Clinton’s health not a concern

When video was released of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stumbling after an abrupt exit from a 9/11 memorial service, political pundits were shocked by Trump’s measured response. “I hope she gets well soon,” Trump stated during a phone interview.

However, just two days later at a campaign rally in Ohio, Trump was back to his usual self. “I don’t know, folks, you think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour and do this?… I don’t think so,” he said in reference to the room’s temperature. In a subsequent interview with CNBC, Trump continued to call Clinton’s health into question, saying “it was interesting because [the Clinton campaign] says pneumonia on Friday, but she was coughing very very badly a week ago and even before that.”

Despite Trump’s scaremongering, there is no real evidence to defend the claim that Clinton is physically unfit to be president of the United States. Dr. Lisa Bardack, chair of internal medicine at the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Clinton’s personal physician since 2001 explained in a memo that “Clinton is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as president of the United States.” More recently, Bardack explained that Clinton’s stumble at the memorial was caused by “mild non-contagious bacterial pneumonia.”

This latest “controversy” over Clinton’s health exemplifies a behavioral trend of Trump’s that forms the backbone of his presidential campaign; regardless of objective fact, Trump will peddle conspiracy theories for political gain.

When Ted Cruz closed in on Trump in the primary polls in May, he lashed out by alleging that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although he recently acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Trump had previously championed the “birther” conspiracy movement since the 2008 presidential election.

Trump has also peddled the idea that President Obama is a Muslim. When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd in September whether he could accept a Muslim president, Trump responded that “some people have said it already happened, frankly.”

From spreading discredited claims linking vaccines to autism, repeatedly claiming that “thousands and thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks, and tweeting false crime statistics claiming that black criminals disproportionately prey on white people, it is evident that Trump will do or say anything for political gain, regardless of objective truth.

Trump’s behavior is more than irresponsible; it is a direct affront to our country’s democratic institutions. Rather than spending time fleshing out policy proposals and engaging in respectful rhetoric about the future of the country, Trump instead chooses to bolster support for the conspiracy theories of the alt-right. Trump’s utter disdain for the truth and his continued unscrupulousness in peddling slanderous conspiracy theories demonstrates that he is unfit to be the leader of the free world.