The US is actually unique for not valuing life!
"...that’s what sets America apart from every other country; we value life. That is what makes us unique.” - Sarah Sanders
There is a high level of delusion operating in the White House. The stream of mistruths that come out of President Trump and Sarah Sanders' mouths are clearly blatant lies but millions of US citizens believe them. With daily diets of Fox News and living in a very insular culture, there is little that challenges these false perceptions of US "greatness".
When comparing the United States of America with most other developed nations it becomes clear that it probably places less value on life than most and doesn't compare well with many developing countries too:
- If the US really valued life then it would abolish the death penalty, it is the only Western Country that executes people under law (23 people were executed in 2018).
- If the US really valued life then it would have an equitable and universal health care system. The current system is considered the most expensive and ineffective and it is ranked 28th in the OECD for life expectancy. The US is ranked 33rd in the OECD for infant motality.
- If the US really valued life then it would have stricter gun laws. In 2017 almost 40,000 people were killed by a gun. The US love affair with weapons has resulted in a gun ownership level of 120 guns for every 100 people. One is 12 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the US than New Zealand.
- If the US really valued life then it would have less violent ways of policing. The Black Lives Matter campaign started because of the concerning numbers of black people shot in the US by police and the prevalence of discriminatory racial profiling. There seems to be a common culture of shoot first ask questions later, but given the level of weapon ownership it is almost understandable.
- If the US really valued life then it would cease using drone executions in other countries. Between 8,000 and 12,000 people have been killed by US drones on foreign soil, including around 300 children.
- If the US really valued life then it wouldn't provide military support for countries that blatantly don't. The $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia is morally obscene, especially considering the country's shocking human rights record and the war crimes it is committing in Yemen. The US is also the strongest supporter for Israel's persecution of Palestinians resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths.
- If the US really valued life then it would have a more compassionate response to refugees on its southern border and wouldn't separate families or cause the deaths and ill-treatment of children.
- If the US really valued life then it would be more proactive in managing climate emissions and having greater environmental protections. Under Trump environmental protections have been scaled back and the US President is possibly the only world leader who questions climate science.
It is hard to know what measure Sarah Sanders was using when she made the outrageous claim because by any measure I looked at the US did not perform well. Perhaps if you only consider rich white Republicans as those most deserving of life then it may stack up.