After it was apparent that there was video evidence that Hillary Clinton collapsed at the 9/11 ceremony on Sunday, the story coming from her campaigns and supporters was that she had overheated, and there were a series of Tweets from Clinton supporters about how unusually hot and humid it was in New York City on Sunday morning, and thus it should not be surprising that Secretary Clinton, or anyone else for that matter, would be overcome by the heat:
Yuk -- just checked in. Email I sent last night: "You picked a good week to be away: weather is vile." And I'm wearing shorts and polo shirt— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 11, 2016
Was outside playing in a park with my son in Manhattan this morning and can confirm that it was hot and humid.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) September 11, 2016
What we REALLY should be talking about is why it's so damn hot on a September morning https://t.co/yGkfB1n7D7 #GlobalWarming #climatechange— Leela Daou (@leeladaou) September 11, 2016
I hesitate to include the last two because I think there is a non-negligible chance that the @peterdaou Twitter account is run by the Trump campaign, but the unusually hot and humid weather in NYC was a hot topic on Twitter for some time on Sunday.To #Hillary haters jabbering about NYC weather, I LIVE HERE. I usually play outdoor summer hoops and today it was too hot even for a stroll.— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) September 11, 2016
Of course there were a few problems with selling this story:
- The temperature at that time was in the mid seventies, with humidity in the mid 40s.
- These facts are easily available to anybody with an internet connection.
- The event Secretary Clinton was attending was attended by many other people, none of whom were apparently overcome by the heat.
- There are millions of other people who live in the NYC area, some of whom are not Clinton loyalists, who can say that it was not an usually hot and humid day.
- There were nationally televised sporting events from the NYC area attended by thousands of people at which the heat was not an apparent factor.
- National news tends to make a big deal out of unusual weather in the NYC area.
I'd say this was an insult to my intelligence, except I'm not even sure they expected me to believe it if I gave it a second's worth of thought.
What I think they were hoping was that a sufficient number of respectable people would echo this story, and some "deplorable" people would object to it, and those unfamiliar with the facts would trust the respectable people rather than associate themselves with the "deplorable" people, and accept this story. It's seems like some form of social engineering akin to gaslighting. You can believe what you see, and be like the racists, misogynists, haters, and conspiracy-mongers, or you can go along with the respectable story. What's it going to be?
Except, in this case, the actual facts were so accessible that we couldn't help but see them, and the Clinton campaign was forced to disclose the truth.
This seems to be a pattern with the Clintons, and I don't like it.
I don't like being disrespected and lied to like this.
I don't like being expected to suspend my judgment and critical thinking.
I don't want to vote for or support people who act like this, or see them elevated to the highest offices.
It makes me wonder what other bullshit I've swallowed or will be asked to swallow in the future based on similar tactics.
And the fact that Trump is worse doesn't make it OK. Be better than he is.
Asking me to accept this is not a loving thing to do. If you're more upset with me that I won't go along with this than you are with your candidate for playing these games, then please reconsider your values.
Please see my election disclaimer post before replying along the lines that Trump is worse.