- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On Monday, millions of Facebook perusers felt a jolt. Here before their eyes was a post from President Trump that was way out of sync with the humility and grace of his appearance at the Arlington National Cemetery on the same Monday.

“I would like to wish everyone, including all haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) a truly happy and enjoyable Memorial Day!” read the president’s post.

This just after he had laid a wreath at the tomb of the unkown soldier and later, without once mentioning himself, addressed a warmly appreciative, mostly military audience. Their solemn Memorial Day setting was the sacred national grounds beneath which lay America’s fallen warriors.

On first reading of his harsh and inappropriate (have a happy Memorial Day?) tweet, a Trump well-wisher might be excused for experiencing a frontal-lobe flash of hope that someone of influence somewhere would DO something. Like what?

Like call on his most enthusiastic friends and supporters around the country to join in urging him to cease tweeting altogether. It would be for his sake and the success of his legislative agenda in Congress.

And, yes, the ant-army of Trump antagonists — some making reasonable points — immediately jammed Facebook with tweets insulting the president for the untimeliness and tone of his tweet.

Then Facebook fell host to a response by Desert Storm veteran Kevin Jankoski, who pointed out that the Trump tweet was two years old. A careful second look at the Trump post in question revealed a time stamp of May 2015.

The left — or someone hostile to the president — had inserted the 2015 Trump Facebook post in the middle of a 2017 string of posts about the president and Memorial Day 2017.

The fake post (the timing of the Facebook re-insertion made it fake) suggests that the left’s political tricksters are better than the right’s. Since the Trump presidency, no comparable example of right-wing dirty-tricks comes readily to mind.

Is that good or bad?

Do morality and integrity have any place in a democratic republic; or is politics hardball and there’s nothing more to be said — except that winning is moral and losing isn’t?

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion,” John Adams said in 1798. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin told the Continental Congress in 1778 that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” Politicians and their hired help are people and therefore would appear to fall under Mr. Franklin’s dictum.

• Ralph Z. Hallow, chief political writer at The Washington Times, has covered Washington since 1982.

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