Hillary Clinton’s Pneumonia Scares the Hell Out of Me

What in the actual fuck is even happening right now?  How is it that intelligent, thoughtful people have managed to succumb to Steve Bannon and Trump’s….can you call it a whisper campaign if they’ve been screaming about it at the top of their lungs?….propaganda on Hillary Clinton’s “poor health”?  In a chimerical effort to distract everyone from Donald Trump’s joke of a letter, which reveals absolutely nothing about his actual health, from someone who is perhaps his doctor, the Trump campaign has been guffawing like an insufferable child who has won a game of “Made ya look!” after Hillary revealed on Sunday that she has pneumonia. Somehow, serious journalists lost their goddamn minds after Secretary Clinton left a 9/11 Memorial ceremony early, became dizzy, and lost her balance or fainted momentarily as she was getting in the car.  Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post made a hard 180 from, Okay, enough with the talking about Hillary Clinton’s health, to, Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign, just a few days later.  On Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw, in all his infinite wisdom and years of medical training asserted that Secretary Clinton should go to the hospital and see a neurologist to assuage people’s fears.

ABC even reported that she had died.  DIED!  ABC!  This wasn’t Breitbart or some fringe wackadoodle “news” site. I swear to god, it’s like the scene in Toy Story when Buzz Lightyear loses his goddamn mind. 

 Rather than apply Occam’s razor and, you know, common sense, mainstream media and regular people have allowed conspiracy theory to take the place of reason.  Rather than accepting that fainting and getting dizzy is something that plenty of people do when they’re overheated and dehydrated, because she’s Hillary Clinton, something more sinister must be at work, like brain damage or Parkinson’s.  Rather than giving Secretary Clinton some time, space, and privacy to be evaluated by her doctor before releasing a statement, everyone foamed at the mouth to know what was going on because they had the patience of a 5 year old who had snorted lines of Pixie Stix.  A doctor evaluated her and issued a letter.  Secretary Clinton has pneumonia, she became dehydrated, and she just needs to rest.  So, reality: Clinton has a fairly common illness, from which she will recover.  In addition, she has been continuing to campaign, despite her illness, which is incredibly badass.  What everyone else hears: ZOMG!  Pneumonia!  She’s dying!  How can she be president if she can come down with an illness like pneumonia!  This feeble female can’t continue, so she’s using a body double!  You can tell by scrutinizing her body!

Misogyny, with a side of presidential campaign

Andrew Jackson had chronic headaches, was losing his eyesight, and had bleeding in his lungs.  Grover Cleveland had a cancerous growth removed from his mouth as he sailed around New York Harbor in a yacht.  Because of his obesity, William Taft had high blood pressure and heart problems.  The exhaustion he suffered because of his sleep apnea sometimes caused him to sleep through important meetings.  Woodrow Wilson suffered so many strokes that he became blind in his left eye and paralyzed on his left side.  He also kept this a secret for as long as he could before the 25th Amendment was invoked. FDR had polio.  He also had cardiovascular disease, which he knew about when he ran for reelection in 1944, and which caused his death just months into his fourth term.  Eisenhower was diagnosed with Chron’s disease in office.  He also suffered a major heart attack and a stroke while in office.   JFK flat out lied during his campaign that he had Addison’s disease.  Of course he did have the disease of the adrenal glands.  In an adrenal crisis, it would have been possible for him to lose consciousness.  Ronald Reagan, the Republican gold standard, led our country while his mind fell victim to Alzheimer’s.  George H.W. Bush had Grave’s disease, but more importantly, atrial fibrillation.  This sort of irregular heartbeat made him susceptible to blood clots and stroke.  Then there was the incident that happened in Kyoto, Japan, which everyone laughs about now, but was very scary in the moment.  W passed out while choking on a pretzel.

These men lived and were confronted with some serious health challenges, and some that were not so serious.  The incident that President George H.W. Bush had in Japan is so similar to Secretary Clinton’s episode on Sunday.  Although, while he just had the flu, was okay, and was just fine to continue leading our country, it’s actually the ghost of Hillary Clinton who’s been campaigning this whole time!

