Digby at Hullabaloo noticed this phenomenon. You see, she was getting her hair cut the other day in liberal West L.A., and was shocked to discover that the people who work there are afraid of government-run health care:
Everyone in the place was complaining about the insurance companies and how broken the system was. But they were also convinced that the Democrats are trying to pass socialized medicine. When I asked what they thought that meant, they said, "government takeover of health care." And they were seriously worried about how that was going to affect them.But wait, hadn't the folks read posts by Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias extolling the benefits of having the government configure and implement nationalized health care? These bloggers are smart! And young! And way more hip than we are! And don't the folks in the hair place read Hullabaloo, Crooks and Liars, and FireDogLake? What better recommendation for national health care than blogs with such names?
Digby found the problem. It wasn't what the folks were reading, or hearing, or seeing. No something more mysterious was at work, ear worms:
I don't know where these people are getting this. They aren't political, they don't listen to talk radio or read blogs. This is just what's out in the ether, what people are saying in casual conversation. The ear worm is "we've got a problem, but the Democrats are going to take over health care and make things worse." It's not entirely surprising, but it's depressing nonetheless.No not "ear worms" as in Helicoverpa zea, but earworms as in something you can't get out of your head, such as "yes we can" or "no tax increases on anyone making under $250,000 a year." Those catchy phrases that just keep popping up no matter what reality says.
Digby may be onto something. Fear of government-run Obamacare is like an earworm. It is something that people cannot get out of their heads because of life experiences. One of the few things people fear more than going to the dentist is going to the motor vehicle department.
Take a number, wait in line for an hour, then find out you are in the wrong line, then wait in the correct line, get to the front, find out you have the wrong form, go to the back of the line, wait, get to the front of the line, but now it is 4:01 p.m., and they're closed. See you tomorrow.
Now repeat, but this time with your health care. Maybe the folks are a hell of a lot smarter than all the wonks combined.
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