on celebrity pronouncements

One of the clearest signs of degraded thinking ability in our society today is the weight given to viewpoints solely on the basis of the popularity and fame of the person who holds them. The current illustration is Jimmy Kimmel on healthcare financing. People are reduced to tears and fears that infants will be abandoned to die if the Republican Congress makes changes to Obamacare, simply on the basis that Kimmel told an emotional story about his own son’s health problems at birth, and claimed that the proposed changes in the AHCA would leave newborns like his vulnerable to not receiving care.

His few minutes of a personal anecdote unfortunately affects the thinking of Americans far more than any factual, reasoned, evidence-based discussions of the issues. The worship of celebrities and their feelings about issues makes genuine solutions far harder to achieve, as Philip Klein describes in this column, “Jimmy Kimmel is everything that’s wrong with America’s healthcare debate.

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