You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!
WE sit, us Canadians, scratching our heads at the to-do south of the border over health-care reform. These people flinging about signs and insults at rallies look like us. Some of them talk like us. It’s what they talk about that’s confusing to Canadians. Public health care is bad? Obama is a socialist? Death panels are coming? And the dreaded abortion funding matter, which makes them foam at the mouth. So it should be no surprise that it’s music to our Canadian ears to hear Obama and others reassure that the myths about U.S. health-care reform will all go away now that the legislation has been signed into law. But just as all looks rosy, along comes a study to say humans — Americans, Canadians, Kuala Lumporians — cling unreasonably to comforting old beliefs. And, say the studies by political scientists at Georgia State University, in the face of strong evidence challenging those comforting old beliefs — say, that death panels won’t roam the Great Plains of America just looking to off Grandma — humans will cling ever tighter. Horror of horrors, the studies show that even journalism won’t budge true believers. In fact, when news stories correcting misinformation about Bush II’s claim that cutting taxes increased federal revenue were shown to conservatives, the proportion who believed George W.’s fantasy rose to 67 per cent from 36 per cent. So Canadians hoping to see some reasoned debate from our neighbours to the south can settle in for a long wait — something we’re used to with our health-care system.