Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

Emanuel L. Paparella, Ph.D.

Professor Paparella has earned a Ph.D. in Italian Humanism, with a dissertation on the philosopher of history Giambattista Vico, from Yale University. He is a scholar interested in current relevant philosophical, political and cultural issues; the author of numerous essays and books on the EU cultural identity among which A New Europe in search of its Soul, and Europa: An Idea and a Journey. Presently he teaches philosophy and humanities at Barry University, Miami, Florida. He is a prolific writer and has written hundreds of essays for both traditional academic and on-line magazines among which Metanexus and Ovi. One of his current works in progress is a book dealing with the issue of cultural identity within the phenomenon of “the neo-immigrant” exhibited by an international global economy strong on positivism and utilitarianism and weak on humanism and ideals.

I never read a book from cover to cover”--President George W. Bush, while at Yale University

T
he quote above was overheard by a Yale professor when the future president of the US was still attending that renowned institution as an undergraduate young student. It does not portent a future scholar, but neither does it by itself, disqualify him from running from high office and eventually becoming president.

A
fter Donald Trump surprised everyone by beating the political odds and won the US presidency, and after Brexit, mainstream parties, media, and pollsters in the EU are struggling to make sense of the sudden rise and support for extreme right parties in just about every member nation of the EU.

“The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!”--A tweet from President Trump

The latest on the deranged Caligula presidency: Trump continues unhabated his gratuitous attacks on those who leaked information about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with Russia, and the media for publishing it.

T
here is an ongoing wishful thinking which began as soon as Donald Trump announced his candidacy: it’s fed by the wrong notion that somehow democratic institutions will stop, or at least curb Trump’s abuse of power. Now that he is president, some historians give us approximately a year to save the Republic.

W
hat has been the response of President Donald Trump to the revelations on the Russian connection to the US presidential election of 2016? Simply a flurry of tweets minimizing the problem and blaming it on those who lost the election. In other words, what has ensued is an attempt to explain away incompetence, blunder, even illegality. But never in a coherent rational way.

O
ne of the first signs by which the Praetorian guards began to suspect that emperor Caligula was deranged was that of the nomination of his horse to Senator of the Roman Republic. Another one was that of his insistence that they kneel before him not as the undisputed emperor of the Empire, but as a god of sorts. We see the same in the fictional story of a future American Pope, Pius XIII who thinks of himself as above God and demands the confessions of his cardinals from the Vatican’s father confessor.

I
n the HBO series “The Young Pope” we see an American Pope who can be characterized as Caligula in the Vatican. He has enemies and detractors galore among the cardinals at the Vatican.

R
ecently I had a robust discussion with a colleague on the predicament of American democracy. I was told that I should desist from my obsessing with President Trump and focus instead on the damage already done. Trump is merely filling the vacuum created by such damage. He kept reminding me that it is not him who is crazy, it is us who are crazy for electing him.

W
hat may be some of the necessary qualities needed to be a president of a democratic republic, independent of party affiliation and ideological leanings?

R
ecently, general Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor to Donald Trump, has resigned over the revelation that he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s installation as president. Meanwhile the Russians keep denying that such conversations ever took place.

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