If asked, we would define the ubiquitous word, “symbol,” essentially, as a mark, sign, word or, at times, a person, indicative of, commonly understood as, or emblematically representing an express idea or subject. Symbols functionally qualify as non-verbal declarations, or expressive shared links of understanding in common, between members of society.
To qualify as a symbol, the same must be universally recognizable and immediately translatable into verbal thought. Symbols can be functional or informational, such as the solid, red-colored cross (medical, hospital, pharmacy), balance scale (legal services), school in session (drive slowly) or expressive, Valentine-shaped heart (love), dove (peace), tree (growth, nature), owl (wisdom), hazmat sign (chemical danger), octagonal red sign (stop), Abraham Lincoln (equal rights) and Benjamin Franklin (wisdom, and practical sense). We note that symbols of a political or societal nature are tolerated and acceptable only when they represent the community’s prevailing sentiment.
The recently publicized controversies over Civil War Memorial Monuments, contemporaneously occupying public places in many Southern States, were founded on the felt perception that they were symbols, glorifying Southern Civil War Military Leaders and memorializing popular confederate, pro-slavery sentiment. The understandable and empathic opponents included people, descended from slaves, together with other right-thinking Americans, who understood that such publicly installed statuary can be perceived as an expression of societal nostalgia and remorse over the defeat of the Confederacy. Those opponents of their removal, who may have candidly felt that the principal issue was historical preservation, ought to be aware that such pretensions are justly and empathically outweighed, by those whose forebears suffered under the immoral and inhuman travesty of slavery. Additionally, the physical removal of these atavistic structures constitutes an observably clear symbol of and is in step with, the Nation’s contemporary and ongoing struggle, for equity and universal rights.
The most enduring moral and historical challenge undertaken by our Nation is the accomplishment of its historic assurance of universal equality. Despite the consistent mandate of equality expressed by Constitutional mandate and clearly set forth in Statutory and Court litigated precedent, the moral and humanistic goal of universal equality has not been acceptably demonstrated, unfortunately, by a large cohort of American Citizens. It is extremely disappointing to the upright American citizen in this 21st Century, to be aware of the existence of anti-Democratic, militaristic groups, opposed to universal equality, as personified by the despicable crowd of bigoted terrorists who recently stormed the Capital Building. The event was a harsh reminder of the persistence of these angry people and of the plethora of militant white Christian Evangelical groups, such as, “The Oath Keepers” “The Proud Boys,” and a large, noisy, ever-churning cesspool of organized terroristic bigots. The balance of the roster of America’s bigots, we assume, consists of silent, sub-rosa haters.
We were overjoyed at the election and experienced reprised joy at the reaffirming re-election, of Barack Obama (2009-2017), the first Black President in our Nation’s history.[ To go off theme for a comment, he may have been the most capable and best President in American History]. Relative to our ever-hopeful inclination, his election, to us, symbolized a vital course correction and moral improvement regarding America’s many decades of struggle to attain universal, citizen equality and respect.
Our optimism may well have proven to presage the attainment of that desirable reality, if not for the ill-fated election of the ignorant, egotistic, and bigoted charlatan, Donald J. Trump. We have written sufficiently of his miscreant and shameful performance as President, rendering the redux of such observations again unnecessary; except, to say, within the scope of the present essay, that the spate of positive symbolism of competence, dignity, and integrity of the Office of The American Presidency, we proudly observed in the two terms in office of President Obama, was quickly polluted, despoiled, and shamefully violated by Donald Trump. Trump’s unbearable, four-year term was exemplified by consistent, ignorant incompetence in combination with a neurotic egotism, immorality, domestic, National, and International, and as well, the implicit and explicit practice of hateful bigotry. His term in office noticeably served as a symbol of support and approval to the White Christian Militia Groups and to the general bigoted underbelly of America; exemplified by the Trump- incited attack on the Capital.
It was, inarguably, no less than existentially vital to our Nation and to the institution of Democracy, that Donald Trump, was not re-elected for a second term. Joseph Biden, the capable, experienced, and responsible, former Vice-President in the exemplary Obama Administration, mercifully, won the Presidency. The World witnessed with a sigh of relief, the Official swearing in of the new President by Chief U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and most notably, the new Vice President, Kamala Harris, a black American woman of Asian, Caribbean heritage, by a tan-skinned, Puerto Rican- American co- Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor. The National and International symbolism, represented by this definitive elective choice of the American voters, and the subsequent appointment of a dedicated Administration, comprised of capable officials representing the natural diversity of the Nation, is properly indicative of America’s ultimate desire for the accomplishment of our historically “symbolic” motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” and for its prophetic result, National American solidarity.