Have you taken your Obama loyalty oath?

Have you taken your Obama loyalty oath?

Jonathan Alter at the Daily Beast has an idea that will infuse the president’s “economic patriotism” rhetoric with some bite: Compel companies to take “loyalty oaths” to prove their patriotism.

You may find this suggestion a little creepy, maybe even a little fascistic; but Alter says that “it’s time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands.”

And by taking the matter into “our” hands, Alter means that President Obama would unilaterally bar any company that practices “inversion” – corporate merging with foreign firms to save on U.S. tax bills – from doing business with the federal government. Companies that follow the administration requirements will earn a government seal of approval. If you act “un-American” and fail to recognize your “real interests” and those of the United States – which are, naturally, indistinguishable from the president’s agenda – you will be shunned and your business punished.

You will be powerless to stop it.

That’s because efforts to stop desertion aren’t populist or socialist but nationalist, a much more powerful force in American politics. Unbridled nationalism is a menace; it leads to trade wars and, all too often, real wars. But properly channeled, nationalism and patriotism are matters of the heart that cut to our deepest ideas of who we are.

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Ah, properly channeled nationalism. You see, when you do it it’s just a bunch of dangerous jingoist rubbish. When we do it … America! And after five years of conflating patriotism and left-wing economic policy, you are expected to treat a completely legal tax designation as an attack on the homeland. Unless, of course, you’re a seditious weasel who’s betting against America.

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