This is a guest article by Silvio Aladjem MD.
If you read any of my previous blogs, you know that my writings deal with subjects I know: health care and the practice of medicine. Today’s topic is anything but medicine. I am not a political commentator by any stretch of the imagination. My political activities are limited to voting in the Presidential elections every four years.
But I can see, I can hear and I can think.
You may have heard the French saying ”Noblesse oblige”. According to Webster dictionary, “noblesse oblige” has been incorporated into the English language in the 19th century and its meaning is explained as “the obligation of anyone who is in a better position than others due, for example, to high office or celebrity, to act respectably and responsibly”.
Wikipedia interprets “Noblesse Oblige”, figuratively, as “One must act in a fashion that conforms to one’s position, and with the reputation that one has earned”.
The 2016 primaries have been unusual, to say the least. One of the Democratic candidates, Secretary Hillary Clinton, was being investigated by the FBI. The possibility of an indictment threatened her candidacy until, at the 11th hour, the FBI decided not to recommend prosecution.
Of the 17 Republican candidates, the unconventional Mr. Donald Trump, was thought, by all the pundits, editorials, reporters, political commentators and members of his own party, to be irresponsible, divisive, not Presidential and a phony. He, nonetheless, has become the Republican nominee against all odds. In the process he wiped out 16 other aspiring candidates, who one after another, had to get out of the race as Mr. Trump collected some 14 million votes, the most popular votes for the primaries in recent history.
Which brings us to the Republican Convention.
Most would agree that the convention was unorthodox. First of all, Ohio Governor John Kasich decided not to attend, in spite of the fact that the convention was being held in his State. This was the first gross failure of “Noblesse Oblige” of the night, unparalleled in recent history. If Gov. Kasich did not want to endorse Mr. Trump and preferred not to attend the convention, so be it. But by not welcoming the Republican delegates, his State guests, he was offensive and ill-mannered to all present.
Senator Cruz (R-Texas) was given a platform to address the convention, in spite of the bitter exchanges between him and Mr. Trump during the primaries. His failure of “Noblesse Oblige” became apparent when he refused to endorse Mr. Trump, encouraging the audience to “vote their conscience”. Senator Cruz was booed. Speaker Gingrich remarked in a TV commentary later on, rightly so, that “if someone is gracious enough to invite you to his house, the first thing you do when you get there is not punch the host in the nose”.
You may also remember that during the first GOP Presidential debate, in June 2015, all candidates were asked if they pledge to support the nominee, whoever that may be. All, but Mr. Trump, did so without hesitation. Mr. Trump was concerned that, as an outsider, he may not be treated fairly and refused to pledge, leaving the door open to the possibility of him running as an Independent, should the GOP treat him “badly”. Eventually, he did sign the pledge.
A collective failure of “Noblesse Oblige”, and a statement that the pledge meant nothing to them, is the fact that, out of the 16 losing candidates, only Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Huckabee Gov. Christie, Gov. Walker, and Sen Rand Paul endorsed Mr. Trump, according to a Washington Post write up by Philip Bump (7/26/2016). All the others proved to be poor losers.
The fact that many Republican House Members and Senators still refuse to endorse Mr. Trump, also shows their lack of “Noblesse Oblige”. But most important, it would seem that, collectively, the powers to be of the Party does not mind a Hillary Clinton win in November. The Clinton campaign has a reason to smile.
Only in Blessed America!
SILVIO ALADJEM MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist and Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk obstetrics) specialist, is Professor Emeritus in obstetrics and gynecology at Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, in Lansing, MI. He is the author of “10,000 babies: my life in the delivery room” now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book stores. Dr. Aladjem published extensively in Scientific Medical Journals and wrote several textbooks in the specialty. Should you wish to contact him, you may do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org