of them.

    Like

  3. Jim Stanley says:

    Morgan says, >>>”I gave up trying to make out the audio. It’s just too crappy”<<<

    Are you using a headset or speakers? You might want to boost the volume a bit, because it is a tad low.

    I had no trouble making it out. Thomas' interpretation is completely accurate.

    Like

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    I gave up trying to make out the audio. It’s just too crappy.

    It’s an audio recording of Palin saying what you claimed she didn’t say. Don’t keep trying to decipher it, it will only break your heart.

    Like

  5. Hey James,

    What am I saying Palin said that she didn’t actually say? What is it about a strong woman that has you so frightened?

    Ed,

    I gave up trying to make out the audio. It’s just too crappy. Maybe while you’re trying to find a better copy, you can provide some edification, with links, on what the Statue of Liberty is supposed to be about — something pre-dating that extended effort to gather funds, before New York Harbor was selected as the site. I wasn’t around in the 1880’s and I don’t think you were either, but it seems far-fetched to proffer the notion that it’s not about some kind of exceptionalism. Right?

    Like

  6. Ellie says:

    OK. That’s it. Tomorrow, I’m bringing popcorn.

    Like

  7. thomas says:

    Trying to justify the word salad and inane commentary of Mrs. Palin is futile. She is nothing but an uneducated, ignorant, racist grifter. The sooner the major scandals about her are exposed to the world (and there are secrets that will destroy her), the better for all of us.

    And Beck, he is a former Morning Zoo Shock Jock, alcoholic, pothead (he says he smoked every day from age fifteen on for decades)and cocaine user. He was a total druggie for most of his life. And now he purports to know what direction the United States needs to take to get out of the complete mess the Bush/Cheney admin caused for the American people. He is out of his mind.

    Like

  8. James Hanley says:

    Wow, Morgan Freeberg complains that Thomas misrepresented the quote by saying Palin called the Statue a “warning against socialism,” even though Palin clearly said, “it was a warning to us… not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies.

    Then Freeberg claims that, “She said the statue was all about: Personal sovereignty, exceptionalism, freedom.”

    Except her quote doesn’t contain the words “personal sovereignty” or “freedom.”

    So Freeberg blasts Thomas for misrepresenting Palin even though Thomas used a word that Palin actually uttered, then he himself tries to represent her quote with words she didn’t actually say! That’s a pretty bald-faced bit of dishonesty there, Mr. Freeberg.

    Like

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    How about wait for her to say something that doesn’t have to be rephrased in order to bring out the stupidness, and then quote that exactly?

    Oh, yeah, that’s easy:

    See here: http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201009130038

    Like

  10. It’s fascinating watching you try to deny what she rather plainly said. You haven’t been able to offer a different transcript, nor an audio or video recording with a different version.

    No need for this; Ellie got it right, at least as far as I know. The meaning is substantially different from what Thomas offered.

    American history offers a busy procession of speakers arguing the quite legitimate point that such-and-such an ancient thing was supposed to afford us some kind of new right, or value, or recognize it — but if you do X, or don’t do Y, then we will defeat its effect so we’d better do Y or not do X. Consider Franklin Roosevelt’s four freedoms, particularly “Freedom from Want.” His argument was that we couldn’t enjoy our other freedoms if we had to worry about where our next meal came from. Using your argument, then, Roosevelt was a real dolt because he thought the country’s founding documents guaranteed Social Security!

    Or Miranda v. Arizona. The central argument is that if you have a right to remain silent, you cannot enjoy this right if you do not know you have it. Silly, stupid, Palinesque Warren Supreme Court! They misconstrued the right not to incriminate yourself, to mean someone had to read you your Miranda rights!

    But those arguments didn’t say any such thing. They argued from cause-and-effect, as does Palin regarding the socialism argument. You can’t have A if you don’t have B. That’s the argument they/she made. Except her argument is much more solid: If you have socialism, someone has to be in charge of administering it, to distribute resources, make hard decisions. No appeal can be possible. There goes freedom. And this is backed up by history.

    This comes through in an accurate transcript of what she said. It is not represented in the twelve words the agenda-driven liberals are handing off to each other in their game of Internet “telephone.” Time to face facts, Ed. It’s just another round in the mold of Tina Fey “I Can See Russia From My House”. It’s a Filmore’s-bathtub if ever there was one.

