Is America still the symbol of hope to the downtrodden of the world?

Statue of LibertyPhoto credit: featherboa on Flickr

Today, in 1849, the poet Emma Lazarus was born. She wrote the sonnet that graces the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty…

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

~Emma Lazarus, 1883
What does it mean to you?
Edited to add: I learned that today the Climate Bill is dead. So much for breathing free, right?
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