The neo-liberal agenda of the Republicans – maximum freedom for the advantaged to exploit the disadvantaged - means that over 1 million Americans die preventably each year due to deadly policy perversions that promote militarism, war, violence and dangerously unregulated capitalism. While President Obama backs regulation and preventive medicine, his opponent Mitt Romney’s fanatical Republican neo-liberalism will make this appalling situation much worse.
The breakdown of these over 1 million American preventable deaths is 443,000 (smoking), 300,000 (obesity), 79,000 (preventable adverse events in hospital), 79,000 (air pollution from carbon burning), 75,000 (alcohol), 45,000 (lack of health cover), 33,000 (vehicle accidents), 31,000 (guns), 30,000 (suicides, 20% being of veterans), 21,000 (under-5 infant deaths), 21,000 (opiate drug-related deaths from US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry), and 15,000 (homicides).
It should be noted that some of the above categories are overlapping (e.g. suicides and gun deaths, homicides and gun deaths) and that some immediate preventive measures (e.g. in relation to smoking, drinking, excessive food intake and driving) would not immediately stop the carnage due to decades of political inaction. With these caveats in mind one can systematically consider Romney’s documented position of supporting actions that kill Americans by the millions and opposing actions that would decrease the carnage. In many cases the Neocon- and Zionist-beholden Democrats are as guilty as the Neocon- and Zionist-beholden Republicans but at least President Obama is moving in the right direction over risk aversion and preventive medicine whereas racist, religious right, Republican (R4)-backed, neo-liberal extremist Romney is committed to a BAU highway to hell in a World that is rapidly running out of time to deal with resource limitations and climate change..
Outlined below are 21 reasons why Romney is unfit to be president because of his neoliberal policies that will kill many Americans and many others abroad, will damage the American and global environment, and which violate America’s noblest value that “all men are created equal”.
1. 1.1 million American preventable deaths annually.
Ultimately these deaths could have been prevented by better regulation of dangerous capitalism, better education, better preventive medicine and more money devoted to health rather than to militarism and war. Already this century the Republican-initiated Iraq War and the Republican-initiated Afghan War have been associated with over 8 million Iraqi or Afghan deaths from violence or from violently-imposed deprivation, 6,600 US military combat deaths, 50,000 US veteran suicides, 230,000 American opiate drug-related deaths from US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry, and an accrual cost of about $5 trillion (noting that the US debt is now $15.1 trillion and the US GDP $15.6 trillion). That $5 trillion accrual cost of the Republican–initiated War on Terror is $5 trillion that could have been committed to saving American lives at home rather than killing millions of Muslims abroad. Christian Zionist Romney’s extreme pro-Zionist stance makes a major war against remote, peaceful Iran, an even more horrendous possibility.
President Obama identified the key fiscal problem in the first Obama-Romney presidential debate: “Now, Governor Romney's proposal that he has been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of $2 trillion of additional spending for our military. And he is saying that he is going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. The problem is that he's been asked a — over a hundred times how you would close those deductions and loopholes and he hasn't been able to identify them.”
2. 443,000 American deaths from smoking annually.
The neo-liberal Republicans, like Romney, believe in minimally regulated commerce even when commerce like the tobacco industry deals in deadly products that kill 6 million people each year around the world, including 443,000 Americans.
3. 300,000 American deaths from obesity annually.
Again Romney’s neo-liberalism simply promotes dangerous, unregulated food consumption that kills 300,000 Americans annually and is associated with related huge morbidity (e.g. that due to cardio-vascular problems).
4. 79,000 preventable adverse hospital events annually.
Romney’s anti-American policies of opposing ObamaCare and excluding 30 million Americans from health cover will exacerbate the burden on the US health system, increase the likelihood of adverse hospital events, and of course convert deaths from hospital adverse events to even more deaths from non-admission to hospital.
5. 79,000 American deaths from carbon burning-derived air pollution annually.
