Following U.S. politics from Sweden


I follow American politics very closely, since a few years ago. Before that, I normally only knew what was reported in international media. It started with the discovery of The Daily Show, actually, and me falling in love with Jon Stewart’s tone of voice. I watched not only the shows as they came out, but also his old shows backwards using Comedy Central’s archive. I have therefore watched every show since around 2006, and some even older than that.

Today, I start every morning – I wake up very early – with a routine that keeps me up to date with both late night comedy and the news.

  1. The very first step is always to type in I have set my browser to list U.S. news. If you don’t, they’ll use your location. So Google will list the highest read topics in the news. From there, I select articles that seem interesting. I usually read 2-3 every morning.
  2. I then often go to New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and The Hill. I used to subscribe to Wall Street Journal, but since I stopped, I don’t go there much, because most of their articles are locked.
  3. After this, I go to, and then to Rachel Maddow and Morning Joe. I love Rachel, who almost always starts her shows with a history lesson, and then often digs into stories others have missed, tying today’s events back to the history lesson. I don’t love Joe Scarborough, who is a Republican, but I watch him to balance all the otherwise ”liberal media”, and because he has a good variety of guests which leads to interesting discussions. Other favourites that I don’t always have time for are Lawrence O’Donnel amd Chuck Todd.
  4. Then it’s time for CNN. I take a look at the top stories, and then I check out Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper.
  5. ADDED after I published this:
    1. Don Lemon, CNN
    2. Brianna Keilar, CNN

I have one email subscription: Borowitz at The New Yorker. I read his satirical articles right away.

Now it’s time for late night comedy, which is not always updated in the Swedish morning, so often I need to go back and check when I get home from work.

I only watch political satire.

Three comedians have one show per week: John Oliver on Sunday nights, Sam Bee on Wednesdays and Bill Maher on Fridays. I subscribe to HBO Nordic to be able to watch Oliver and Maher, but they don’t always come out there fast enough, so I often have to use Youtube instead. So Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays I busy myself with their shows.

John is my favourite, pretty much like Rachel is in the news sphere, because I learn from them and they talk about issues that others don’t. But Sam is so amazingly funny and to the point, and I love her feminist perspective. Then there’s Bill that sometimes crosses my line, but I don’t have to agree to appreciate.

Then there is of course SNL, which gets watched on Sundays. To watch it from Europe, you need a proxy to simulate being in the U.S.. We use VyprVPN.

Also, there are three daily shows that I watch. First, there’s literally The Daily Show, which is not as good as it used to be, but still pretty amazing. I love Trevor Noah. You need the proxy for this as well.

I also watch Stephen Colbert and Seth Myer. Stephen is a comedian with a touch of seriousness, and Seth is the opposite.

What about Fallon, Conan and Corden? Well, they’re not political, so I get bored with them quite quickly. But I watch them sometimes.

Hope this can be used to inspire someone.

Want a taste? Here is a rising star:

Amy Hoggart from Full Frontal:

Photo of Rachel Maddow: Paul Schultz.

I’m fine with you electing a sexist pig

Next TeeDonald Trump embodies male entitlement. He is a sexist pig. That is as much a fact as any subjective epithet can be. He belittles women, he thinks he’s entitled to kissing them, to touching them, and worse. Even though he denies doing this, it’s caught on tape on numerous occasions. There’s a beautiful, young woman on stage with him, and he leans over and kisses her on the cheek. This happens over and over with different women. She most probably doesn’t want to be kissed by a fat, ugly, sleazy old man. He obviously doesn’t care. The way he talks about women and to women makes all of us recall also having been treated that way. We’ve met him before.

If you, American voters, elect Donald Trump, that will obviously continue. As will his Twitter wars with Rosie O’Donnell and Miss Universes.

And you know what? That is in a way OK by me.

I don’t fear that young Americans will be affected by this in a way that will ruin that generation. I think they will be appalled, disgusted, outraged and that they will alienate themselves from the older generation that put the misogynist freak in the White House. They will compare him to Obama, and he will be the most hated president ever.

