Can this election get any more confused, out of focus, or crazy? I mean, just beat me with a bag of tits! We’re talking about Clinton’s minor pneumonia and Trump’s testosterone! At the very least we’ve moved on from the size of his dick and how much he wants to fuck Ivanka. Excuse me while I vomit and gargle with Draino™!
Yesterday, Clinton came out and said that she thought it wouldn’t be that big of deal that she had pneumonia. She could just power through. No one would notice, so why say anything especially with all those nutjobs out there hallucinating about her failing health. Okay, she didn’t go that far, but you know she was thinking it. And, who could blame her other than CNN and the right-wing full-time anti-Clinton smear machine?
The more I watched the punditry cover the story with a resounding collective: What the fuck?!? Who thinks like that other than a secretive hold ’em close to the chest very private Clinton? The more I realized that there is a more reasonable explanation: She’s a high-functioning autistic.
As a high-functioning autistic, myself, I recognize this phenomenon. I get this all the time. Why didn’t you call me when your car ran out of gas? I would’ve helped you! or Why didn’t you tell me that you didn’t have any place to stay? I would’ve helped you. You didn’t need to sleep next to the car. In retrospect these things seem ridiculous. Anyone who is removed from the situation or is “normal” would immediately recognize the solution to these problems, but for me, as an autistic, my immediate reaction is to freeze up with anxiety and minimize the problem. I am embarrassed and want to call as little attention to the problem as possible. The thought of asking for help to this day mortifies me.
Also, too, it just never occurs to me that anyone would want to help or would understand me. It just doesn’t. Recently, I was literally stuck in Baltimore-Washington International airport with $30.00 in my pocket and a blocked credit card and a dysfunctional bank. It never occurred to me to get online and start working my Facebook and email contacts for help. My thought was to sleep at the airport and continue calling the bank hoping they would unblock my credit card. Luckily, I wrote a quick email to my superhero wife asking her to call the bank, too, and she started working our contacts and got me a loan of money, a hotel reservation, and enough room to work it out with that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bank!
Okay, back to Clinton. It didn’t occur to her to tell anyone about her pneumonia for reasons very similar to mine. She’s autistic and has a hard time asking for help even from those who are close to her. Once she almost fainted and the cat was out of the bag, she had a hard time talking about it.
Studies reflect that autistic children have difficulty conceiving of or even using the imagined mental states of others. This is one of the defining features of the disorder. So, when asked about understanding the beliefs of others in the form of Anne thinks that Sally thinks X, many autistic people fail completely. I imagine, though, the Clinton could pass this test. Colin Powell thinks that Donald Trump is X… probably could be completed by Clinton with an asshole for example. But, that would be when asked. It would not be spontaneously thought of.
So, when this concept is expanded to try and conceive of what the general public might think or believe, it becomes even harder. When something weird happens to me like people laughing while I’m dancing in a club, I don’t immediately go to laughing at me. Ma Femme sure did, but I didn’t. Usually, I have to focus and think about it and later, often some time later, I may come up with an answer. Oh, they were laughing at me because what I was doing was ridiculous. I could not conceive of how my actions on the dance floor would appear to others. In my mind, I was Fred Astaire, but in actuality, I was Keystone Kops.
It is that inability to conceive of what others think or perceive that really holds her back. She stumbles on this point time after time. I find the concept explanatory and predictatory. Perhaps you will, too.