I sent this letter to the editor of the Joplin Globe the other day in reaction to a column by a local conservative columnist who thinks concern over the Russian affair is overblown.

As I understand from his column (Globe, July 16), Goeff Caldwell believes the “hysteria” over Russian hacking of the 2016 election is unwarranted. We just need to calm down about it and go about our business normally while the FBI special investigation proceeds. Actually, I think most Democrats are OK with that. Even Senator Kaine, who used the word “traitor”, is not advocating the abandonment of due process. But, I submit, unusual concern is justified because president Trump has challenged the emoluments clause more blatantly than any other president in modern history.

There is a good reason why the founders wrote, “ . . . no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign state.” The Cold War supposedly ended two decades ago now, but Russian motives are resurgent and adversarial to American interests, both economic and moral.

Maybe it is too soon for hysteria, but I am very concerned that our chief executive has no consistent policies, no grasp of history, no vision, not even trust in our own intelligence and foreign affairs communities. He has shown himself to be gullible by flattery, admiring of tyrants, and has no compunction in profiting from his own executive actions.

I will not, actually, be too surprised if Mr. Mueller eventually finds the Trump campaign innocent of any planned conspiracy with the Russian government. It may well be that acceptance of Russian help derived from nothing more than the same ineptitude, gullibility, disorganization and impulsiveness that have characterized the first six months of this administration. Vladimir must be laughing his anatomy off.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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9 Responses to Hysteria

  1. Jim R says:

    I would be pulling my hair out, if I had any. Each day brings new and disturbing revelations. Not only are they in the area of Russian collusion, but also in human rights, voting rights, health care, science, … the list goes on. I have had enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Each day brings new and disturbing revelations. Not only are they in the area of Russian collusion, but also in human rights, voting rights, health care, science, … the list goes on.

      I agree, Jim, your concern is on target. I worry about Trump’s effect on the trajectory of our culture, especially in the context of education. I read recently of surveys showing that only 2% to 3% of high school graduates are able to pass the citizenship test given to immigrants! “Freedom” is becoming a word that means abandonment of any sense of national unity or public responsibility. What conservatives don’t seem to realize is that everyone is ultimately dependent on others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PiedType.com says:

    “Hysterical”? No. That’s the way conservatives like to describe (and subsequently dismiss) the very deep and justifiable concern the rest of us have. I suspect, however, that Trump’s intereactions with the Russians may stem more from his desire to continue enriching himself with personal business deals than from any effort to sell out the country. The problem, of course, is that he’s too politically naive to realize that’s exactly what he’s doing.


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      . . . to sell out the country. The problem, of course, is that he’s too politically naive to realize that’s exactly what he’s doing.

      Right, PT, he is. I’m not sure it’s naïveté though. I think its the lack of a soul, the lack of any interest other than self-interest, the pursuit of winning just for the sake of winning. Whatever the reason, he is what he is.


  3. I applaud your letter. Yes, we do want due process, but will we get it? Will Trump fire the special prosecutor and get by with it because no one can stop him? Actually, I believe Kaine used the word “treason” — but I’m afraid the checks and balances of our constitution may have a fatal flaw – the assumption that someone would enforce the law. And what is the good of laws or “norms” if there is no one willing to enforce? I’ve just finished reading Trump Revealed. It’s worse than we think.


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      I agree, Helen. The laws, even the Constitution itself, are of no value unless they are revered in the culture of the country. I am looking forward to November of 2018 and hoping for a turn-around.


  4. jeff1089 says:

    If this columnist wants to combat unneeded hysteria his sights would better be set on Alex Jones. In fact, I wonder if he understands what the word means.


    • Jim Wheeler says:


      Oh, he does. In fact, he actually writes well and is accurate in specific historical facts he cites, which is all the more maddening. He is full of the common conservative notion that government’s role ought to be minimized and restricted to things like national defense and foreign affairs. If you’re poor, it’s obvious you don’t work hard enough. If you’re sick, you should have saved up more to pay the bill. (Don’t come to me for my money!) He wields nostalgia as a formidable weapon, ah, the good old days.

      Hmm. Come to think of it, that does sound familiar:

      Boy the way Glen Miller played
      Songs that made the hit parade.
      Guys like us we had it made,
      Those were the days.

      And you knew who you were then,
      Girls were girls and men were men,
      Mister we could use a man
      Like Herbert Hoover again.

      Didn’t need no welfare state,
      Everybody pulled his weight.
      Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
      Those were the days.


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