For four years, media will be filled with women coming forward, with tweets being quoted, with young people telling how they really never ever will vote Republican. Republican senators and representatives will have to answer to his deeds over and over, either distancing themselves and thus make themselves targets for his anger, or else defending him, and then being viewed as accomplices – having to answer for this, and making it difficult for them to be reelected for decades to come.

It’s not just Donald Trump’s actions that will be challenged.

It’s the whole idea with punishing women for abortions, defunding Planned Parenthood and with it access to contraceptives, not having a plan for free college education that is something that young people really want, and the fight against LGBTQ rights and marriage and gender equality. Donald Trump doesn’t care about these issues as long as he can tweet to people he hates, but Pence and the other religious fundamentalists do, and they will go in a direction that will make young people ashamed of their parents and their country.

Young people, who will be tomorrow’s decision makers, are not religious nuts and they don’t put up with slut-shaming and fat-shaming and they don’t call bragging about sexual assault ”locker room talk”. I believe in them and in the many wise Americans I know, who are as appalled as I am. People talk about what will happen to the Republican party if he loses. Well, what will happen if he wins, and the party will have no time to remake itself, will be much, much worse from a GOP perspective.

Young people will not accept his racism or nationalism either. They will call him out and he will complain about having to be ”politically correct”, and it will be the same narrative in the press for four more years as we’ve seen for the past two years.

Thus far, as a Swedish citizen, I could almost be at peace with a four years Trump presidency, feeling sorry for American friends who would be constantly as embarrassed as Italians are over Berlusconi. It would be like America’s root canal procedure. It hurts, but then life will be much better.

I could, had it not been for the other part. The one where this narcissist, short attention spanned, vindictive and frankly quite stupid or at least below average talented chauvinist, with no moral – just look at how he stiffed small businesses, refused African-Americans from his apartments, claimed charity donations he never made, and told so many lies he deserves a huge Pinocchio statue – will be Commander in Chief. America had stupid presidents before, but they were smart enough to surround themselves with smarter staff. He will not. He doesn’t listen to anyone – ask Kellyanne Conway. He is unhinged, and acts on bad instincts.

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah joked that Trump would nuke Iceland confusing it for ISIS-land. Well. It sounds like a joke. But …

Then there’s the alienation of NATO allies, and the weird signals he sends out to the rest of the world, given his simplified view where countries just as people are either good or bad, and where Russia is good because Putin says nice things about him.

I don’t think Donald Trump is a Russian spy, or a Manchurian candidate. He’s just not smart enough to have a hidden agenda. Everything he thinks, he eventually says, like a babbling twelve-year-old.

However, he is immoral enough to be a target for Russian or other interests. He could easily be bribed. Or he could hire people like Manafort.

He also surrounds himself with Giuliani, Bannon, Christie, Ailes and Gingrich. They may not have ties to Russia, that we know of, but they certainly don’t come out as guardians of high moral and integrity.

Then there’s his anti-Islam rhetoric, that will alienate moderate Muslims around the world, making America and Americans targets for as long as he reigns, potentially worsening the situation in Syria and other countries at war.

He will ”bomb the hell out of ISIS”, he says. But there will be no American soldiers in Iraq or Syria. Instead, he will discuss with Putin, and ask him to do it. And then there’s his secret plan that no one can hear of …

Then there’s the promotion of war crimes, including torture, killing wives and children of terrorists, and banning Muslims from entering the U.S..

The world needs a unifier. Not a divider.

Americans, I’m fine with you electing a sexist pig as head of state.

Italy and many other countries did. The world can survive that.

I would have said to you: Go ahead, elect Donald Trump, I dare you, had it not been for the fact that there’s a risk we will all die if you do.

So please don’t.

Pact with the Devil

whyQ: If you want the same things as a horrible person or group of people, are you then a bad person?
A: No. At least not necessarily.
Q: If you support the horrible person or group of people because you happen to be on the same side, then are you a bad person?

