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The Caligula Presidency: a Weekly Ovi Column - Week 17
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-10-07 11:10:22
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Week 17 - Columns 112-118 (October 1-7)
On the subjects of: Trump's mental health, Puerto Ricans, ghostwriter’s opinion,
the slow death of Democracy,impeachment, fake news and San Juan’s Mayor


Column 112

Why Donald Trump Represents a Clear and Present Danger:
The opinion of 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts


Noam Chomsky and other academic experts on mental health have recently published a book titled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump and subtitled Twenty seven Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. It is edited and put together by Bandy Lee, M.D., who organized the Yale University Conference on the “Duty to Warn.”

The Amazon.com blurb for the book says it explores “Trump’s symptoms and potentially relevant diagnoses to find a complex, if also dangerously mad, man”.

The book declares that Donald Trump is “dangerously mentally ill,” exhibiting “sociopathic qualities,” and that his madness is catching. That is to say, the nation as a whole may be seeing the beginning of a mass psychosis. This is a phenomenon last seen in Nazi Germany in the 20th century 30s.

Here is a direct quote from the book: “Beneath the grandiose behavior of every narcissist lies the pit of fragile self-esteem. What if, deep down, the person whom Trump trusts least is himself? The humiliation of being widely exposed as a ‘loser,’ unable to bully through the actions he promised during the campaign, could drive him to prove he is, after all, a ‘killer’.”


The book has raised a controversy because it apparently ignores the  American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Goldwater rule, which states it is unethical for psychiatrists “to offer a professional opinion about an individual based on publicly available information without conducting an examination” in person. It is felt that in some way that public revelation stigmatizes those with mental problems. It violates the rule of condidentiality.

On the other hand the same association’s ethics committee has in some way modified such a position when it ruled recently that considerations of national security may allow professional mental health experts to express their opinion on public figures, even if broadly it is not permissible. That is to say the rule may not apply if the public figure represents a risk to others.

Dr James Gilligan, of New York University, argued in his contribution to the book that “the issue here is not whether President Donald Trump is mentally ill. It is whether he is dangerous. Dangerousness is not a psychiatric diagnosis.”


Column 113

Two Photos that  Answer the Accusation that
“Puerto Ricans Want Everything Done for Them”


The Huftington Post has resurfaced two photos as a reply to Trump’s latest accusation against the Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria that “Puerto Ricans want everything done for them.” They were taken in 2011 at the Trump Mari-Lago resort together with the house staff that serve the Trumps. As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. Those speak for themselves and more than answer the outrageous accusation.



Column 114

A Ghostwriter’s Opinion of Donald Trump


The ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s bestselling book The Art of the Deal has suggested that the president may suffer from a personality disorder and said he is “deeply disturbed and utterly untrustworthy.”

Tony Schwartz, who spent 18 months shadowing the businessman in the 1980s, offered his opinion on Trump’s fitness for office ahead of the publication of a collection of essays by 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assessing the president’s psychological condition.

“The question that this book raises in a number of its essays by psychiatrists is: Is Trump crazy like a fox or is he just crazy?” said Schwartz. “And I think the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that he’s just crazy, and not crazy, casual crazy. I’m talking about crazy—I’m not a psychiatrist so I actually can get away with saying this—but crazy as a personality disorder.”

Schwartz also said that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is managing Trump in a bid to limit the negative impact the president’s actions could have.


Column 115

Fareed Zakaria’s Insightful Comment into the Slow
Death of Democracy under Trump


In a recent interview famed journalist Fareed Zakaria expressed his concern with a disturbing trend that he began noticing some twenty years ago; namely, that the governments of ostensibly democratic countries like Pakistan and the Philippines were rolling back press freedoms and the independence of their judiciaries — largely with widespread support.

Now, less than nine months into the Trump presidency, Zakaria worries that the US itself may be headed down that same dark path, rapidly shedding the norms and traditions that have shaped and protected American democracy for more than two centuries.

Zakaria points out that Trump has fired an FBI director in order to undercut an investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Moscow, has staffed his own White House with family members of dubious qualifications and integrity, has regularly denounced the free press, and has refused to divest himself of his international business interests. None of this is technically illegal, but most of it is what Zakaria defines as deeply illiberal, something that has nothing to do with partisan politics. It is just an attitude which goes against the grain of the democratic, liberal spirit which has permeated American democracy for more than two hundred years.

Of course American democracy is not the fledging kind of democracy found in countries who have just began its adoption. It has a robust tradition behind it, but nevertheless the erosion is palpable according to Zakaria. With the advent of Trump the erosion has taken on alarming and ominous aspects felt in every democratic institution of government.

