Justin Bieber. Are you sick of this kid yet? I’m not a 16-year-old girl, so I can’t fully understand his allure. But having once been a hormonal teen, I can recall what a strong influence my heartthrobs of choice had on me in my youth (and seeing as how they were Kurt Cobain and Johnny Depp, it’s lucky I didn’t stumble down some deep, dark, hallucinogenic rabbit hole).
Unless you make your home under a rock these days, you know what sway Justin Bieber has on his hoards of frothing young fans. Which is why I find it fascinating that he has become an unlikely champion of Canadian health care. In his recent interview with Rolling Stone (which appears on newstands on Februaury 18), Bieber extolls the virtues of our universal healthcare system, saying:
“You guys are evil. Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby’s premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home.”
Word up, Biebes. While his answers to questions about his views on abortion make me cringe, his comments on health care are actually rather astute (save for the whole "evil" part). Seeing as how widely his words of "wisdom" (ahem) from this interview have spread across the intertubes, I wonder what effect his views on health care might have on the kids who hang on his every word. Beacause let’s face it: the most acclaimed scholars in the world could cite studies and data until they’re hoarse and still not have the same reach as one little quote from this dancing mop-top. So, upon reading Bieber’s statement, would a young Canadian girl who had once taken her every doctor’s visit for granted suddenly consider the benefits of not having to pay for her health care? Or for that matter, would her American counterpart be inspired to question her own country’s system and Obama’s new Affordable Care Act? Could such be the effect of young Bieber’s musings?
What do you think? Do a teeny bopper’s words really affect the views of his young fans, for better or for worse?