Hillary’s Health

Clinton fainted. She was overheated and she fainted. Reporters and politicians alike have commented on the stifling conditions in New York, and particularly at the Ground Zero site where Clinton and many others were to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. She’s a 68-year-old woman, who’s been going 24/7 for years now, presumably battling hot flashes anyway, standing for 90 minutes in confirmed stifling heat, all while wearing a heavy pant-suit and a kevlar protection vest underneath all that. And she fainted. Her campaign said she was overheated. And she fainted.

Occam’s Razor postulates that, boiled down, the simplest explanation is usually the most likely. So it just confuses me that conservative voters and “journalists” bandy about comments or suggestions that it was a seizure, a stroke, vascular dementia flaring up again, or whatever make believe illness of the week that Clinton might have. The simplest explanation, that she overheated and fainted, is on the balance of things far more likely to have happened than that which conspiracy theorists might wish to have happened.

Granted, the video that surfaced online showing Clinton fainting was very worrying. But to anyone who has fainted before, or who has seen people faint before, nothing seemed irregular. She was unsteady on her feet, being supported, and she collapsed when she tried to exert physical movement i.e. climb into a van. Speaking as someone who is a frequent fainter, the fact that some time passed between her feeling faint (at the event) and her actually fainting is nothing suspicious. You often feel clammy and sweaty many minutes before actually fainting. In fact, photos of Clinton before the fainting spell happened so show her to be pale and unwell. That she appeared well and normal about 2 hours later just backs up the idea that it was just a fainting spell – she had a chance to rest, get her blood pressure/sugars up, maybe take a cold drink.

It really underlines how poisonous and virulent the US presidential campaign is that comments online were gleeful this had happened to her, and that they immediately jumped to the notion that she had something seriously wrong with her and was concealing it from the public at large – and the mainstream media were helping her in this. Methinks some Americans have watched Seasons 2 and 3 of The West Wing a bit too much.

But the blame can’t be placed entirely on how politics has become in the US. Clinton herself has always acted very guarded and controversies about her truthfulness and honesty kick up every now and then. The emails controversy – incredibly naive of the Clintons – is just one, and probably the most serious. But it has leant to the idea that Clinton is hiding things from the American people. And, to them, why wouldn’t she hide anything serious about her health?

To be fair to Clinton, though, she has released her health records. Back in July. And her personal doctor has since spoken to the media to ridicule and dismiss the vapid conspiracies concerning her health. Trump too has released his records. Either we trust the records, or we don’t, and if we don’t then we do we bother asking for them? It’s mind-bogglingly redundant.

Speaking of redundant, what’s with these “independent” and “impartial” Americans on social media commenting on how much they don’t want a weak President who is sick all the time. How on earth would a sickly President be able to stand up to America’s enemies or lead them through a war? It seems they forget that Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy were all incredibly sickly Presidents and still lead the USA through the biggest crises they saw in the 20th Century (WWI, WWII, and Cuban Missile Crisis respectively). And let’s be real for a moment, Clinton fainted because of being overheated. It’s not a stroke, polio, or Addison’s disease. They’re not at all in the same league. Is it the fact that it’s a woman who might get sick occasionally?

Does Clinton need to go for a new medical and release those records? It mightn’t be a bad idea, but again I refer back to my earlier comment about believing or not believing medical records that have already been released. She could, but you’d still have the paranoid conspiracy theorist saying there’s been a cover-up. I can only take comfort in the notion that most of these don’t vote because they’re afraid to either (a) get ID because they have to give info the government or (b) don’t trust the electoral process because they’re paranoid. The Republicans who seem to think she’s about the drop dead weren’t going to vote for her anyway.

The only concern from this – and there will be concern – will be for Clinton’s need to reassure independent or non-decided voters that she is in good health. Releasing medical records could be one step in this. The other will be to absolutely dominate Trump in the debates. She can’t stumble over her words. She can’t have coughing fits. And she definitely can’t be seen to be sweating. The latter was what helped nail Nixon when he went up against Kennedy in 1960.

Clinton fainted today. It was a hot, humid day out, and she overheated. She’s not dying and it’s not a sign she’ll be a weak President. GOP conspiracy theorists can keep dreaming.

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