A: It depends on what your support looks like.

If you are a Republican, disgusted by Donald Trump, but vote for him or even endorse him because you dislike the other candidate’s policies or because of your concern about supreme court appointments, does that make you a bad person?

If you are a Syrian or Iraqi Sunni, who relies on rebels for your protection against Assad, then are you a bad person? Are you responsible for their horrible deeds because you accept their help? We tend to view people as either ”ISIS” or ”against ISIS”, while in reality, it’s not that simple.

If you are a Swedish senior citizen, worried about rising crime, burning cars, and the economy, and therefore ignoring the racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric of representatives for Sverigedemokraterna and root for them, does that make your responsible for said rhetoric?

We have (had) separatist movements in Europe. IRA in Northern Ireland, Corsican freedom fighters, ETA in Spain, not to mention the war in former Yugoslavia, and a lot of people support(ed) their cause but felt horrified by their deeds. So at what point did their support for the cause become support for their actions?

There are no easy answers.

I can say one thing about these questions: We all tend to be much more forgiving with people we agree with. We have all at some point been ashamed of what people who represent our views or values are capable of. And we all had to make that choice: what is really important to me? My values? The group I identify myself with? Or not supporting people who do evil?

I am myself in a situation where I chose to distance myself from people who claim to represent my values. I know that is hard.


The different versions of Hillary

spegelbildSo Donald Trump has been ripping off his charity for years, pretending other people’s donations were his own and using this money for settlements.

Nobody will care. Not about this. Not about anything Donald Trump does. Because being a narcissistic bully is what people like about him. Except, of course, for all of us who are already disgusted and astonished at the thought that nearly half of the U.S. voters support this person.

Don’t bother telling me about the thousands, you mean hundreds, you mean dozens … or at least ”several” ways that Hillary Clinton has been ”dishonest”. Well, maybe not dishonest, but at least not truthful. Maybe truthful, but not quite, perfectly truthful, like the time when she had pneumonia and didn’t tell anyone, that must count as a lie, right?

I’ve heard all the arguments. And they are ridiculous. A man, any man, deciding to ”power through” pneumonia would be considered at worst in his own right and at best a hero. And Donald Trump even gets away with claiming his health is ”extraordinarily excellent”.

After literally reading hundreds of articles about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the past months, I’ve come to the conclusion that the double standards at play here form the ultimate example of what happens when women seek power:

They are disliked.

If they show emotion, they are weak, if they show determination, they are bossy. Or, as Jon Stewart once put it: “In politics it’s ok to be a pussy, as long as you’ve got a dick”.

In one well-documented experiment […] Harvard MBA students evaluated the same case study of a successful entrepreneur. Half the class read a version in which the entrepreneur was male; the other half read a version in which the entrepreneur was female. The students who read about the male entrepreneur identified him as having positive traits, such as leadership and direction, while students who read about the female entrepreneur characterized her as being bossy and overly direct. The responses reflected the students’ hidden biases about how male and female leaders should act.”

And Hillary is right. Half of Trump’s supporters do belong in a basket of deplorables:

  • 40 percent of Trump supporters said they ”definitely” believed Obama was hiding something about his background and early life.
  • 42 percent believe immigrants in the U.S. illegally are more likely to commit violent crime. Just 13 percent of Clinton supporters believe that.
  • 69 percent of Trump supporters believe immigrants are a burden on the U.S., and 64 percent believe Muslims should be subject to more scrutiny.
  • The U.S. is becoming too soft and feminine (68 percent).
  • The government has paid too much attention to the problems of blacks and other minorities (55 percent).
  • Men and women should stick to more traditional gender roles and tasks (50 percent).
  • Discrimination against women is no longer a problem (46 percent).

This is the reason why we look att Hillary and Donald and see very different persons. It’s in our core values. In our personalities. In our ways of perceiving men and women differently. We apply very different filters, depending on whether we’re used to and embrace women seeking power or not. Donald Trump’s deplorables can’t handle a female president. Period. Anything she does, says, or even refrains from doing will just prove their view of her incompetence and unpleasant persona.

