May Day into Loyalty Day

May Day into Loyalty Day


According to Wiki:

“[Loyalty Day] was made an official holiday by the U.S. Congress on July 18, 1958 (Public Law 85-529).[4][5] Following the passage of this law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959 the first official observance of Loyalty Day. [6]

With the exception of Eisenhower in 1959 and 1960, and the years 1966 thru 1974, Loyalty day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year by every president since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.”

Recently, Obama continued this tradition by declaring that that May 1st is now “Loyalty Day.” The statement from  states:

“Presidential Proclamation — Loyalty Day, 2012


More than two centuries ago, our Founders laid out a charter that assured the rule of law and the rights of man. Through times of tranquility and the throes of change, the Constitution has always guided our course toward fulfilling that most noble promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve the chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. America has carried on not only for the skill or vision of history’s celebrated figures, but also for the generations who have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. On Loyalty Day, we reflect on that proud heritage and press on in the long journey toward prosperity for all.

In the years since our Constitution was penned and ratified, Americans have moved our Nation forward by embracing a commitment to each other, to the fundamental principles that unite us, and to the future we share. We weathered the storms of civil war and segregation, of conflicts that spanned continents. We overcame threats from within and without — from the specter of fascism abroad to the bitter injustice of disenfranchisement at home. We upheld the spirit of service at the core of our democracy, and we widened the circle of opportunity not just for a privileged few, but for the ambitious many. Time and again, men and women achieved what seemed impossible by joining imagination to common purpose and necessity to courage. That legacy still burns brightly, and the ideals it embodies remain a light to all the world.

Countless Americans demonstrate that same dedication to country today. It endures in the hearts of all who put their lives on the line to defend the land they love, just as it moves millions to improve their communities through volunteerism and civic participation. Their actions help ensure prosperity for this generation and those yet to come, and they honor the immutable truths enshrined in our Nation’s founding texts. On Loyalty Day, we rededicate ourselves to the common good, to the cornerstones of liberty, equality, and justice, and to the unending pursuit of a more perfect Union.

In order to recognize the American spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 85-529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America, our Constitution, and our founding values.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2012, as Loyalty Day. This Loyalty Day, I call upon all the people of the United States to join in support of this national observance, whether by displaying the flag of the United States or pledging allegiance to the Republic for which it stands.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

What is interesting about the rhetoric in Obama’s statement is that it barely indistinguishable from some of the populist rhetoric that pervades the Occupy movement. At present, at the national level, Occupy politics are, on the whole, Democratic Party politics, whether or not Occupy is a formal Democratic Party institution or not. Listening to the Occupy rhetoric on May Day, 2012, the overwhelming message was activist populism, Democratic Party populism. This populist rhetoric was challenged in certain places. The Leading Light and other anti-imperialist forces have continuously challenged it. Anarchist spectacles also have helped reduce the populist message, even if the organizers of such spectacles often share many  First Worldist similarities with more mainstream populist forces. The populist sentiment of Obama’s “Loyalty Day” was also shared by the larger, mainstream migrant protests that occurred a few years ago. That such populism is pervasive, even among so-called “radicals” and marginalized communities, speaks to the difficulties of organizing in the United States, organizing without a real mass base. When almost all forces spout similar rhetoric in order to appeal to the same social forces, almost all roads will tend to lead back to the force with the biggest megaphone, with the loudest voice. And, in the United States, it is the Democratic Party and its fronts. This is why it is so important to oppose economism as much as possible. This is also why it is so important to have somewhere to lead people to that is not the Democratic Party, a political space that is not the Democrats’.

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