Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Capitol Dome

One of today's headlines is that a new poll indicates approval of Congress has fallen to an all time low. Well, duh. However, this particular poll has only been taken for the past 38 years. There may have been times in the past, perhaps when the dome was being constructed between 1855 and 1863, that it was also not held in very high esteem. More frequently than ever, I recall the great cartoonist Walt Kelly, creator of the marvelous "Pogo" comic strip and how in one series, Pogo declares " We have met the enemy- and they are us!" So my advice to those who are fed up with grid-lock in DC: don't elect ideologues who will refuse to compromise and say so proudly as part of their campaign platform when running for office. Ultimately, this sort will prove the undoing of all that has made the US great.

For those curious as to what, or who, the statue is atop the dome, she is an allegorical figure "Freedom, Triumphant in War and Peace" created by American artist Thomas Crawford. Even at the design phase there was need for compromise as her initial head gear was a Liberty Cap, symbolic for all freed slaves. When that was challenged for fear of offending delicate Southern issues, it was replaced with a crested helmet. She stands directly atop the globe around which the phrase" E pluribus unum" is embedded. You'll also find the phrase in much of US currency. For those weak on Latin it means,  "Out of many, one."

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