    Got an idea: Palin’s supposed to be a big old idiot, isn’t she? Really, really stupid and outspoken? How about wait for her to say something that doesn’t have to be rephrased in order to bring out the stupidness, and then quote that exactly? It shouldn’t be such a long wait, right? And then you won’t have to jot down these silly things that begin with the words “Moreover, I’ll wager she…” You wouldn’t have to wager anything, it would be proven. Then you could all look like a genuine “reality-based-community”…rather than something of a rhetoric and peer-pressure based community.

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    The Al Gore critics who said he claimed to have invented the Internet, were much closer to the truth.

    Gore said he defended ARPANET against being zeroed out of the budget. Were you even alive when he saved the internet?

    Like

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be a fitting mission for Millard Filmore’s Bathtub to debunk the false urban legend that Sarah Palin said the statue was originally intended as a warning against socialism?

    No, because she did, indeed, say that gift of the French was to warn us away from socialism — and that’s a crock of beans.

    It’s fascinating watching you try to deny what she rather plainly said. You haven’t been able to offer a different transcript, nor an audio or video recording with a different version.

    Unless Palin says she misspoke, the honest thing to do is to report what she said.

    Moreover, I’ll wager she will defend her misstatement.

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  13. Ed,

    I got a feeling if you were in Sarah Palin’s shoes, you’d get nabbed more often over things like this than she is. You have a habit of stringing together statements that are technically true, once words have been re-defined, often egregiously, from their intended meaning according to your own strict dictation:

    TRUE: Consistent with the rather absurd notion that the United States was originally founded for the purpose of being yet another laboratory for the repeatedly failed experiment of socialism.
    FALSE: Contradicting that absurd notion.
    ERROR: Something that fails to help propagate that absurd notion.

    Given your interesting vocabulary, I’m ready to concede the following: Yes, if you stop to consider the real purpose of the Statue of Liberty was all about — as one might reasonably expect — liberty, and that liberty is fundamentally incompatible with socialism as Palin has been correctly pointing out…you are making an “error.”

    I’m going to start calling this “Darellogic.”

    Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be a fitting mission for Millard Filmore’s Bathtub to debunk the false urban legend that Sarah Palin said the statue was originally intended as a warning against socialism? If you go to Google right now and put “Sarah Palin thinks the Statue of Liberty represents a warning against socialism” inside hard quotes as I have it here, you get back 630 results at this hour. I note that many of these are statements by hardened, strident liberals telling each other “just take my word for it, she said it,” or some variant of this, without a link.

    The Al Gore critics who said he claimed to have invented the Internet, were much closer to the truth. That’s supposed to be a UL, so I’m having some trouble seeing how this shouldn’t be one.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Morgan, this statement from Ms. Palin is false, not true, inaccurate:

    This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies.

    That part bolded is roughly what Thomas pointed to, and that’s the most egregious falsehood in the entire thing.

    Palin told the history wrong, and shame on her. You know better, so shame on you for trying to perpetuate the error.

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  15. Ed,

    Print the following on a piece of paper. A thin piece of paper:

    “warn against Socialism”

    Now, on another piece of thin paper, print this:

    “This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies”

    Okay, now put those pieces of paper on top of each other and hold them up to the light. Try to get the letters of one to disappear behind the letters of the other. You can’t do it. There, that takes care of your statement that Palin was quoted correctly.

    Now that we’ve forever dispensed with THAT, let us proceed to the spirit of her words. What is the central theme to what Palin has been saying since she was liberated from the McCain ticket, in fact, since before then? That the style of governance we have been contemplating, or have elected, is antithetical to freedom.

    I’m sure you have a much better summary in mind in which you place more faith…something to do with her being a dimwit. But to the open-minded, that is what she’s been saying. It really doesn’t matter if a nanny-state idea looks good when you get it going, once it gets going, you’ve lost some options.

    And she’s been proven right about this many a time, but let’s leave that alone.

    In Thomas’ inaccurate summary — and contrary to your statement, it is not an isolated one by any means — Palin is saying France had resentment against their own system of government and gifted us with a statue to warn us against doing what they did. That would be an amusing thought to many an anti-socialist, but it wouldn’t be necessary…we don’t need to go back that far…we can just look at the people in need of medical treatment coming to the U.S. from countries with socialized medicine, to get their procedures done. If they’re able, that is. There, no statue necessary.

