In a speech today in Youngstown, Ohio, Republican nominee Donald Trump explained some of his foreign and immigration policies. Amid paradoxical claims of opposing military intervention in Iraq and vowing to “aggressively pursue … military operations to crush ISIS,” Trump found time to add fuel to a recent anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy. Right-wing propaganda factories like Fox News and Breitbart have been spreading baseless rumors that Democratic nominee Clinton is too sick to serve as president, referencing false, contrived “medical” opinions.
Trump said that Clinton, “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS. And all of the many adversaries that we face.” In the context of the past week, Trump is clearly trying to propagate desperate lies that have already been debunked. It’s not as if former Secretary Clinton would be literally fighting ISIS herself, and in any case, since Trump can’t handle any kind of investigative questioning from reporters, it’s hard to understand how he would have the mental stamina to conduct a military campaign.
The “Hillary’s health” conspiracy began when the internet found a photo of Clinton being helped a flight of icy steps in February after she slipped. It was quickly used as proof that Clinton cannot walk unaided, despite all evidence to the contrary, including her walking and even playing with balloons at the Democratic National Convention.
Breitbart’s report that suggests Clinton suffers from strokes, seizures, double vision, and traumatic brain injury among other ailments, is based on statements by “Doctor” Jane Orient, head of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
The AAPS, which Breitbart seems to trust, is a small fringe group that publishes pseudoscientific conspiracies, including the absurd allegations HIV does not cause AIDS, abortions cause breast cancer, and vaccines cause autism. The group also denies climate change, but insists that if it did exist, it would be good for humans.
Sean Hannity conducted a week long “investigation” on Fox News devoted to fuelling the “Hillary’s health” conspiracy, because apparently he believes doctors that can’t understand the link between HIV and AIDS, since he obviously does not himself. He brought forth doctors with no medical repute (because no serious medical practitioner would publicly ‘diagnose’ a person based on a few video clips and photographs in the absence of an actual medical exam). They were alarmed that Clinton nods her head as she listens, and has pauses in her speeches.
The takeaway here is that Trump and his right wing backers are too afraid to confront Clinton on the issues, including foreign policy and national security. The former Secretary of State is a formidable force to take on. She has more experience with foreign policy than any recent presidential candidates. After decades in politics, Clinton’s resilience shows that she is an intelligent and strong woman. Trump and the right wing media are too weak and cowardly to take on Clinton, so they spread lies that she is unfit in an effort to avoid debating her policies and insights.
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