Romney is a fossil fuel burning enthusiast. Thus in the First Debate he opined: “Energy is critical, and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the U.S. is up. But not due to his policies. In spite of his policies. Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and license in half. If I'm president, I'll double them. And also get the — the oil from offshore and Alaska. And I'll bring that pipeline in from Canada. And by the way, I like coal. I'm going to make sure we continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like its getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent, so we can create those jobs.” Carbon burning–derived pollutants kill 79,000 Americans each year.
The Executive Summary of the 2012 DARA Report “Climate Vulnerability Monitor. A guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet” commissioned by 20 countries stated “This report estimates that climate change causes 400,000 on average each year today, mainly due to hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children in developing countries. Our present carbon-intensive energy system and related activities cause an estimate 4.5 million deaths each year linked to air pollution, hazardous occupations and cancer… a combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade. A significant share of the global population would be directly affected by inaction on climate change”.
6. 75,000 American deaths from alcohol annually.
Again Romney-style neo-liberalism means that Americans are free to sell addictive, dangerous substances like tobacco (see #2 above) and alcohol. Each year alcohol kills about 75,000 Americans and about 2 million people globally as well as causing immense misery to untold millions through illness and alcohol-fuelled violence.
7. 38,000 American deaths due to “illicit drugs” each year.
While tobacco and alcohol respectively kill 6 million and 2 million people annually world-wide, “illicit drugs” which kill only about 0.25 million people globally each year are made illegal for “political” reasons.
Romney: “The entryway into our drug culture for our young people is marijuana. Marijuana is the starter drug. And the idea of medical marijuana is designed to help get marijuana out into the public marketplace and ultimately lead to the legalization of marijuana overall. And in my view, that's the wrong way to go. I know there are some on the Democratic side of the aisle that'd be happy to get in your campaign but I’m opposed to it, and if you elect me president, you're not going to see legalized marijuana. I'm going to fight it tooth and nail” (see “Paul Ryan on medical marijuana legalization: let the states decide”, Huffington Post, 9 July 2012). Criminalization of certain drugs increases drug deaths and causes massive social upheaval in the African American community in particular (see point #8 below)
8. Massive abuse and disenfranchisement of African Americans.
A major un-stated reason for Republican-supported selective drug criminalization and consequent discriminatory use of the anti-drug laws is that it helps disempowered the African-American community as well as disenfranchising Black American males by the millions.
Thus NAACP lawyer Michelle Alexander: “There are more African American adults under correctional control today -- in prison or jail, on probation or parole -- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race. A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers. If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80 %.) These men are part of a growing undercaste -- not class, caste -- permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era.” (see Michelle Alexander, “The New Jim Crow. How the war on drugs gave rise to a permanent American underclass”, Huffington Post. ).
9. 45,000 Americans die each year from lack of health cover.
According to the prestigious Harvard Medical School, 45,000 Americans die each year from lack of health cover (see “New study finds 45,000 deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage. Uninsured working age Americans have 40 per cent higher death risk than privately-insured counterparts”, Harvard Gazette. Yet Romney is committed to abolishing ObamaCare that provides medical insurance to 30 million Americans. The human cost of this deadly policy can be simply estimated thus: 131 million Americans did not have health cover (2011), 45,000 Americans die annually from lack of health cover, and Christian Zionist Romney intends to abolish ObamaCare and hence removal of 30 million Americans from health cover at a cost of 45,000 x 30 million/131 million = 10,305 American deaths annually or over 40,000 deaths in 4 years and over 80,000 deaths over a 2-term 8 year period.
10. 33,000 Americans die each year in vehicle accidents but unaddressed climate change will kill 10 billion people this century.
Romney is committed to fossil fuel burning and the private car which results in 33,000 American deaths from vehicle accidents each year. America is a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution but Romney is oblivious to the need for urgent action (see #5 above). Deaths from vehicle accidents and carbon burning-derived pollutants are the least of it. Top UK climate scientists Professor Kevin Anderson (Deputy Director of the Tyndall Institute, Manchester University, UK) and Dr James Lovelock FRS have estimated that only 0.5 billion people will survive this century if climate change is not addressed properly. Noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (UN Population Division), these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis (Google “Climate Genocide” and “Are we doomed?” ) .
