The inscription on the Statue of Liberty is a challenge to the world amounting to this: Keep your guilds, family names and titles. Keep the all the ideas your governments use to keep people down in your societies. Send us those who you claim cannot make it, those you believe do not add to your society. We will set them free to create what they want to create. We will not get in their way or tell them they cannot do it because of degree, license or title.
Emma Lazarus’ poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty makes clear, if they make, they earned it and they get to keep it. We will protect them with our Constitution and our Bill of Rights from government and from people wishing to steal their work, rewards and meddling in their lives. The message is about freedom. That is what has made America exceptional in world history.
Are we still those people? Do we still believe, as our first coin said on one side; “We Are One” and on the other “Mind Your Business”? The message wasn’t about welfare or socialized medicine or transgender recognition. The message was that we are all in this together, yes. But we are distinct individuals first with the power of choosing or determining, we have free will. We choose to leave each other alone. We respect the rights of others as our own. Are we still those people?