You might have caught the in-depth story in Vox this week about Obamacare enrollees in Kentucky who voted for Donald Trump, despite his (and all other Republicans’) endlessly repeated promises to repeal it at the first available opportunity.
For the TL;DR crowd, Kevin Drum at Mother Jones pulls out some of the choicest quotes:
Oller: The funny thing is, my husband said, “You know, he’s going to eliminate health care.” But he really can’t totally take it out, because everybody has to have health care. You can’t go backward….
Kliff: Did you hear him talking about repealing Obamacare in the campaign?
Oller: Yeah, he was going to get rid of it. But I found out with Trump … he says a lot of stuff. [laughs] I just think all politicians promise you everything and then we’ll see.
Kliff: Do you think if it does go away, you’ll regret your vote in any way?
Mills: I don’t know. I guess I thought that, you know, he would not do this….I was thinking that once it was made into a law that it could not be changed, but I guess it can? Yes?
What can be done about this kind of self-brainwashing? As Drum summarizes, these folks “figured Trump was just blathering because, come on, what kind of person would take away people’s insurance?” He’s explicitly promising to ruin their lives, and they dismiss it as harmless blather.
But I’ll bet you that if you asked for their opinion of Hillary Clinton, they’d dismiss her knowledge, experience, and detailed policy proposals by saying, “There’s just something I don’t trust about her.”
There’s something deeper than political messaging going on here.