Health of candidate should not matter when voting
October 6, 2016
During this election, both candidates are attempting to do anything they can in order to gain control of the White House. This includes bringing up personal issues and even the speculated health of the opposing candidate. Neither of these things have any relation to whether they are fit for presidency, however. When a president is elected, it should be for their beliefs, not the physical state they are in.
The health of someone is simply too unpredictable to be used as part of the guidelines for who should hold office. For example, someone could be nominated as president one day and diagnosed with a life threatening disease in the following days without showing symptoms of this prior to the election.
The same could be said for one who is supposedly sick while in consideration for office. Many will say that they should not be elected because of their physical state; however, unless they are actually dying, in which case they would take themselves out of contention, it is completely possible that they recover. For these reasons, it is not smart to make a voting decision based on something as variable as health. Furthermore, John F. Kennedy was suffering from Addison’s disease, which he hid from the public. With full treatment, this ailment could be contained and he was still able to serve as president fully and the public were not affected by this. If we selected candidates solely based on health, some of the most beloved and in history, such as John F. Kennedy would not have become president.
Unless a candidate is dying from an illness, it is not necessary to base one’s vote on their health; however, the American public does deserve to know for themselves the medical history of each contender so that they can make this decision for themselves. For this reason, it should be required that the candidates make their medical histories public so the public can see what they are getting in a future possible president.
Moreover, this disclosure of medical history may actually help a candidacy. For example, John McCain, the republican nominee for president in 2008, faced many questions over whether he was fit to hold office. Accordingly, he released more than 1,000 pages of health documents which showed he was healthy and had no psychiatric issues. It even demonstrated his mental and physical fortitude when considering all that he had gone through.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should both be held to this medical standard. Amidst all the questions posed regarding their health, each should release full medical history as McCain did in 2008. This is especially relevant now as Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes before leaving because she felt overheated. Although this may not be anything other than a case of pneumonia as it was reported by her campaign, this incident leads many to question her health. And being 70 years old, plenty question the health of Trump as well. As a result of these queries, an independent and bipartisan review of their health records could help voters around the country. Neither candidate has released much regarding their history thus far. Trump and Clinton have each released perfunctory statements on their respective healths but nothing with much substance and specific information.
Trump has said he would be willing to release his full history if Clinton does, and that he may even disclose first. Nobody should expect a president to be an Olympic athlete and their records may make no difference in the way one’s vote goes; however, the public is entitled to a review over the evidence to see if it is worthy for them to be conscious about when thinking about which candidate to cast their vote for.