We look at Hillary and Donald, and some of us see one strong leader who may not be perfect, but far more brilliant, goodhearted and qualified than most, and one disgraceful, self-absorbed and dishonest fraud.

The others do that as well.

Vem behöver fakta?

Sverigedemokraternas ”desinformatör” har skrivit artiklar där han fabricerat inte bara fakta utan även sin identitet. Syftet är att underblåsa den främlingsfientliga vind som svept genom Sverige och även övriga Europa och nu manifesteras i form av Trumps retorik på andra sidan Atlanten.

Det blir förstås än mer bisarrt i ett land som USA, där nästan alla har någon förfader eller anmoder som invandrat under de senaste ett eller två seklerna. Om du har tid – se gärna MSNBCs Rachel Maddows suveräna genomgång av USAs historia av främlingsfientlighet nedan.

”It’s a weed that our country has seen before. It’s in our soil. It grows when we give it space. It’s a weed that that we have uprooted before. It does keep growing back. It’s one of the ugliest things we have ever been as a country, and we are now living it in our generation.”

Den som likt SD och Trump bygger sitt politiska existensberättigande på andra människors rädsla för dem som kommer utifrån och som inte tillhör ”nationen” behöver hela tiden göda sina anhängare med ”information” om hur utbölingar beter sig illa. Och den som köpt in sig i den världsbilden och själv är uppskrämd över landets utveckling bidrar ofta genom att aktivt och okritiskt sprida allt som överhuvudtaget pekar på att invandrare är farliga. Och när media inte ställer upp används ”alternativmedia”, eller så kallade ”hatsajter”, som fokuserar på att publicera brott begångna av dem som inte är etniska svenskar.

Så hittade jag igår ett Facebook-inlägg baserat på en anonym insändare, där en mamma klagat över att några killar – härkomst framgick inte ens, utan de beskrevs bara som ”maskerade” – försökt stjäla mobiltelefoner från hennes trettonåriga son. Och i rask takt dök de upp – ”gränslandsfolket” – och raljerade över invandringens konsekvenser. Jag påpekade hur oerhört vag bevisning länken utgjorde för att invandrare begått ett brott, och fick bland mycket annat höra att

  • ”Så allt som inte är polisanmält (hur vet vi att det inte är det, förresten) och dokumenterat har inte hänt och har inget värde? Detta är en insändare som beskriver en samhällsutveckling.”
  • ”Det officiella Sverige slutade behandla statistik över invandringens kostnader …” [lång utläggning som helt hamnar bredvid ämnet]
  • ”… bli inte allt för upprörd. Helena är en hardcore Reinfeldtist som gör allt för att förneka att det finns några som helst problem med migration, integration, öppna gränser eller brottslighet om inte SCB uttryckligen skriver en rapport om det.”
  • ”Helena, en datapunkt gör ingen sommar men ett mönster av dem indikerar en till visshet gränsande sannolikhet.”
  • ”Hon tycks, att döma att hennes direktkoppling till invandringsfrågan, vara mer intresserad av att få andra att tiga, än att göra en korrekt bedömning.”
  • ”Det är den reinfeldtska doktrinen – förneka alla problem och när det inte längre går ifrågasätter du kausaliteten och till slut väljer du att kalla de för utmaningar.”
  • ”Det är egentligen rätt otroligt at HLT inte inser att att när hon påstår att detta bara är illvillig ryktesspridning och aldrig har hänt så kommer folk (bortom Aftonbladet dvs) bara att bli ännu mer förbannade.”
  • ”HLT är en översittare och en mobbare, och hon är faktiskt inte särskilt intellektuellt välutrustad.”

Jag hade gärna länkat, men väggens ägare har, efter att jag frågade om jag fick skriva om inlägget, valt att göra inlägget privat.

I den andra änden av spektrat ligger den extrema efterfrågan på vedertagen forskning som ett sätt att klara sig undan en obekväm fråga. ”Kan du bevisa?!” ”Länk, tack!”

