You know, it’s good every once in a while to go to a Republican Party event, because it reminds me why I am not a Republican. Take today’s sparsely-attended rally featuring Mitt Romney at the Franklin County GOP Victory Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. More like a staff meeting than a rally, with a couple of dozen campaign workers and members of the media showing up, the Romney event was nonetheless instructive. Consider this exchange (my transcription of recorded audio):
Mitt Romney: Barack Obama would take us down the pathway to Europe!
Romney: I knew that wasn’t popular here.
Way to keep up those diplomatic ties, Governor Romney! Alienation is the best medicine. But really, now, the last thing we’d want to do is emulate our allies, right? Right?
OECD Data on Life Expectancy, 2004 (latest year available) shows the average life expectancy across countries of Western Europe (the Europe Republicans despise) is 79.45. Life expectancy in the United States: 77.8.
OECD Data on Infant Mortality, 2004 (again, the latest year available) shows the average number of infant deaths for every 1,000 births in Western Europe is 3.9. Infant mortality in the United States: 6.8.
The level of income inequality in the United States is surpassed only by that in Poland. Every other country in Europe has lower income inequality.
The U.S. rate of imprisoning its own residents is more than four times higher the rate in Europe.
Western Europeans live longer than Americans. Their babies die less often. They aren’t as fat. They have less income inequality, and they aren’t being tossed into prison like Americans.
If Barack Obama is going to “take us down the pathway to Europe,” what’s the problem with that? Other than the fact that Europeans are foreigners, I mean. We already know that Republicans just can’t stomach foreigners.