The health and medical records of a politician is an interesting topic in political discourse. On the one hand, it’s important for voters to know that a politician can do the job. With this point, it’s important to know that the individual we’re electing is mentally fit to hold office. Is the individual unstable? Democrats have suggested this in regards to Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump. The importance of the mental capacity question relates to the stress and intensity of the job. Whoever becomes president will be handling the weight of the country against the world, the red button at their fingertips.
Democrats know this.
ThinkProgress noted as much when it questioned Republican United States Senator John McCain’s health when he was running for President against then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. In this case, the left targeted Senator McCain’s having cancer, suggesting that chemotherapy would make him unfit for office.
Salon also questioned his mental stability in 2008 when it attacked him for not releasing psychiatric records. Salon specifically noted his military service in surviving plane crashes and being a tortured prisoner-of-war.
While these were likely partisan attacks, it is not an unfair request to be certain that a candidate is in fit shape for a high stress job. Employers for high stress or physically demanding jobs will often check a health background or conduct physicals. This happens in sports all the time. The idea is that if you’re going to be paying people money to do a job, you need to ensure that they’re fit to do the job. Why is it any different for American voters employing a politician?
Given the questions of Senator McCain, why are the rules different for Hillary Clinton?
Now Salon, the same publication that questioned Senator McCain’s mental health, is slamming Republicans for questioning Hillary Clinton’s mental health. The double standard is obvious and shameful.
Why wouldn’t we want to know if Clinton’s mental stability is in check?
This was the question that ThinkProgress, Salon, and other leftwing groups and activists made in 2008. Ronald Reagan’s age and health were questioned both when he ran for president, and again as inquiries were made as to whether he had Alzheimer’s disease while in office.
While it’s safe to assume the partisan motives in raising these questions, the questions themselves were not wrong to ask. We cannot have a politician running the country, defending it, and representing us abroad while suffering from serious medical conditions. Salon either knew this when they questioned Senator John McCain, or they were acting politically shallow, just as they accuse Donald Trump and his supporters of being.
If Salon, however, acknowledges the health concerns, the publication should also understand the concerns of those across America. While it’s true that we should not make obnoxious comments or imply cruel things about the health of political candidates, Americans across the spectrum should absolutely question the stability and health of those seeking these high stress government jobs. Our country’s stability relies on having leaders who are healthy enough to handle the job they’re seeking. And there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that.