Tänk dig att det ligger en hög äpplen framför dig och du ska göra saft. Du ser att en del av dem är ruttna. Du säger ”vi måste rensa bort de ruttna äpplena”, och din kamrat svarar ”vet du hur många de är?”. Du säger ”nej, men jag ser ju att de finns”, och svaret blir ”om du inte kan säga exakt hur många de är kan vi inte ens diskutera att plocka bort dem”. Lite så har tongångarna gått i hijab-på-små-flickor-diskussionen som pågått de senaste dagarna. Om jag inte kan redogöra för exakt hur många småflickor som tvingas bära hijab ska problemet överhuvudtaget inte diskuteras, menar flera personer. Att bara visa att de existerar räcker inte.

Men vi behöver fakta som underbygger våra slutsatser. Varken mer eller mindre. Om belägg finns för att småflickor far illa behöver vi inte ett exakt antal för att inse att problemet måste hanteras.

Eller, för att återgå till metaforen:

Ser vi att det finns ruttna äpplen behöver vi inte veta hur många de är för att agera om vi ska göra saft. Det räcker med att bevisa deras existens. Redan ett är för många.

Men vi behöver däremot, för att flytta metaforen till den andra delen av spektrat, veta hur många de är om vi vill göra gällande att ruttna äpplen är ett extremt stort problem eller om vi påstår att det finns fler ruttna äpplen (kriminella invandrare) än ruttna päron (kriminella svenskfödda) eller att vår nation är under attack från äpplen, ruttna och oruttna, som riskerar att förgöra life as we know it och vi därför måste hugga ner alla äppelträd och stänga våra gränser så att inte några äpplen alls oavsett ruttenhetsgrad tar sig in i landet.

Schrödinger’s policy about Muslims entering the U.S.

VåldRachel Maddow finally got a Trump spokesperson to her show. Watch Kellyanne Conway not answer the question about whether Donald Trump has changed from a ban on all Muslims entering the country to ”extreme vetting” of those immigrating from ”regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”.

Nor did she answer the question about which these regions are or whether e.g. Germany is such a region.

So the first policy, which was even put in writing, is both dead and alive. No matter how hard Rachel Maddow tried, she couldn’t get Kellyanne Conway to neither redraw this policy nor acknowledge that it still be valid.

”Extreme vetting” is not an evolution of the ”complete ban”. It’s actually a completely different policy, targeting completely different people and situations:

  • ”Complete ban” vs. ”Extreme vetting”
  • ”Entering the U.S.” vs. ”Immigrating to the U.S.”
  • ”Muslims” vs. ”from regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”

There is of course no way to stop people from committing acts of terrorism by vetting immigrants since you don’t have to live in a country to go there. So if he wants to stop foreigners from for example 9-11 (or Seven-11) acts, he needs to vet them also when applying for tourist or business visas.

The only act of terror committed on U.S. soil by a person that had actually immigrated to the U.S. was the wife in the San Bernardino shooting.

Out of thousands of mass killings, with tens of thousands of people shot in the last decade, exactly one half was committed by a person that stands at least a small chance of being stopped by Donald Trump’s second policy. She could still have come by lying or by using a tourist visa.



Trump Blackmailing Mexico

In March, John Oliver did a great piece on the Trump Wall. Watch it below!

The cost for the wall is said by Donald Trump to be at most 12 billion dollars. John Oliver concludes that it will cost at least 25 billion dollars, plus maintenance.

Shortly after this show was aired, Donald Trump posted an explanation as to how he intends to make Mexico pay. To read it, you need to check the box and state that you are not a robot. Because robots are not allowed to read this text. It’s a bit like stating that you are above 18 to get access to other types of content.

The idea is as follows: 24 billion dollars are sent from people within the U.S. to other people within Mexico every year. By threatening to stop the flow of this money, he will make Mexico pay between five and ten billion dollars once.

This is how: ”no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States”.