We may be at the 11th hour. Unless we act, and act soon, we may see the demise of all the hard won benefits of freedom and democracy. It’s like the frog in a slow boiling water. By the time people realize that the loss of democracy is going to kill their political life, it will already be too late. One can of course continue hoping for the best outcome but we ought to prepare for the worse which may still be coming.


Column 116

The Consensus on Trump’s Impeachment Keeps Growing


The consensus on Trump’s future impeachment is growing as we speak. It began the day after he entered office with his fabricated insistence that the people attending his inauguration were more numerous than those who attended Barack Obama’s, and that the Press was lying about it. It does not appear that it will slow down or stop any time soon.

Trump’s massive but fragile ego described by some 27 psychiatrists in a recent book as that of a psychotic, not to speak of his lack of tact and empathy for those in straits and hard times, only adds fuel to a raging fire. Trump, as usual, tries to put out the fire by shifting the blame, usually to the press and its alleged “fake news.” But the strategy does not seem to be working.

As of July 17, 2017, Time reported that a whopping 41% of the population thought Trump should be impeached. Not even the infamous Richard Nixon can compete with that percentage: it is getting close to 1 in 2 Americans. At the beginning of the Watergate scandal in July 1973, only 24% of Americans (1 in 4) were in favor of impeaching Nixon. Today, only 8 months after his installment, countless people — celebrities, activists, and politicians alike — have publicly expressed strong disapproval for President Trump and their numbers keep on growing.


Column 117

Trump, Fake News, and the Puerto Rican Crisis


As the illustration above implies, what is foremost on Donald Trump’s mind is not the plight of three and a half million American citizens experiencing great discomfort, suffering and difficulties as a result of a devastating hurricane, but the fact that the island as a whole is 72 billion dollars in debt. It appears that it is the debt which will determine how much federal aid they will eventually get.

While residents of Puerto Rico struggle to get access to basic necessities like potable water and food, President Trump has launched a full-fledged attack on the news media and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city, made several emotional pleas this week to the media,  tearfully begging for the government to provide more aid to the islands residents and for private citizens to make calls to Congress or to donate money or time.

Cruz tried to paint a picture of the island’s devastation: She described people who were forced to drink from streams and dehydrated senior citizens who were trapped in sweltering apartment buildings which she called, “human cages.” She called a Mayday and remarked that she “cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles,”

Trump responded to Cruz’s cries for help in the way he typically does when he reads something that makes his administration look bad: He launched a Twitter rant against Cruz and then blamed “fake news

But instead of focusing on providing aid to the U.S. territory, Trump is trying to peddle Puerto Rico’s devastation and dire need for help as a direct attack from all of the groups that he’s deemed the opposition, from “fake news” to the Democrats and, now, the “poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan.”

This isn’t the first time that Trump has used a national crisis to attack the news media. This time, however, he’s exploiting a devastated island filled with Americans who are looking for help. And the mayor of San Juan won’t stand for it.


Column 118

Trump and San Juan’s Mayor:
While she sleeps on a Cot, He Golfs in New Jersey


Last Saturday morning,Donal Trump unleashed a series of tweets taking aim at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. In them, he accused Democrats of having convinced Cruz to be “nasty” to him, called Cruz’s leadership “poor” and said that other leaders in Puerto Rico “want everything to be done for them.” The tweets were sent from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

In an interview with CNN later in the day, retired Lt. General Russel L. Honoré tore down Trump’s remarks: “The mayor’s living on a cot, and I hope the president has a good day at golf,” he told CNN.

Honoré said the military response to the 3.5 million people without power and supplies should have happened much sooner.

“Not giving the mission to the military” was the first mistake, Honoré said in his interview with CBS. “Look, we got Army units that go do port openings. Not called. We got special forces that could’ve been in every town. Not employed.”

In another interview with CNN, Honoré tied Trump’s response to a overall lack of compassion to marginalized people. 

“And the president has shown again, you don’t give a damn about poor people,” Honorè told CNN. “You don’t give a damn about people of color and the SOB that rides around in Air Force One is denying services needed by the people of Puerto Rico.” 


End of Week 17



Week 1 -Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5 - Week 6 - Week 7 - Week 8 - Week 9 - Week 10 - Week 11 - Week 12 - Week 13 - Week 14 - Week 15 - Week 16 - Week 17 -


Check Dr Emanuel Paparella's NEW BOOK
"The Caligula Presidency: A Satirical Debunking Critique"
is online now and you can download it for FREE HERE!



Check also Dr Emanuel Paparella's other EBOOKS
Aesthetic Theories of Great Western Philosophers
& Europe Beyond the Euro
You can download them all for FREE HERE!

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