Christopher R. Altieri: Trump, ‘Loyalty Day’ and Catholics in America

(Crux) Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine it had been anyone but President Donald Trump, who issued the recent “Loyalty Day” proclamation, declaring May 1st to be “a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom,” and calling for expressions of our common national commitment to “individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being[.]”

It should not be too difficult, actually.

It turns out that U.S. Presidents have been issuing similar proclamations on or about May 1st – “May Day” or “International Labor Day” in much of the world – since the 1920’s, and that it has been an officially designated, “on the books” holiday since 1958 (Esquire Magazine, of all publications, has a good short history of the Day, complete with links – thanks, internet!).

Still, something does feel different about Trump’s Proclamation – something in the tone and substance of it, sure – but also and primarily in the fact that it was President Donald J. Trump who issued it in the first place.

We were perhaps prepared to have any such statement from Trump give us the creeps. After all, he is the one, who brought us the little bit of dystopian spectacle that was the Trump Rally Video (remember that)?

Though, if we are fair and candid, that keyhole peek into bizarro-world showed us something arguably less disturbing than the actual pledge of loyalty and service, not to America, but to the just-elected Barack Obama produced in 2009 by a group of prominent celebrities.

What, though, makes our skin crawl when Trump issues a run-of-the-mill Presidential Proclamation for a holiday that, until this year, stirred less sentiment in the American People than Arbor Day? [More]