Keep medical records out of the election

Eric Hong, Opinion Editor

In the past weeks, Trump supporters may have thought they had come close to victory when they saw the words “Hillary Clinton” and “pneumonia” in the same sentence. Although, the Democratic nominee is on the road to recovery, her illness created some major questions concerning the well being of a candidate.

But something’s not right when being basically the “healthiest individual ever” to run for office could actually be a plus in a presidential election. Not in today’s political battleground.

An individual’s medical history is indeed sensitive information that is, like tax records, protected by privacy laws. The short solution would be for the people to stop urging candidates to release personal records that are not meant to be public knowledge, but the American public will never believe in such a courtesy.

The possibly more important reason to leave health out of politics is to keep focus on what is really important in choosing a president—something  Americans have a hard time doing.

In elections throughout history, presidential candidates have won because, through reasoning and political insight, they offered solutions to issues the majority of voters believed were most important. Not because one was less of a geezer than the others. This is why it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the public actually wants. Introducing something as irrelevant as medical records could potentially make that complicated and we might just end up paying for it as a country with a president who fails to capitalize on such issues.

Of course, a president is only good as long as he or she is able to serve, but the death of an ailing president does not mean the end of progress along his or her ideological lines. Should Clinton, if elected, be unable to serve due to an illness more severe than pneumonia, then Vice President Tim Kaine, would move forward on the same Democratic ticket—the one the public had supposedly deemed necessary on Election Day by voting for Clinton.

When it comes down to it, using a private email server without authorization or having gone bankrupt does not hinder a president’s ability to take charge of the democracy. People are still going to want someone to take an aggressive stance on terrorists, protect citizens’ rights to bear arms, shelter undocumented immigrants seeking asylum or reduce student debt. A spotty medical history should not be the reason why a candidate is not put in the position to execute on these demands.