    But this isn’t what Palin said. She said the statue was all about: Personal sovereignty, exceptionalism, freedom, these are good things. They are values France and America share(d). “Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies” means you can’t do this, while adopting socialist policies. There is a contradiction there; and pointing out this contradiction has been a staple of nearly every Palin speech back to when most people first heard about her.

    I suppose you don’t agree. I suppose many people here don’t. That is all beside the point. The full name of the Statue of Liberty is Liberty Enlightening the World…hmmm, that almost sounds like a George W. Bush statement there. The figure that is the Statue of Liberty is Libertas, goddess of liberty. A broken chain lies around her ankle, a symbol of the breaking of bondage.

    Emma Lazarus’ poem came later. She jotted it down in 1883, before the statue was opened, but it wasn’t affixed to the pedestal until 1901. So the statue is not about open borders, it is about shrugging off the yoke of tyranny, an aspect common to both American and French histories prior to the 1880’s. It’s a celebration, and yes, a warning.

    It’s quite easy to see how the hopes and dreams of LEGAL immigrants would become intermingled with the statue’s glory over time, with the immigrants’ ships driving past it on a regular basis. This was anticipated as New York harbor was selected for the site. But the primary message was that freedom is glorious, elusive, and contagious…and proper for the human condition. Palin got it exactly right.

    You know, it would be nice nowadays to hear politicians use the words like “freedom” and “liberty” in their speeches more often, wouldn’t it?

    Instead, I get to hear our current President commemorate the 9/11 attacks by droning on endlessly about what we’re not going to do. Like I said, extolling the virtues of inaction and laziness. This, I should be able to expect, takes care of your other question.

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  16. thomas says:

    It has become increasingly apparent that the right wing extremist Teabaggers in the United States are aligned with some of the richest and most right wing Corporatists in the world. Their goal has nothing to do with American Exceptionalism, with the US Constitution, nor with our freedoms and rights and liberties. That is their cover. That is their grand lie. Teabaggers are pawns being used by dangerous, even lethal world figures who must maintain the status quo and the Capitalist hold on the workers and middle class in the US at all costs. These men are the Koch brothers (there is so much previously hidden informtaion on these two now online), Rupert Murdoch (infamous media mogul with fangs of profit and enterprises all over the globe (Fox News is a prime example.), Dick Armey,former US Congressman and hidden funding funnel/source for almost all right wing efforts in recent years (Tea Party Express), and Karl Rove, the master Liar and Deceiver who will not rest until President Obama is taken down (all of the men in this group want Obama to fail miserably). This crowd has pretty much co-opted the Republican party in the US. What is odd to me is that they put forth candidates such as Angle, Paul and Bachman as well as others, who are inherently ignorant, insular in their knowledge of this nation’s history, not to mention the history and development of other civilizations and societies, and who are unable to communicate and speak intelligently and coherently. Communication is best when it is clear and substantive, takes into account context and brings the listener/reader to some understanding of what was meant. Palin is a failure at communicating with a great majority of Americans. That is because her message is vague, made up of repeated cliches and cheers designed to appeal to emotions of fear, extreme patriotism or nationalism, tribalism (Us against Them), and while it does go directly into her base, the fanatic right wing base who believe that the bible is the basis for the US Constitution and the Flag is entwined around the Christian Cross, which for them means heaven on earth, it fails miserably with the rest of the country. Hence, her extremely high negatives. The Dominionists have surely made a mark on the US political tableau. But they will never, hopefully, reach more that 20% who truly believe their twisted religious patriotism.

    Lady Liberty, more than anything, is a guide away from the insular and narrow path. She leads workers and the poor to a land of new hope where every minority – religion (including no religion) race, sex and sexual orientation is accepted and embraced and integrated into the fabric of this new society. The Statue of Liberty, oh Sarah wrong way Sarah, has nothing to do with your concept of American Exceptionalism, nor is it an advertisement for US superiority over all other nations, nor is it a symbol that the US will stand strong against Socialism. Lady Liberty has nothing to do with those constucts. That is Palins inherent lie or fallacy.

    The French and the Americans jointly brought the Statue of Liberty to New York to represent all those ideals we have been discussing here – new life, hope for prosperity and satisfying lives for all men, women and their families, abundance, cooperation with all other immigrants from many different nations (dangerously close to Socialism, Sarah), working toward the common good, respect and admiration for individual growth and development of talent and skills, reward for work and for community participation, respect for ALL religions and beliefs, future expansion of rights, and most of all, encouragement of basic human rights for all.

