In the ongoing symbolic "battle" between Europe and the United States (some might call it healthy competition, depending on who you ask), here's a funny article from this week's Economist:
CONSERVATIVE Americans like to contrast the vigour and virility of their own country with the decadence and decline of Europe. Demography is exhibit A in their argument.(.../...)
Mitt Romney, for example, talked about Europe’s “demographic disaster” as he ended his presidential bid in 2008, calling it “the inevitable product of weakened faith in the creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality”.
So it comes as something of a shock to discover that in 2011 America’s fertility rate was below replacement level and below that of some large European countries. The American rate is now 1.9 and falling. France’s is 2.0 and stable. The rate in England is 2.0 and rising slightly.
France’s fertility is now higher than America’s; and the demographic reaction to the great recession does not suggest any profound transatlantic difference between virile Americans and flaccid Europeans.
I wonder if this is also going to be used against Obama in the campaign. In any case, when it comes to international relations, Romney has quite a bit of work to do.. After offending the British, his words could very well offend the rest of Europe if they ever come out in the mainstream European media.
If one is looking for explanation as to why Romney has to put others down, maybe newsweek has a valid suggestion:
(article to read here)
The only possible redeeming factor may be that he speaks French, although I have a feeling he's not going to capitalize on it with his consertative electorate, who may then suspect him of being a socialist spy. ;)