11. 31,000 Americans die annually from guns.
The deaths of 31,000 Americans each year from homicide, suicide or accidents involving guns is an immense tragedy that is ten (10) times greater than the carnage of 9-11 every year. Leaving aside the near-certainty that the US Government did 9-11 (quite likely with Israeli involvement) (Google “Experts: US did 9-11”), if Romney et al were serious about defending American lives they would have banned guns at zero (0) cost and thereby since 9-11 saved 340,000 American lives (over 100 times the deaths on 9-11). That They didn’t ban guns shows how phony They are in their $5 trillion War on Terror to “protect America”.
Mitt Romney: “Like the majority of Americans, Mitt does not believe that the United States needs additional laws that restrict the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms” (see the Mitt Romney website ).
12. Of 30,000 American suicides annually, 6,000 are of US veterans.
Racist, religious right Republican (R4)-backed Mitt Romney as President would be Commander in Chief with a responsibility to protect the servicemen under his command. Yet while over 6,600 Americans have died in combat in Republican-initiated wars this century, 6,000 US veterans commit suicide every year and about 50,000 US veterans have committed suicide due to war-related trauma in the last decade. This alone should disqualify pro-war Republican Romney from being President of the United States.
13. No “right to life” for 21,000 American under-5 year old infants who die avoidably each year.
The US is the richest and most powerful nation on earth and one supposes that this wealth and power would mean that it would better protect its most vulnerable citizens – its infants – than any other country on earth. However it doesn’t of course and the difference in infant mortality between the US and tiny Singapore means that the US is fiscally committed to killing 21,000 under-5 year old American infants each year. Romney prefers tax cuts for the wealthy to saving the lives of American infants. In contrast, Romney has a quite different attitude to the”right to life” of 1-day old un-born fetuses, stating “"My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother" i.e. he opposes reproductive choice for women. The majority of Republicans go even further and deny the right to abortion in cases of incest or rape (see “Romney: my views on abortion rights are clear”, CBS News, 27 August 2012).
14. 21,000 opiate drug-related deaths from US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry.
While neo-liberal Romney approves the right of Americans to sell addictive and deadly products such as tobacco, junk food, and alcohol that kill about 440,000, 300,000 and 75,000 Americans, respectively, each year, he supports criminalizing of “illicit” drugs that kill about 38,000 Americans each year. As a backer of the US occupation of Afghanistan Romney is complicit in the US restoration and protection of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry that kills 21,000 Americans each year and has, since 2001, killed 230,000 Americans. and 1.1 million people throughout the world, this carnage including 4,000 Australians, 10,000 Canadians and 18,000 British (Google “Afghan Holocaust Afghan Genocide).
15. 15,000 Americans die from homicide each year.
The American murder rate of 15,000 homicide per year corresponds to 15,000 homicides /312 million = 48 homicides per person per year, about 4 times greater than in the UK, Canada or Australia, with this huge differential correlating both with the Republican culture of violence, the racist religious right Republican (R4) brand of Christian hypocrisy and the Republican enthusiasm for gun ownership.
16. Over the last 11 years about 6,600 Americans have died in foreign wars (600 per year) and about 50,000 US veterans have committed suicide.
A total of 6,600 Americans have died in foreign wars in the last 11 years, or roughly 600 per year. However as shown in #12 above, about 10 times that number of US veterans commit suicide each year and about 50,000 have committed suicide since 2001. Romney and his fellow Republicans are complicit in this carnage (see “Remarks by Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, Departments of Defense-Veterans Affairs, Suicide Prevention Conference, Washington, DC, January 11, 2010”, United States Department of Veterans' Affairs”, 11 January 2011 ).
American politicians should necessarily love America and this surely means (a) love for their fellow Americans, (b) love for great American values e.g. “all men are created equal”, and (c) love for America’s flora, fauna, ecosystems and wilderness. This leads to 5 further damning failures outlined below that make it clear that Romney is unfit to be president.