    European Social Democracies demonstrate models for society that are healthier and that allow for happier and less stressed out citizens who are able to work and play and live without the threat of poverty always present. The US must move in that direction or we will die. We cannot sustain a society where 20% or more live in poverty, where the jobless rate is 20% in many cities, with prisons full of uneducated, angry young men and women without skills and having nowhere to go and no money when and if they are released. We are at a horribly difficult and drastic stage in the development of our country. Where we end up is anyone’s guess.

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    I think what Thomas said Palin said is essentially what Palin said.

    Morgan said:

    Well then, here’s an idea. And a darn fine one if I may say so myself:

    Ditch what Thomas said. Take what Palin said, word-for-word, and cycle that around the Internet as evidence of how dense, silly and stupid she is. Will that work?

    Yeah. Three different people independently posted the link to Palin’s actual words here, Morgan. I quoted them exactly.

    “This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said to cheers from the crowd.

    Palin’s statement was factually, contextually, and intellectually false. She may hang by her own words.

    Morgan said:

    Well, if not…then you know why Thomas’ rephrasing has become so popular.

    I think you may be confused. What you are seeing around the internet is not a rephrasing of Palin’s words, but the actual quote of what she said. Thomas’s slight rephrasing is very close to what she actually said.

    Take his quote, put quotation marks around it and submit it to Google…you’ll find big ol’ meandering herds of liberals passing it off to each other. See, that sounds silly, so it serves their purpose to rephrase her comments. Like I said: “Boy, she sure sounds stupid when we pretend she said something she never actually said.”

    Why don’t you find for us a different account of what she said? I did a Google search, and I quickly found four rational sources with the same quote. I used the one from her hometown newspaper. Ellie and Dr. Bumsted did the same — independently I know, because both of their comments ended up in moderation, and I didn’t find that until after I’d posted.

    So, please tell us, Morgan: What exactly do you claim Palin said that was different?

    As to whether the re-phrasing is an honest one — I submit it has to do with exceptionalism. If you’ve ever tried to be exceptional, Thomas’ summary is different and dishonest. If you’ve spent your entire life content to be mediocre and lackluster, then the two versions are indistinguishable.

    Palin may have said something about exceptionalism, also. But she said what Thomas claimed — and that was inaccurate on Palin’s part.

    Honestly, Ed…the more months I watch roll on by, this looks to me more and more like the way the anti-socialists are portraying it.

    The anti-socialists? You mean Krugman and Posner and Becker?

    Back up our empty-President in His empty suit, with His empty-speeches extolling the virtues of laziness, inaction and mediocrity, or else we’ll call you “dumb.”

    Um, you know, it’s probably not a good idea to go on a pure-fiction jag when you’re falsely accusing others of writing fiction. In no speech has Obama ever extolled any “virtues of laziness, inaction and mediocrity.” You appear to have Obama confused with John “JUST SAY NO TO AMERICA!” Boehner. Or maybe someone else.

    But I know this: You can’t show us such a speech from the archives in which Obama says what you claim.

    For the uneducated: In the 1880′s, America was considering the virtues of what was then called “populism,” which today we would call pure-democracy. Mob rule. Anti-exceptionalism.

    Bullshit. The populist movement — led by William Jennings Bryan, among others — was a backlash against high rail rates that burned farmers, and other policies that appeared to favor bankers over farmers. It was always a minority movement, and to the extent any of its reforms were “considered” by the major parties, it was because those ideas were seen to have some value.

    The Populist Party
    [from the Biography of America]

    The Populist Party, more formally known as the National People’s Party, was formed in 1892 to represent the interests of southern and western farmers who were particularly stressed in the 1890s by high interest rates on loans, severe drought in the Midwest, a high rate of foreclosure of farm mortgages, and unfair railroad shipping rates for their products. Many of those who supported the Populist Party blamed their economic plight on a conspiracy of eastern bankers and railroad millionaires who were out to ruin them in order to maximize their own profits. In many ways the Populists represented the growing antagonism between labor and industry that marked the 1890s and the early decades of the twentieth century.