They claim the 24 billion dollars are sent primarily by people being illegally in the U.S., which he obviously doesn’t know – it’s a guess. However, even if that were the case, his whole idea is based on the assumption that there be no way for these people to send money via a proxy. As if these people had no friends, employers or family that could perform the transmission for them.

He then continues to claim that only Mexico stands to lose by enforcing trade restrictions, which of course is not true. If you reduce the amount of goods being imported, prices will go up, which will affect the U.S. citizens in a negative way. Though it is true that the party with the highest income from its export usually is the winner, that doesn’t automatically make the other party a loser. It’s not that simple.

Finally, it becomes really weird. In order to put pressure on Mexico, he intends to cancel not only visas for people that work in the U.S., but also for business travelers and tourists.

Let’s take that again, shall we?

A person from Mexico that wants to visit the U.S. for a conference, a business deal, some relaxing golf or a visit to children and grandchildren will be denied entry because that is how Donald Trump intends to force their neighboring country into paying for something they don’t need or want.

This behavior has never been seen in the civilized world in modern days. This type of embargos have been used against nations that violate human rights, but never as diplomatic blackmail.

Donald Trump intends to run the U.S. as a  17th century Fürst.

By enforcing his embargo, which quite honestly I don’t think he will, but let’s assume that for once he is truthful, he would alienate every Western country in the world. He would also force us to act, because of the unfair treatment of a country that is a founding member of the U.N.. The lease you can expect is a boycott of American goods by civil rights organizations.

To use Trump’s vocabulary, it will probably be ”ugly”.

Not at all ”a beautiful, beautiful thing”.


The Donald vs. Swedish Nationalism


Donald Trump and Jimmie Åkesson

The Swedish nationalist party Sverigedemokraterna endorses Donald Trump.

They are quite different personalities, Donald Trump and the leader of the Swedish nationalist party Jimmie Åkesson. Åkesson is cautious and calculating, like you would expect from a pretty young conservative. Though I thoroughly dislike what he and his pals have done to my country, I have to admit that the guys in the top of the party are thorough and rarely reckless, and they usually manage to hide the part of the agenda that makes ”normal” voters uncomfortable by e.g. claiming to want to clear out all racists from their party.

Beyond these differences, there are many striking similarities between the nationalist movements, that tell us a lot about human psychology and how what inexplicably happened once is about to happen again.

The supporters

The supporters are to a large extent the same in both countries. They’re men. They’re white. They’re in later stages of life. They’re ”poorly educated”. Yes. This is a fact.

They are sometimes outsiders, but mostly just regular workers. In some cases, they run a small business. They are rarely successful above average. They live in the countryside or at least outside big cities.

There are also, in Sweden, some immigrants who hate Muslims for some reason or another, and who tend to overlook the anti-immigration policies of the SD party as something these nice people don’t really mean, and if they do then so be it – getting the Muslims out has priority.

The disregard for facts and the sect-like behaviour, where they worship their leader and will do anything to achieve his goals is another similarity. Or, in DJT’s words: ”I have the most loyal people” and ”I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.

It is only rational that the motto of the Trump fans is ”Make America great again”, since longing for a glorious past where life was much simpler, women didn’t pursue careers, foreign languages were never heard and black people would stay outside white communities and, in the case of Sweden, outside the borders, comes natural to these mostly senior people.

They feel their country is being taken away from them. They consider their country to be their property to begin with, and will argue that anyone that disagrees with them be an intruder.

International regard

Another parallel is the way all nationalists, Trump and Åkesson included, seem to think that others perceive their country. Though there is a difference in how they want their respective country to be viewed, there’s a clear similarity between their projected image of the view of others.

In the case of SD, supporters often highlight that Sweden is viewed as being weak and almost ridiculous in our efforts to care for refugees. This idea is spread through various far right websites and Facebook pages, such as Britain First, but it has little to do with the actual perception of the majority population of other countries.