The bottom line is that this wouldn’t be that serious of an issue if Hillary was not a woman.  She would have been allowed 5 minutes of privacy to get her shit together.  At this point, I imagine the press will want to know every time she does have a shit.  Presidential candidates should certainly disclose to the public any ongoing health concerns, which could interfere with their ability to do the job.  Secretary Clinton has done that, yet she’s being held to a higher standard.  Why?  “Well, she’s not trustworthy, so you can’t believe anything her campaign puts out.”  Okay, putting aside the fact that you’ve obviously been suckered by Congressional Republicans in the 90s, it’s not as though Donald Trump is the portrait of integrity, (that he bought with $20K earmarked for charity) and has provided satisfactory disclosure on his actual health.  The reality that Hillary and every woman knows is that we are not allowed to be sick.  If we are sick, then we are weak, a hypochondriac, or an attention-seeker.  It’s a known fact that doctors frequently discriminate against women and treat them as though they are overreacting.  And think about this: have you ever found out that a man is staying home for a sick day, and the first thing you or someone else says is, “Wow!  He must really be sick!”  However, if a woman calls out, there’s murmuring about what she’s actually doing with her “sick” day.  And lord help you if you’re a woman with a chronic illness.  So we as a society already treat sick women with disdain and suspicion.  I actually had a man say to me yesterday that Clinton isn’t a badass for campaigning while sick with pneumonia for the following reasons: 1) Hitler had siphylis, and 2) While he maybe admitted to her toughness, true badassery is reserved for people like Chuck Norris.  Any woman who can’t push through, or avoid getting sick altogether, is weak and not fit to lead.  Trump’s campaign has been sure to keep all those negative feelings and stereotypes at the surface, hoping that it would pay off.  On Sunday, they hit the jackpot.

My 8 year old daughter, Rachael, can understand how unbelievably gross this and all the other sexism at play is.  Why is it so hard for the media, especially the left-wing opinon media, to eschew all the conjecture and the idea that having pneumonia really does call into question whether or not Secretary Clinton is otherwise healthy?  Clinton is met with scorn, should she not allow the press to follow her, making it crystal clear that Secretary Clinton has no right to her own body, the space around it, and any privacy at all.  Meanwhile, it’s totally cool that Trump gave the press the slip so he could go have another “medical evaluation”, which he will discuss on “Dr.” Oz.    It makes me physically hurt and shake with anger when people are able to see the yellow journalism, identify the sexism, and admit the double standard, but they just shrug and say it’s okay because Hillary.  We really are a bunch of pudding brains.

naioo8ok

I am absolutely livid with the level of political discourse in our country right now.  As a woman, I take all of this personally and am offended.  And fuck off; no I will not calm down!  We have reached a point in our country’s history which will define the soul of our nation for many years to come.  Frankly, I am terrified, now, that Trump will win, no matter how many news stories and opinion pieces I share on Facebook to a group of generally like-minded people.  I am terrified that Donald Trump will take the oath of office in January, all because Hillary Clinton happened to catch pneumonia.

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I Feel the Heartburn

2016 has had the most bizarre and fucked up election cycle I’ve ever seen.  My fellow Americans and I have had an unusual amount of anxiety over this election, particularly over Donald Trump, to the point where therapists have seen an uptick in their appointments, specifically because of election-induced stress. I didn’t plan on voting Republican this year, but I at least like the other candidate to be a competent choice and not of complete moral turpitude.  So I’ve gone through the stages of grief as I’ve watched the Republican party self-immolate this primary season: Denial; Schadenfreude; Rage laughing; Anxiety; Stress wining; Depression; finally Acceptance.  So now a circus peanut with candy floss hair is the de facto Reoublican nominee, and I’m scared shitless.

 

Image via NPR

 
Picking my candidate
When I first heard the things Bernie Sanders had to say, it felt like such a relief!  Thank goodness, someone gets it!  He preached the gospel of family leave and equal pay for women.  He drove home the reality of our country’s economic inequality.  He wouldn’t let us forget how far behind other similarly developed countries we are on education and healthcare.  Unfortunately, the more I listened to him talk, the more I realized he wasn’t my guy.  His message was inspirational, but his policy initiatives weren’t exactly what I wanted and they didn’t seem very plausible, especially in the current political climate.  Even if I wanted a single payer healthcare system run by the government, (which I don’t. They can’t even run the VA well.  Why would I want them to administer my healthcare?) how would Sanders even get that passed in Congress?  Let’s even assume that the Dems take back the House and the Senate in 2016.  There are likely to be plenty of Blue Dog Democrats who wouldn’t fall in line on this.  It was hard enough getting Obamacare.  America’s not ready and willing to slog through another complete healthcare overhaul.  

I watched almost all of the primary debates, on both sides.  As I watched more of the Democratic debates, I kept yelling at the tv, “Super!  How do you plan on doing that?  What’s your plan B if you can’t close all the tax loopholes for the 1%?”  The two biggest red flags for me were as follows:

1) During the CNN debate, when asked about specifics in foreign policy, Sanders looked like a deer caught in headlights. It was aggravating to watch as Anderson Cooper asked straightforward questions, Sanders couldn’t answer them, and then pivoted back to the only foreign policy message he had- Hillary voted for Iraq.  War is bad.  

