Second in what will most likely be a long and voluminous series, I’m thinkin’.
When questions were raised about Barack Obama’s birth, and whether he was actually eligible to be president of the United States, he brushed the questions aside as if answering them was beneath the dignity of a prince of the crown. He let the questions fester for years before putting them to rest.
Only racists, bigots, mean-spirited zealots, right-wing fanatics and white Christians who couldn’t appreciate the heavenly music of the call to evening prayer at the mosque would do that. Even the mildest criticism, of the sort that every president before him had to endure, was dismissed as disrespect, even racism.
Hillary Clinton is trying a similar tactic, portraying criticism of her vulgarity, her greed and her intolerance as hatred of women, and envy of a woman finally breaking through a crystal ceiling. It’s not working, in part because men have a reputation built over the centuries for mortgaging their lives to provide for their women, and in part because nobody knows better than women themselves that the accusation is silly. Is there a woman anywhere who wants a reputation for ethics, character and feminine grace like Hillary‘s?
She, like candidates before her, may not like the questions, but voters have the right to ask candidates, and particularly candidates for president, any question they please. It’s what democracy and democratic elections are about. “If you can’t stand the heat,” as Harry S. Truman reminded everyone, “stay out of the kitchen.”
The questions the Hillary campaign are trying to put off limits now are the legitimate questions about Hillary’s health. She has a well-documented record of coughing fits, fainting, stumbling up and down stairs, and uncontrolled giggling and snorting at inappropriate times. There may be good and sufficient reasons for all that, but it’s not against anybody’s rules to ask what they are.
Well, that depends. Do you really think this is (or more to the point, ought to be) still the America of the Founders, wherein the people are able and free to discharge the duties of citizenship under a government bound to represent their interests not as rulers, but as true public servants? If so, yes, all the above would be perfectly true.
If, however, you believe that we’ve been “fundamentally transformed” from a relatively classless republic wherein no one, most especially the ruling class, is to be considered either above the law or too high and mighty to answer reasonable questions from those they would govern—to be exempt from the standards under which they govern the rest of us—into a tyrannical oligarchy ruling its subjects with an iron fist, intruding into every aspect of their lives, run by the elite few for their own benefit, and that this is ultimately a Good Thing, then…well, no, there is no such right, and questioning our masters in any way is completely out of line.
I know which side of that line I fall on. And I know which side of it people like Hillary, Ogabe, and their bleating, mindless supporters fall on, too.
Pruden follows up with a very incomplete listing of episodes that not only call Hillary’s health into grave question, but—even leaving her clear corruption and criminality aside and considered all by itself—would be very nearly disqualifying for almost anyone else, were this truly the first type of country mentioned above instead of the second.
The most important question is probably this: if merely campaigning for the office (on an unusually light schedule, mind) has been enough to reveal the yawning cracks in the facade of the notion of Hillary’s being in good general health, what will the far greater pressure of actually governing do to her? And in what kind of position will her megalomaniacal pursuit of power despite her obviously serious health issues leave the nation should she somehow, despite the myriad issues making her manifestly unfit for it, accede to that power?
Update! Vox twists that blade in the course of recommending a column by Fred Reed on reasons for voting Trump:
Of course, there is another straightforward reason to vote for Trump beyond avoiding a suicidally stupid war, and that is the fact that he can engage in high-risk activities such as drinking water without running a high risk of keeling over before Christmas.
Ouch. Poor old Granny Deathmask. Couldn’t happen to a nicer would-be despot.