Why the President’s health has become so important

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shake hands before their debate at Hosftra University in New York.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shake hands before their debate at Hosftra University in New York.

Binqi Chen, Editorials Editor

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The entire country went into frenzy after footage showing the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wobbling and fainting while exiting a September 11 commemoration ceremony had surfaced the web.

According to her doctor, Clinton’s incident was due to overheating and dehydration. Secretary Clinton had also been recovering from a case of Pneumonia. Later that day, while leaving her daughter Chelsea’s New York City apartment, the presidential hopeful said that she was “feeling great,” but still was bombarded with questions from reporters about her health.

Throughout Clinton’s entire political campaign (and years prior), the 68 year old has been under constant scrutiny for her health. Many conservatives have even started ridiculous rumors about how Clinton is hiding a terrible disease.

So why is it that despite with complete clearance from doctors, people just can’t let go of the discussion of a president’s or a candidate’s health? The answer is simple, Americans want their president in great health so that he or she can fully execute the duties of the Executive Office.

This answer can be traced back almost a century ago to president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt died in office during his fourth term due to a cerebral hemorrhage during the climax of World War II, leaving his successor Harry Truman (who knew nothing of the Manhattan Project) with the conflicting decision on whether the atomic bombs should be dropped or not.

In addition, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while he was in office.

In 2007, while President George W. Bush conducted routine colonoscopies, he would transfer the Executive power through the 25th Amendment to his VP, Dick Cheney for a few hours each session.

Such incidents have sparked fear in Americans, that the President would not live for his or her entire term. Terrifying illness can also cause the President to become easily manipulated and possible incompetent. This scare has caused the public, for decades, to demand detailed health records from anyone who wishes to presume the role of Commander-in-Chief.

Both nominees for this year’s election are the oldest pair of candidates ever, but both have not released detailed medical reports. Instead, the doctors of both candidates have written letters that declare their patient to be in perfect health and are fit.

Donald Trump has used this latest health issue as publicity, appearing on shows like Dr. Oz to prove that he is well.

While it is certainly essential that the leader of the free world to be in exemplary health, it absolutely does not mean that a sick president is not able to perform well, or that a healthy president equals a good president.

FDR helped America get back on her feet after the Great Depression and led the United States through the majority of the second World War. His popularity as Chief Executive was unprecedented, as Roosevelt ran for a total of four terms.

President John F. Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease and excruciating back pain, he achieved greatness during his time in the Oval Office. JFK not only led America through a time of heightened racial and poverty problems within borders, but during the time of great tension with the Soviet Union and Communism. America sent a man to the moon and the Berlin Wall was torn down.

Let’s not forget that being on the campaign trail might also cause temporary health issues. Candidates are traveling from state to state with varying climates, speaking in crowded areas, sleeping for only a few hours on the road, and shaking hands and touching strangers. These activities all expose the candidates to high levels of germs and stress.

In conclusion, while the President’s health is important, what the American people should be focusing on is not a candidate’s medical records, but his or her policies that will make America a strong nation.

 

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