Loyalty Day - Cutting Through the Hype


Trump proclaimed May 1, 2017 to be Loyalty Day. Fox News is using this as some sort of a cattle call for patriotism. In truth, every President since Eisenhower has issued a Loyalty Day proclamation every year for May 1.

Traditionally, May 1 was the pagan spring festival of May Day. In 1886, May 1 was adopted as International Workers Day by communists and socialists, in response to the Haymarket Massacre (where pro-union protesters were bombed in Chicago). After the Russia revolution, the United States began celebrations of Americanization Day and then Loyalty Day on May 1st as an anti-communist (at best) and anti-labor (at worst) distraction from the worker's holiday. During the fifties, when fears of Soviet communism were at a peak, the day was made an official celebration, and it has been every year since then. I suspect embarrassment over McCarthy-era anti-communism is part of why the annual event has been largely unobserved in much of the country.

The Fox News hype that this is something special that Trump is doing is nonsense. It just shows that Fox isn't smart enough to Google for 30 seconds before calling something news. Similarly, the liberal backlash is also needless hype. This isn't some weird Orwellian Trump step. He is just doing what every liberal and conservative President has, without much notice, for decades.

What is ironic about the Trump proclamation is that this is a holiday setup to fight Soviet communism, and Trump has likely colluded with Putin -- the man most like a Soviet dictator since before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I am sure Trump supports undermining workers rights and unions, which was also part of the goal of taking over the May 1 holiday.