A few coughs and nobody bats an eye, but a bit of a wobble and suddenly everybody loses their minds! At long last health has suddenly become a major issue in the presidential race between the oldest pair of nominees in history. And despite the media’s sudden obsession and voters’ probing questions, the promised extensive medical records of the candidates continue to remain elusive. Clinton’s hidden pneumonia, which literally knocked her off the campaign trail, has been met with skepticism from distrustful voters, leading to a vast array of conspiracy theories about her “real” illness, such as brain damage from her 2012 concussion, the Zika virus or poison administered by Russian spies in order to influence the outcome of the election. Happily, simple antibiotics helped Clinton get back on the trail and quash these theories. Unfortunately there is no such easy cure for her other illnesses, like her case of relapsing-remitting emails.
Meanwhile Donald Trump said let’s get physical, physical on Dr Oz this week – because nothing says “fit to be president” like one reality television star patting another reality television star on the back. Trump produced his one-page doctor’s note with a cheesy flourish and said although he needs to lose a bit of weight, he still manages to get a lot of exercise through gesturing emphatically during speeches and walking amongst fans at his yuuuge rallies. Guess he won’t be needing that CrossFit membership. On the other hand he should probably visit an optometrist, considering that he sees a 35-year-old when he looks in the mirror. Twitter of course knows all about his love for KFC, burgers and enormous taco bowls, which kind of trumps his doctor’s note that he is “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”.
But the candidates look fairly healthy, so why all the suspicion, you ask? Well America has a history of presidents hiding medical problems from the public, from FDR’s polio to Wilson’s strokes to JFK’s Addison’s to Reagan’s Alzheimer’s, it’s no wonder voters have such a low opinion of politicians’ trustworthiness – even the mental health of the candidates has been questioned at times. In the end it’s hard to tell whether their health will affect the election above other issues like gender or immigration, but considering the candidates’ unpopularity, chronic lying and poor decision making, maybe it’s the public’s mental health that needs to be examined.
Feel like a spoonful of sugar is all you need when you get a taste of your own medicine? Movie for your mood: Mary Poppins