    The Populist platform included such issues as the free and unlimited coinage of silver, lower interest rates, national ownership of the railroads, labor reforms, and a graduated income tax. The first Populist presidential candidate, James B. Weaver, garnered more than a million popular votes and 22 electoral votes in the election of 1892. In 1896, the fiery young Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan adopted much of the Populist platform, and the Populists supported Bryan. Eventually the Democratic/Populist alliance weakened the Populist movement, although the party survived until 1912. Many of the issues raised by the Populists would continue to echo in American political history during the Progressive Era and the New Deal.

    More specifically, the populists were generally great patriots — they would have bought the “exceptionalism” argument completely. Then they would argue that American exceptionalism was threatened by high rail rates.

    The Eugenics movement grew out of this, so did the Nazi party in Germany.

    Now you’re really confused. Eugenics didn’t grow out of populism. Any connection is mostly forced, if not completely fictional.

    I’m sure the eugenics movement overlapped with populist states and advocates in some places and at some times, but they were different ideas voiced at different times. Nor did eugenics get as much traction as populism generally. If one maps the high-water mark of populism, one will include most of the mainly agricultural states, with a possible exception of California; the 27 states that still had forced sterilization laws in the 1950s show no consistent overlap, I think.

    (Here’s a map of the 1892 election, with those states going Populist Party in green; compare it with the 27 states with sterilization laws:

    Electoral College map for the election of 1892
    Populists were not necessarily eugencists; eugenics was not a major part of the populist platform, if indeed they mentioned it at all.)

    Morgan said:

    As well as, what today is called modern liberalism. So yes, what Palin said was quite correct. What Palin said, as Thomas rephrased it, would not have been correct. Sorry, Ed — Thomas’ summary was meaningfully inaccurate.

    Palin got the history of the Statue of Liberty dead wrong. There’s no doubt about that. She sounds at least as confused about history as you and that completely fictional link you’ve proposed between populists and eugenics, and then to liberals (forgetting, I suppose the staunch social conservatism of William Jennings Bryan himself, who resigned from Wilson’s cabinet rather than prosecute war as Secretary of State, and who personally prosecuted John T. Scopes in Tennessee for teaching human evolution) — perhaps y’all should quit drinking from that well of poisoned history, and just stick to the facts.

    Surely you know about Google. You’d be wise to Google any claim from Sarah Palin, anyone who claims to be a Tea Party activist, and anyone who suggests President Obama is stupid. You don’t have to believe fall victim to every attempt to sucker the gullible that comes down the pike.

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  18. thomas says:

    “God bless us everyone,
    we’re a broken people
    living under loaded gun”

    Catalyst

    Linkin Park

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  19. I think what Thomas said Palin said is essentially what Palin said.

    Well then, here’s an idea. And a darn fine one if I may say so myself:

    Ditch what Thomas said. Take what Palin said, word-for-word, and cycle that around the Internet as evidence of how dense, silly and stupid she is. Will that work?

    Well, if not…then you know why Thomas’ rephrasing has become so popular. Take his quote, put quotation marks around it and submit it to Google…you’ll find big ol’ meandering herds of liberals passing it off to each other. See, that sounds silly, so it serves their purpose to rephrase her comments. Like I said: “Boy, she sure sounds stupid when we pretend she said something she never actually said.”

    As to whether the re-phrasing is an honest one — I submit it has to do with exceptionalism. If you’ve ever tried to be exceptional, Thomas’ summary is different and dishonest. If you’ve spent your entire life content to be mediocre and lackluster, then the two versions are indistinguishable.

    Honestly, Ed…the more months I watch roll on by, this looks to me more and more like the way the anti-socialists are portraying it. Back up our empty-President in His empty suit, with His empty-speeches extolling the virtues of laziness, inaction and mediocrity, or else we’ll call you “dumb.”

    For the uneducated: In the 1880’s, America was considering the virtues of what was then called “populism,” which today we would call pure-democracy. Mob rule. Anti-exceptionalism. The Eugenics movement grew out of this, so did the Nazi party in Germany. As well as, what today is called modern liberalism. So yes, what Palin said was quite correct. What Palin said, as Thomas rephrased it, would not have been correct. Sorry, Ed — Thomas’ summary was meaningfully inaccurate.

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  20. thomas says:

    The Statue of Liberty is a beautiful, iconic symbol of the true essence of the American experiment. She stands for freedom and light – freedom to live meaningful lives and light shining on the people and those who govern the people in these United States. She represents a new beginning from the nepotism and classism of Old Europe. She represents a warm welcom to a new beginning, for workers and the poor. The French appreciate freedom as they threw out their Royalty and established a Republic also. Spain, Belgium, England and other European countries still have Royalty, albeit not the same as, say Henry VIII.

