On the weekend the Wall Street Journal published a triggering op-ed by columnist Joseph Epstein, who argued that Dr Jill Biden should drop the honorific because she isn’t a real (ie medical) doctor. Epstein had his lights punched out by approximately one billion angry respondents who rallied to the defence of the FLOTUS-elect. I have nothing to say about this except that the billion are right.
But confected outrage is nothing new, nor are the millenials’ demands for a public apology. The Journal’s editorial-page courageous director Paul Gigot defiantly notes that the decision by Northwestern University, where Epstein taught for 30 years, to remove him from the alumni and publicly denounce him, “is how cancel culture works.” I have nothing to say about this except that Gigot is right.
“These pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe.” Any right-minded person must agree with Gigot’s premise. How much more fascinating would it have been if the FLOTUS just shrugged it off as inconsequential. But of course she didn’t.
Now don’t get me wrong, Joseph Epstein is a proper bigot. “There is much my four sons can do in their lives that might cause me anguish, that might outrage me, that might make me ashamed of them and of myself as their father. But nothing they could ever do would make me sadder than if any of them were to become homosexual,” Epstein wrote in a Harper’s Bizarre essay in 1970.
I hope at least one of his boys developed an appetite for dick, because Epstein is just the kind of dad you don’t want. But I defend to the grave his right to express his opinions, horrid as they are. Reducing it to first principles, Dr Jill Biden as First Lady is a massive step up from that Slovenian stripper.