Doctor and journalist, Celine Gounder recently wrote in The Guardian, on the issue of Clinton’s health…
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s health has been under scrutiny in recent weeks, not by medical professionals but by politicians and supposed pundits playing doctor on TV. Clinton’s personal physician, Dr Lisa Bardack, has repeatedly said: “Secretary Clinton is in excellent health and fit to serve as president of the United States.” Meanwhile, conspiracy theories about Clinton’s supposed ill health have gone viral. There’s no evidence these claims are true.
Fortunately for me, I haven’t come across much of this scrutiny. I don’t follow people who would steep so low as to grab at ridiculous unproven theories, circulated by Hillary’s opponent no less.
Gounder makes a good point on this issue….
It’s not an issue. It’s a political gossip game.
A game started by Trump.
It’s almost as if Trump is reading from a textbook on how to invent and disseminate conspiracy theories. First, target those who feel most alienated and disempowered. Then, identify a complex social or political threat to control, which might include stagnant wages, demographic changes or terrorism. Next, identify an outsider group such as China, Latino immigrants, blacks or Muslims who you can blame. Then tell a simple, black-and-white story of conflict between good versus evil, us versus the other. Finally, say the system is “rigged” by the mainstream media or the elite.
And let’s not forget…
Trump is riding a rising tide of alienation and disempowerment, most notably among working class white men. They’re his strongest supporters because uncertainty, anxiety and powerlessness drive the need to reassert control. It’s also perhaps why those with a more authoritarian bent tend to favor Trump.
Trump shares a certain worldview with his supporters, but he’s also a brilliant psychologist. It should come as no surprise that he “loves the poorly educated”. They’re most likely to buy into his conspiracy theories, and not because they’re stupid. Researchers have found that having less education – not sex, race, ideology or knowledge – is the most reliable predictor of whether someone will believe a conspiracy theory.
The Hillary health scandal rhetoric that many Trumpites and conservatives are trying to push isn’t grounded in reality. These political games are just the right’s way of grasping for straws.
Scrutinize Hillary’s policies and speeches, but don’t attack her inappropriately or dishonestly. It doesn’t help your side’s reputation if you pull out the candidate’s health or alleged birth place every time you’re losing an election.