They Believe the Lies

The news media everywhere covered a survey released this week by Indiana University that shows that a majority of Americans believe the lies—excuse me, myths— about health care reform that have been polluting the airwaves, virtual space, blogosphere, print pages and other public forums for months.  These myths, all false, include:

  • The federal government will be directly involved in making decisions about care: 50% believe this lie.
  • Taxpayers will have to pay for abortions: 55%
  • Illegal aliens will be covered: 46%
  • Waits for medical services will increase: 67%

Some people who believe the myths are surely frightened seniors or those who usually don’t get involved in political or social issues and therefore have not learned which media they can trust and which routinely distorts. 

But I’m going to postulate that the people who believe these myths largely coincide with the same “true believers” who have swallowed the many falsities promulgated by the religious right. I call them “true believers,” because they mostly decide matters of fact with anecdotes and beliefs and not facts; the origin of the expression is Eric Hofer, I believe.  The fact that many more Republicans than Democrats came down on the “lie side” of the IU survey supports that supposition.

The true believers are not bad people, but they do tend to believe a subset of the news media prone to lying and distorting facts, even when the truth is readily available.  These lying media, which include websites, some print media and a lot of talk radio, first ingratiated themselves with the true believers by tapping into their prejudices regarding religion, social issues such as abortion (and, for a while, gay marriage) and race, and connecting these core “true-believer” beliefs with a free-market, anti-government bias which I believe was always the true agenda of the right-wing media.  As the IU survey demonstrates, years of feeding prejudices with lies and distortions continue to pay off.

13 thoughts on “They Believe the Lies

  1. Another senate scandal with Rangel – I know I’m just a rambling, ignorant, non-NPR listener with no IQ but why does Rangel not go to prison like anyone in the private sector would for the same violations?

  2. They say JUSTICE is BLIND, but only when it pertains to the Dem’s. Everyone else has to pay the penalty for their crimes! How sad it is that the people that govern this Nation can be so corrupt and be convicted and no punishment is really given.

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  4. Hi, I like your post. I wish everyone would pay such attention to their post as you do. I came acros your blog on google when searching for an insurance. Glad i found your blog! Escuse me for my poor englisch, i am from holland.

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  5. And…we will start to see employers dropping group health insurance, paying the fine and splitting the difference with the employees. Silly? Maybe not. We need to do something before 2014. Increased utilization of HSAs would put the consumer in control, not the government. Maybe a good idea.

  6. I am not certain I totally concur with you on this post. Nonetheless I am normally open to innovative ideas. May have to think about it. Good blog anyway.

  7. Hum, Is Cali the way of the future?. Who knows? I think with all the problems on the planet who marrieshooks up with whom is a time waster. With unwanted wars I say All We Need is Love! … in any form.

  8. Well written site, good researched and useful for me in the future.I am so happy you took the time and effort to make this. See you around

  9. Most individuals who have health insurance get it via an employer. In summary, Obama’s plan offers a less high-priced government-run option, with nearly wide-spread insurance of all People in the usa. This public strategy would function with the private and other health care options that now exist. The advantage of a public program is that it may push private insurance companies to compete for consumers when it comes to treatment, service and price.

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