Big GOP-Led Cities Are Less Fit And More Slack On Average Than Other Big Cities
This week, we here at Irregular Times have been witness to a cynical, all-too-common right wing rhetorical trick: The argument that because you can’t find any big cities with problems that are run by Republicans, Democratic leadership must be causing big city problems.
This morning, I’ll use the 2015 American Fitness Index to show why this argument is fundamentally flawed. The Index compares the physical fitness of residents of America’s 50 biggest cities, ranking them in order, where 1 is the physically fittest city, and 50 is the least physically fittest city.
We’ve heard a lot this week from right wing readers of Irregular Times that people who don’t like Republican policies are just too lazy to take care of themselves, whereas Republicans are too hard-working to get slack. However, the American Fitness Index of 2015 shows that the most physically fit city in the nation is Washington D.C., which is run by a Democratic mayor, while the most out-of-shape city in the nation is Indianapolis, which is run by a Republican mayor.
Of course, these two cities are just the most extreme. Still, on average, the distinction holds. The average physical fitness rank of big American cities run by Republican mayors is 29.2. The average physical fitness rank of big American cities run by non-Republicans is higher, at 25.3.
Yet, it can also be claimed by Republicans who want to make their party seem like a bastion of discipline and hard work that most of the big cities in the USA that are more out-of-shape than average are run by Democratic mayors. How can this be so?
Only a small number of the 50 biggest US cities are run by Republicans. Just six. Most big cities have Democratic mayors, because Democratic voters are more likely to live in big cities than Republicans are.
So, we could say that most big cities with cockroaches have Democratic mayors. On the other hand, we could say that most big cities with well-endowed libraries and museums have Democratic mayors. However, we can say these things not because Democratic mayors cause cockroaches and library books and museum exhibits to show up in big cities. It’s simply that any big city of any quality at all is more likely than not to be represented by a Democrat.
So, the American Fitness Index shows us two things: One, that there are big cities run by Republican mayors that have negative attributes, and two, that any time you hear a Republican running around talking about how Democratic mayors of big cities are to blame for America’s problems, you know they’re trying to pull a fast one on you.