2) The interview Sanders had with the New York Daily News Editorial Board revealed that he didn’t actually know the legal process by which he could dismantle the big banks, something I feel like you should probably know if you’re going to promise to do that.

These two instances confirmed for me what I had wondered about his campaign promises and whether he could actually make good on them.  To me, they revealed that, no, he doesn’t actually know.  He has no fucking idea.  

I’m with Her

 

Image via the Clinton campaign

 
Hillary Clinton isn’t a perfect human being.  I can even understand why people don’t like her.  She isn’t always consistent.  Sometimes she does bend the truth or lie, depending on her audience.  (Yes, I’ve seen the Anonymous video of her lying for 12 minutes.  I’ll accept it when it’s objective and not pure anti-Hillary garbage.)  Republicans do always seem to be investigating her, even though they can never seem to turn up anything legitimate with which to charge her.  And she doesn’t necessarily give people the warm fuzzy, hopey changey, glowy feeling that we all got in 2008.  Whether anyone realizes it or not, I’m sure a good deal of the animosity toward her stems from the Republican’s hatred of the Clintons in the 90s.  As much as people hated Bill for being unable to keep his cigars in their boxes, they couldn’t stand a First Lady who wouldn’t just sit down, shut up, and review the seating chart for the State Dinner for the British Prime Minister, like a good little First Lady should.  I’ve also heard plenty of people holding Hillary accountable for Bill’s personal and political mistakes.  Let’s not fault her for the things her husband did, nor, without investigation, the things he asked her to lobby for on behalf of the administration.  And for fuck sake, stop calling her evil.  She’s not evil.  Get your head out of your ass.  

Hillary has the experience in government and the competence to be President.  Even people who don’t like her will admit that.  I believe her policies and how she plans to implement them are more in line with what America can handle.  After all, she’ll be President of all Americans, not just the ones on the far right or left.  Hillary’s agenda is in line with my priorities: economic equality and opportunity; equality for women in pay, healthcare, and life in general; criminal justice reform; gun control; immigration; education; foreign policy/diplomacy first, but not afraid to use our military.  

Speak
I’ve generally kept my mouth shut up until now because most of my friends feel the Bern.  And that’s fine.  I don’t agree with everything, but I respect that choice.  I would occasionally ask questions or push back if I genuinely didn’t understand something someone said or posted, otherwise I felt it was best to stick to common ground and trash Drumpf.  But now that Trump is the Republican nominee, I can’t keep it in anymore.  I don’t understand the Bernie people who won’t vote for Hillary in the general election, just to keep Trump out of office.  If Bernie somehow ends up with the nomination, fair and square, I’d vote for him in the general.  In any other election, I could understand and respect the “voting my conscience” principle.  But not this time.  Trump isn’t just some jackass who would make things suck and laughable for awhile.  Trump would put our economy in danger, ($10 says markets around the world plummet the day he’s elected.)  He would put our safety and the safety of our allies at risk.  His election would tell the world that it’s just fine to denigrate women, other religions, other races, the disabled, and anyone else who gets in the way.  He has already fanned the flames of race wars and encouraged violence as a way to solve differences.  For fuck sake, he’s hired Paul Manfort as one of his key strategists.  Paul Manafort is the guy who genocidal dictators have hired to help improve their image.  Trump, who is supposedly so wonderful because he’s been self-financing, (which isn’t technically true) has hired Steven Mnuchin as his National Campaign Finance Chair.  You may better know this “gentleman” as one of the investors who bought Indymac Bank when it collapsed, paid virtually nothing for it, got the federal government to continue shouldering the responsibility for the bank’s losses, and then made billions in the following years from the restructured bank.  Oh, and did I mention that they still foreclosed on thousands of people’s homes?  Jesse Benton, the man who was running the Trump super PAC, Great America, was convicted yesterday on several counts of fraud from when he worked on the Ron Paul campaign in 2012.  Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, thinks it’s totally cool to physically assault female reporters.  So….these are the sort of people Trump surrounds himself with.  How does that not scare the shit out of you?   Not to mention all the insane, let’s call them policy proposals, for lack of a better term.  I’ve heard people say, “He doesn’t mean what he says.  When he says build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, he really means he just wants to implement some mild tax cuts and tweak portions of our trade agreement.”  Denial!  Denial with a massive amount of projection of their own policy ideas.  I guess it’s okay, though.  Denial is only the first stage.  I’d be happy to recommend some wines once you get to the stress wining stage.