It’s The Statue of Liberty, Not The Statute of Liberty

It's The Statue of Liberty, Not The Statute of Liberty

Yesterday,  CNN’s Jim Acosta and Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller debated the core beliefs of the Left versus the core beliefs of the Right. No, really. This risible exchange over the Statue of Liberty (!!!) is one of the more important exchanges between the Trump administration and the media to happen this year.

The crux of this debate can be summed up in one sentence from Jim Acosta. “What you’re proposing… or what the president’s proposing here, does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. ”

First, the obvious: “American tradition” regarding immigration is nothing like what Jim Acosta thinks it is. It is incredible that someone who was 22 (and had gone to college for political science!) when Clinton first took office  cannot remember the immigration policies of his administration.  Perhaps “will not remember” would be a more accurate description?

Stephen Miller himself did a decent job breaking this down in the initial exchange. However, the broader implications raised by Jim Acosta, and people flocking to defend him, are clear, and strike at the heart of American leftist ideology.

To put it poetically? Feels before reals! 

Now, the poem:

The New Colossus

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!”

A beautiful piece of writing, to be sure.  “Mother of Exiles” in particular is a striking description of Lady Liberty.  The “twin cities” line is of historical interest, as it referred to New York and Brooklyn at the time, which were separated. “Pomp” is a just really cool word. “Our sea-washed, sunset gates“? How evocative and pretty.

The lamp beside the golden door” speaks to the beauty of the United States and her values of liberty and freedom. The call for those who are suffering, wounded, homeless, lost, to come home to the “Mother of Exiles”, where they will find freedom and peace…. Stunning. Profound, even.

There’s just one small problem. This isn’t a f*cking poetry club.

We  can ponder the meaning of this poem until the 2020 election. In fact, maybe we should. American students could probably benefit from a little more exposure to classic American literature and poetry, and a little less exposure to  2010-2017 blue-haired post-modernist diatribes or poems about freebleeding by the current set of feminists du jour.

It's The Statue of Liberty, Not The Statute of Liberty

Emma Lazarus: a Georgist, who presumably did not walk around dressed as a giant vagina.

 The problem is not with examining cultural markings and how they influence the country and it’s changing values.
The problem is with examining cultural markings through the ever-fickle lens of American public opinion, and using those examinations to enact policy.

Think about it, because it really is as idiotic as it sounds: these people want to enact policy based on a poem.

And, as usual when we give the leftists an inch on absolutely anything, they prove every slippery slope argument correct, if given enough time. They want to enact policy, based on a poem, which they have decided reflects their decade-old values, even if said policy would run counter to the founding laws of the country.


Those on the Right (In principle, not in Congress or in politics in general, unfortunately) may argue about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, state vs. federal laws, etcetera – but we, at the very least, have a set of precedents to look at when making arguments, and we know that if any change is to be made, it may mean changing laws. The Left doesn’t think this is necessary. Laws are not laws, they’re suggestions. 

It is in this area that the “spirit of the law” idea becomes not a reasonable way to examine old laws in light of changing times, but as a way to abolish any modicum of respect for the laws or why they existed the way they did in the first place.

For Acosta to claim to care about “American tradition” is to make him, and his supporters, hypocrites of the highest order.

They are anti-traditional.

Think of the liberal sh*t-fit every time some statue of the ten commandments is mentioned.

When the religious right sees a biblical set of statements as a cultural marker, the leftists are quick to scream about how the United States is violating the Constitution – and yet they are perfectly fine with their preferred cultural marker of the day  deciding policy that could very well violate the Constitution.

There is legitimate debate on the issue of religious displays on government buildings, to be sure, however, the hypocrisy is fascinating.

This is the problem when a political ideology is not based on anything but the shifting tides of public opinion, with very few controls to stem said tide. Left is right, up is down, men are women, women are men, liberty is bad, tyranny is good, being gay is normal, being straight is weird, finding beautiful things beautiful is bad, finding hideous things beautiful is sacrosanct.

We could go on.

Tradition is not seen as a precedent to the left – it is seen only as a political bludgeoning tool, to push whatever is popular in Current Year.  Even if it means prioritizing a poem on the Statue of Liberty over the founding laws of the United States.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Stefanie MacWilliams
Stefanie MacWilliams is a dissident Canadian millennial, mom, buffalo sauce afficianado, and right-wing political troublemaker. She co-owns (and writes for), hosts the Right Millennial show on Youtube, and can be found frequently on her twitter account @StefMacwilliams or you can email her at