Are you fucking shitting me?!
From the people who brought you “Homeland Security” (arrest without warrant, detention without trial), “Total Information Awareness” (universal, secret snooping), the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorists Act” (voiding the Bill of Rights), and silly bullshit posturing in military uniforms, comes yet another foray into fascist-style rhetoric and subtly menacing conformism.
In the latest Republican exercise in self-consciously defensive denial of the meaning of May Day (Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 “Law Day” to show the Commies what’s what, thereby making the United States the only major nation that officially refuses to commemorate the Haymarket Riot – in the country in which it actually occurred), Bush has now declared May 1 to be “Loyalty Day”. (Apparently it’s both Law Day and Loyalty Day. Since the “law” now includes provisions whereby the regime can arrest you secretly without warrant, torture you, hold you incognito without trial or representation, and turn you over to foreign governments for torture or killing, while officially declaring itself untouchable for doing so, it would seem that you are now officially required to commemorate Law Day by being loyal to the concept of having no law.) Yes, the United States now has an officially proclaimed “obligation” to demonstrate “loyalty to the homeland” and its military forces. And apparently we’re now capitalizing the word “Nation” and letting state officials stipulate what emotions we’re having.
Jimmy Breslin once summed up Rudy Giuliani beautifully by calling him “a little man in search of a balcony”. That’s more true than I imagined was possible about Shrub.
Loyalty Day, 2007 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America America was founded by patriots who risked their lives to bring freedom to our Nation. Today, our citizens are grateful for our Founding Fathers and confident in the principles that lead us forward. On Loyalty Day, we celebrate the blessings of freedom and remember our responsibility to continue our legacy of liberty.Our Nation has never been united simply by blood, birth, or soil, but instead has always been united by the ideals that move us beyond our background and teach us what it means to be Americans. We believe deeply in freedom and self-government, values embodied in our cherished documents and defended by our troops over the course of generations. Our citizens hold the truths of our founding close to their hearts and demonstrate their loyalty in countless ways. We are inspired by the patriotic service of the men and women who wear our Nation’s uniform with honor and decency. The military spouses and families who stand by their loved ones represent the best of the American spirit, and we are profoundly grateful for their sacrifice. Our country is strengthened by the millions of volunteers who show deep compassion toward their neighbors in need. All citizens can express their loyalty to the United States by flying the flag, participating in our democracy, and learning more about our country’s grand story of courage and simple dream of dignity.The Congress, by Public Law 85-529, as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” This Loyalty Day, and throughout the year, I ask all Americans to join me in reaffirming our allegiance to our Nation.NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2007, as Loyalty Day. . . .
It would be hard to count the lies in that statement, or the noble sentiments in it made into lies by this regime. It would be hard to express the disgust and shame of seeing phrases like “blessings of freedom” used in our names by the man who brought torture and the Gulag to America, “neighbors in need” spoken as if in camaraderie by the man who calculatedly watched a city and its citizens die while his underlings funneled aid money to their corporate-mercenary toadies and proclaimed “New Orleans will never be as black again” and who deliberately did all he could to destroy Social Security and who funneled Medicare funds by the billions to corporate interests and who tried to give the entire Social Security trust fund to Wall Street, “volunteers” officially haled by the man who turned the government’s authority and more than a hundred million dollars in tax money over to “faith-based organizations” of one religion only who then engaged in massive open discrimination and religious huckstering and fraud against the citizens who had funded them against their will, “self-government” spoken without self-loathing by a man put into office illegally by his own father’s political appointees after losing a cynical and massively dishonest vote count run by his own paid campaign staff who then dismantled his own country’s constitution. It would be hard to enumerate or commemorate the degree to which America has been slimed and shamed, to which America has ceased to be America, to which America has become a nation of secret jails and stupid wars and mindless slogans all propounded by little men standing on their own self-built balconies, as the result of this one putrid failure strutting his delusional crackpottery in places of power and majesty.
And now he proclaims national emotions and demands national displays and declares obligations and dictates feelings and orders “loyalty”. To that end, I can only offer this
PROCLAMATION OF LOYALTYAs a citizen of the United States of America that was, as a citizen of the United States of America that may one day be again, as a citizen of a once-decent nation now sadly lost in its way, and as a citizen loyal to the ideals embodied, imperfectly but with a sense of aspiration and through a history of continual evolution away from the shames and failures that have returned to haunt us under Republican rule, in the Constitution of the United States of America, I proclaim:
An absolute repudiation of the embarrassing horror of George Bush and his regime;
That the Bush regime is composed of no true Americans, and does not speak in the name or within the tradition of true America;
That George Bush is a blot upon, and a danger to, America and its ideals, and has, through his bungling rule, contempt for law and the nation’s history, and deep-seated incapacity to embrace and exemplify the dedication to freedom, liberty, and tolerance that define America, materially harmed this nation, its citizens, and its relations with decent nations and people everywhere;
That the silly posturing, mindless sloganeering, fascist rhetoric, militaristic display, and anti-libertarian authoritarianism of the Bush regime are anathema to the true spirit of America, have no place in and no meaning for this country, and are to be regarded only with the contempt and derision they deserve;
That America is not a country of commanded loyalties, dictated emotions, or manipulative, manufactured demonstrations of fervor for empty propaganda paraded by self-appointed authorities as approved ideals and values;
That loyalty to America requires loyalty to its citizens and residents and their needs and interests, in all their diversity and difference, and in the right of each to autonomy, self-definition, and the assumption of chosen loyalties in turn;
That loyalty to America requires loyalty to the ideal of freedom as a practical concept defining the sphere of non-interference within which each person is sacrosanct – to the liberal concept of a public/private distinction that walls off personal life from official intrusion – and to the Enlightenment concept of a rationally-grounded personal moral sovereignty from which, only, the legal system derives its authority;
That loyalty to America requires the repudiation of any denial of personal autonomy as a moral foundation of law and society, and defiance of any attempt to remake the nation by authoritarian trespasses;
That loyalty to America requires sorrow at, shame in, and denunciation of the harms to this nation and its citizens following from the incompetent and ill-considered deeds, the repulsive and embarrassing words, and the anti-American values of its current ruling regime.
Now, wherefore, in celebration of Loyalty Day and the ideal America in which true Americans reposit their hopes and aspirations, be it known:
That official “Loyalty Days” are contrary to the spirit of a free nation;
That America is worthy of loyalty only to the degree and so long as it upholds and continues to aspire to the liberal ideals and history of progress, tolerance, and increasing personal liberty that have marked the best days of the nation’s history;
That loyalty to America today requires active opposition to the trespasses against its ideals that define and defame its current ruling regime;
That loyal Americans work to reverse the general course the country has taken since the regime of Ronald Reagan, and most especially of George Bush;
That America will have recaptured its ideals and deserved the loyalty of its citizens when the works of the people and parties who have brought shame upon the nation, undermined its ideals, and imposed, as the least of their trespasses, official proclamations worthy of the most contemptible dictatorships upon its people, have been thoroughly undone and forever repudiated;
That loyal Americans look and work toward that day, with contempt only for those who make that necessary and delay its coming.