    Again, Thank you for this beautiful salute to Lady Liberty. Remember Beck’s interview of Palin on FoxNews with the Statue of Liberty in the background (they were at a restaurant with a great view of the Statue of Liberty)? Those two are disgracefully ignorant, uneducated and disturbed. Both of them.

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  21. Ed Darrell says:

    The quote you nailed down seems to be what she said, from Anchorage Daily News. It says something substantially different.

    Hmmm. I think what Thomas said Palin said is essentially what Palin said. The thrust and substance are the same, that the Statue of Liberty was intended by the French to be a warning against socialism.

    That is complete fiction. Palin doesn’t know beans about Liberty.

    Like

  22. Doubt is all you have? I was hoping for evidence.

    You’re accustomed to people who fall for this? That explains quite a bit.

    You’re the one alleging something. You present the evidence.

    Looks to me as if Thomas has it right…

    No, what Thomas got right was the cliche being handed off from liberal to liberal with “trust me on this” written underneath. The quote you nailed down seems to be what she said, from Anchorage Daily News. It says something substantially different.

    Shades of “I Can See Russia From My House”-gate. At my place, we call this “Gosh, Sarah Palin sounds really silly and dumb, when we pretend she said stuff she never actually said.”

    Like

  23. Ed Darrell says:

    I doubt this very much.

    Doubt is all you have? I was hoping for evidence.

    Like

  24. Ed Darrell says:

    Looks to me as if Thomas has it right, at least according to the Anchorage Daily News:

    “This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said to cheers from the crowd.

    No historical fact left unstoned.

    Unless, of course, you’re calling the rebel states in the Civil War, the Confederate State of America, ‘full of socialist policies.’

    The Statue of Liberty has always been unpopular with the anti-socialists. I suppose it would be accurate to say that socialists erected it, since Emma Lazarus actually leaned that way, and since it was an “obviously socialist” effort that raised the money to build the pedestal.

    Of course, that means Palin wasn’t just in error, but was instead boldly telling falsehoods.

    Like

  25. mpb says:

    “”This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said to cheers from the crowd.”

    http://community.adn.com/adn/node/153116

    I once worked at the “Statch” — and was one of the few able to stand on the torch (climbing that tiny, angled ladder was not fun).

    Learning the true story of the Statue is important. To watch who actually visits the Statue is important. In the late 60s the visitors were overwhelming non-English first-language speakers. I suspect that is still true.

    Would it be true to say those who take the USA and liberty for granted are those who don’t know about the Statue and therefore deliberately ignore its actual symbolism and value?

    Like

  26. Ellie says:

    OT: The Palin quote is “”This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said to cheers from the crowd.” http://community.adn.com/adn/node/153116

    Like

  27. Okay, that’s OT, but yeah go look it up. Then reconcile what she said against actual events in American history at the time the Statue went up.

    Make sure you get the right quote first. What was offered by Thomas…that’s not it.

    Like

  28. thomas says:

    Beautiful. As one who appreciates the French, their culture, their care and concern for others (best healthcare, one of the best social safety nets, their strong anti-Iraq invasion/occupation stance, among other things), I thank you for this. The French also score extremely high on The Happiness Index, a comparison of the happiness of citizens living in different ountries around the workld

    Now, to address an idiot/fool who said yesterday that the French gave the US the Statue of Liberty to “warn against Socialism,” – I kid you not – Sarah Palin actually said that… I cannot believe the damn stupidity, vacuousness, and asinine thoughts and words of that woman. I read the transcript of her short speech delivered to a gigantic crowd of no more than 200 people in Wasilla, AK yesterday. Read it if you want to laugh. As Keith Olberman says, “she is an idiot.” Do not torture yourself with the video. I refuse to hear her shrill shreaks and lies. The transcript is enough.It is short. Go to Palingates blogspot. She is a complete joke.

    Merci aux peuples de la France pour la belle femme.

    Like

  29. In much of the rest of America, there is an active movement to nail shut the “golden door,” to turn out a sign that would say “No tired, no poor nor huddled masses yearning to breathe free; especially no wretched refuse, no homeless, and let the tempest-tost stay in Guatemala and Pakistan.

    I doubt this very much.

    Like

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