Clinton's Health and Past Presidents

Hillary Clinton’s supporters are at this time rushing out to defend Clinton’s fitness to assume the Lordship, eh, I mean presidency, by using the past presidents’ health issues. I think it’s worth the time to go through a few of past presidents and how they dealt with their health problems. By then, you’ll see why Clinton supporters shouldn’t use the past presidents as proof that Clinton is more than enough fit to ascend to the skull throne, oops there I go again, I mean White House.

President George H.W. Bush did throw up on Japanese Prime Minister and fainted as well. But the thing is, did Bush throw up on every person he encounters? Was it a chronic medical problem? I think we all can safely say no, it was not definitely something chronic. I don’t know what you call it, but I’d call Clinton’s frequent coughing fits, few bouts of minor seizures (especially the one where she jerked her head back and forth in front of reporters, which was caught on video, of course), an inability to climb up the stairs in few occasions, and an assortment of past publicly known health problems a chronic medical condition.

What about Reagan’s Alzheimer’s? Are you even kidding me? Okay, I guess we’ll have to play this game a bit. Mind you, I’m just indulging you for a moment or two. When was Reagan diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? That was in August 1994, years after his second term ended. Go ahead and look it up on Wikipedia, I know it’s not exactly the most reliable source in the world, but it’s easy enough to fact check it. Even it says all his four doctors say Reagan exhibited no signs of Alzheimer’s during his presidency. Furthermore, it goes on stating that the fine line between mere forgetfulness and the onset of Alzheimer’s can be fuzzy. It is true that Reagan did have few health problems during his presidency, but I’d have to characterize his health problems as less severe than Clinton’s, and he was able to resume his presidential duties with few days at most. Besides, he did not keep his medical condition a secret. At one point, he turned over his duties to Vice President Bush for a day when he underwent surgery at the hospital.

Okay, fine, some of you will bring up FDR’s polio and Wilson’s stroke. Are you even serious? Only an ignorant person would bother bringing up these incidents without knowing the full context behind them.

In FDR’s case, the true extent of his medical condition was kept hidden from the public. FDR feared if the true extent was made known publicly, the public wouldn’t countenance a leader with potential health issues to be entrusted with all powers that went with being President. In numerous pictures taken of FDR in public, he always took pains to hide his wheelchair. His bout with polio was well known, yes, but not the full extent of his paralysis. Had he been more forthcoming with the public about the true extent of his medical condition, would have been able to assume presidency? Maybe not. I don’t think the public was ready to accept a paralyzed president whose condition might turn for worse down the road. Who knows? However, it proves that FDR went to lengths in hiding his condition because above all he coveted power for himself. It demonstrated a truth — he was willing to manipulate the public in order to get where he wanted to be.

Is that kind of President you want to have in office? As for me, thanks but no thanks.

As for Woodrow Wilson’s case. Let’s remember that he had a stroke during his second term, not prior to assuming the presidency. When he had the stroke, which partially paralyzed him, his condition was kept secret by his wife and the physician for months. His wife became an important buffer between his subordinates and Wilson, selecting certain things to report to him while delegating other duties to the others. Later when it became publicly known in 1920, many in upper levels of Wilson administration were not pleased with how things turned out. Had Wilson’s medical condition been known, it is likely that his Vice President would have assumed the presidential duties, not Wilson’s wife acting as an unelected president to make important decisions during her husband’s physical incapacity. It was a public scandal. It is one of reasons why Congress passed 25th Amendment years later with the states ratifying the amendment in 1967. Clear guidance was needed, which just shows how secrecy surrounding a president’s health condition wasn’t necessarily a smart move to begin with.

For most part, the past presidents were in good health for their ages. Few did suffer chronic health conditions such as Kennedy’s back problems and LBJ’s record of heart attacks. However, anytime a health problem occurred, the presidents went to great lengths in hiding the true extent of their medical conditions. It shows that they perfectly knew well that to assume the leadership of the most powerful nation in the world’s history, they had to be the picture of pristine health (relatively speaking, of course) even if it’s not exactly true.

All of this should be more than enough to justify the concerns regarding Clinton’s health problem (and Trump’s as well, especially regarding his mental temperament). Unlike in the past, because of constant news media’s presence, Clinton cannot and shouldn’t hide the true extent of her condition. Prolonged incapacity may mean some important decisions are delayed and that will affect America greatly in many areas.

Assuming presidency might be just what it takes to kill Clinton….literally. For her, that alone might be worth the risk given how much she covets power for herself.

I guess Clinton really wanted that skull throne, ah, I mean…oh who am I kidding, right?