17. Republican and Romney policies evidently don’t evidence love for their fellow Americans.
As outlined above, 1.1 million Americans die preventably each year and Romney and Republican policies are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Indeed Romney’s “47 per cent” statement says it all: “There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” (see “Full transcript of the Mitt Romney secret video”, Mother Jones, 12 September 2012).
18. Republican and Romney neo-liberal policies betray contempt for “all men are created equal”.
There are huge disparities of wealth and opportunity in America that belie “all men are created equal”. Thus Segregation has returned to America as an Educational Apartheid system depriving poor and African-American children of a decent education and equitable opportunities. However Romney wants to exacerbate these disparities by decreasing taxation of the rich and removing vital services for the poor. Even “Sesame Street” of PBS - the Public Broadcasting Service that is a non-profit American public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States - is not immune from Romney neo-liberalism despite having taught hundreds of millions of children to read, write and count around the World. Thus Romney in the First Presidential Debate: “I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I'm not going to — I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it. That's number one.”
19. Republican and Romney anti-environment policies threaten America and the global biosphere.
The annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is 23 tones CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent), 26 times higher than that of Bangladesh (0.9). In 2009 the WBGU, that advises the German Government on climate change, estimated that the world can emit no more than 600 billion tones of CO2 between 2010 and zero emissions in 2050 if it is to avoid a temperature rise of 2 degrees Centigrade. The average world population in the period 2010 and 2050 will be 8.321 billion. Accordingly, the per capita share of this terminal CO2 pollution budget is less than 600 billion tones CO2/8.321 billion people = less than 72.1 tones CO2 per person. The United States will have used up: fair share” of the terminal global CO2 pollution budget in 72.1 tones CO2 per person/23 tones CO2 per year = 3.1 years relative to 2010 (i.e. by the end of 2013). Yet pro-pollution Romney believes not just in Business As Usual (BAU) but in a huge expansion of fossil fuel burning. Thus an upper estimate of the CO2 from the Canadian Alberta oil sands development is roughly equal to the 600 billion tones CO2 terminal global CO2 pollution budget for the whole world and Romney has made the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline his number 1 priority (see points #5 and #10 above). Yet according to leading US climate scientist Dr James Hansen of NASA, the Keystone XL pipeline means “game over” for the climate of the World.
20. The Republicans and Romney lie in declaring “love for America” while simultaneously arguing for policies inimical to Americans and America.
Romney is considered to have “won” the first Obama-Romney Presidential Debate because of his powerful rhetoric as compared to Obama’s thoughtful responses – Romney’s snake oil salesmanship won over Obama’s thoughtful consideration. Yet the latter is what it’s needed for risk averse leadership. Rational risk management that is crucial for societal safety successively involves (a) correct information, (b) scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses) and (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk. Unfortunately this is typically perverted, as especially by the greed-driven Right, into (a) lying and censorship, (b) anti-science spin involving the selective use of asserted facts top support a partisan position and (c) blame and shame that inhibits requisite reportage.
The Republican Romney claim to “love America” is an immense lie – the horrible reality of neo-liberal philosophy is that it argues for maximum freedom for the One Percenters to exploit the 99%. Unfortunately about 50% of the 99% will be fooled by Romney. Lying is inimical to any responsible government.
21. Republican- and Romney-backed war (12 million Muslims killed in 2 decades) is the ultimate abuse of risk management and humanity.
The Republican-initiated War on Muslims has been associated since 1990 with 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or from war-imposed deprivation, the breakdown being 4.6 million (Iraq, 1990-2012), 5.6 million (Afghanistan, 2001-2012), 2.2 million (Somalia, 1992-2012), 0.1 million (Palestine, 1990-2012) and 0.1 million (Libya, 2011-2012). Warmonger Romney has enthusiastically supported all of these atrocities and promises massive diversion of funds from social welfare, education and health to the military and hence more mass murder of impoverished people around the World (Google “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”).
In summary, Romney is unfit to be president of the United States of America because of his policies that will kill large numbers of Americans and others, that will damage the American and global environment, and which violate America’s noblest value that “all men are created equal”. Please tell everyone you can.
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|William A. Cook|