I finally got around to actually reading the op-ed offered by Joe Epstein and recently published in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not If You Need an MD” To be quite honest I was absolutely shocked that WSJ’s standards were so minimal as to allow such drivel to find a home in what many consider a fairly reputable publication.
In short, it reads like the ramblings of a disgruntled scholar who longs for the days of requiring Latin or Greek as a qualifying determinant of academic achievement, except for the fact that the individual’s own level of academic achievement is substantially wanting. Yes, he does possess a Bachelor of Arts degree, which was granted in absentia, and good for you sport I am sure you are rightfully deserving of being identified as a college graduate. Now whether this gives you the scholarly chops to denigrate the accomplishments of those who have studiously completed the requirements for a Doctorate in Philosophy or Education is beyond questionable but blatantly ludicrous.
The WSJ should be ashamed of its decision to publish an article so lacking in content, so accusatory in tone, and so devoid of any actual pretense to scholarship. If one wants to contend that the qualifications for either honorary or earned academic doctorates has deteriorated that is of course a matter for discussion that deserves attention. However, to maintain that those who have passed academic hurdles that legitimately qualify them the accreditation they have earned, such as being able to be called Doctor, smacks of a level of envy or senility that may very well be evident in this case.
I dare the Wall Street Journal to run this article and ask that they publish a public apology for the poor judgement.
While the article is intended to draw the distinction between Medical Doctors and Phd’s, it suddenly careens off into a more legitimate attack on the proliferation and dubious quality of honorary degrees. The author seems to be so intent upon his attack on conferring doctoral status to those I can only assume he feels either are underserving or quite simply more driven to educational excellence that he loses himself in his own argument.
The soon to be First Lady has legitimately attained an honor to which the author has not and whether or not that is reflective of some degree of inferiority complex, jealousy, or just plain contrariness I can only speculate. The important thing, however, is that it is an unjustified complaint that has no basis nor is it worthy of further debate. She is totally qualified to use Doctor Jill Biden and the case is closed.
Now referring to the First Lady-elect as kiddo is quite another matter that most assuredly testifies to the author’s orneriness and cantankerous disposition. Look, dude, in your generation talking down to women may have been commonplace but it certainly is not acceptable. Misogyny is not necessarily a sign of old age, but in this case referring to a grown woman of enormous accomplishment as kiddo is not a quaint relic of the past, but rather a startling and conscious lapse of courtesy and intellectual maturity.
There is no room in any context, let alone the contemporary one in which we are struggling with a vicious level of division in this nation, for stoking the flames of bigotry and you my good sir are a bigot, regardless of your academic credentials or lack thereof. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
I dare the Wall Street Journal to run this article and ask that they publish a public apology for the poor judgement that contributed to the decision to run the aforementioned opinion written by Mr. Epstein. We need to work harder on a civil discussion of how we promote unity and healing not on fanning the flames of hatred that infects our society. This might be a good starting point.