Similarly, while Donald Trump seems to wish that America would be feared rather than respected for its compassion, and hence tries to establish an image of President Obama being too weak to be scary, the reality is that few if any American presidents have been as respected in other Western countries. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, because we were so happy to finally see someone striving for peace, even though it didn’t work out exactly how we wanted it in the years to come.

Telling their supporters that they alone can reestablish the image of their country is not only part of the narrative of Trump and Åkesson, but it also seems to be something they actually believe, because they are that out of touch with reality.

Mainstream media

I have to admit: The claim that mainstream media, or ”gammelmedia” as Sweden Democrats like to call it, are against both Trump and Åkesson is in fact true. That is not a conspiracy theory in itself. It’s a consequence of media being populated by people who see through their agendas. Obviously, while Trump’s and Åkesson’s supporters are poorly educated, journalists and reporters are not. Education is like a vaccine against stupidity. This being said, I am not in any way suggesting that all uneducated people are supporters of SD or Trump, or ”stupid” for that matter. You don’t have to have a college or university degree to think rationally. But without one, you are more vulnerable to the slogan and simplified solutions policies they drive.

When it comes to not trusting the press, there is an issue that goes beyond media being biased against Trump and Åkesson, and that is that their supporters tend to not trust the facts that are being presented. Instead, they share Internet memes and obscure articles that can say anything. Journalists have ethics. They are bound to tie their conclusions, however colored by their opinion, to facts.

Donald Trump uses his Twitter account to share not only white supremacists but also other unconventional thinkers, and Sverigedemokraterna’s supporters and politicians very often use ”hate sites” like Avpixlat to spread what must in every aspect be characterized as misinformation.

Incidentally, the Twitter account of Mats Dagerlind, publisher of Avpixlat, shows a profile picture where he wears a hat saying ”Make America and Sweden great again”.

”Build a wall!”

For geographical reasons, Sweden being surrounded by water except for borders towards Norway and Finland, where immigrants rarely enter, there is no suggestion to build an actual wall around our country. Still, the SD party repeatedly calls for closed borders, Swexit (from the EU) and a general limitation of all categories of immigrants. While most Swedes are in favour of immigration per se, but may want to see regulations around asylum seekers because they generate a cost, Sweden Democrats are convinced that immigration is inherently bad, and must be kept to a bare minimum, with the exception of immediate neighbours such as Norwegians and Danes.

Not all Sweden Democrats are racists, but more or less all racists are SD supporters.

There is an important difference between Sweden and the U.S. in the sense that, being located in a corner of the world, we had very few immigrants until some 20 to 30 years ago.

This means that being a Swede equals being white to those that long back to the days where you just knew that every neighbour shared your genetics. This also means that Swedish racism is easier to hide. You can talk about being against differences in ”culture” when you actually mean skin color. Some twenty years ago, the Sweden Democrats were in fact Nazis, heiling and marching. It was only some fifteen years ago, when the current leaders were actually members, that they removed the proposal to ban all adoptions from non-European countries whose purpose was to keep the ”Swedish race” white.

So while Americans never deny that African-Americans be entitled to their citizenships, Sweden Democrats keep emphasizing that even second generation immigrants may lack the Swedish mentality and culture and that they have to adapt completely, ”be assimilated” as they call it, or else they must leave the country. Multiculturalism is the worst thing ever.

Of course, immigrants have always come to Sweden and affected and shaped our civilization – otherwise we would still be barbarians, which was once pointed out by our then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt*. That particular statement has been thoroughly spread as proof that the leaders of our country don’t recognize just how remarkably superior we are as a people, while  what he meant to say was that every culture needs influences to grow and excel and Swedes are no exception.

Still, even though the mechanisms are different, the underlying message is the same in both countries.

Black = bad.

White = good.

Foreigners = dangerous.

Especially one type of foreigners.

”Muslims want to kill us all!”

The hate of Muslims has replaced the hate of Jews among nationalists around the world. They are described as being against whatever the country in question values the most.

Of course, religious fundamentalists regardless of religion are usually conservatives, and they have more in common with each other than with the rest of the society they live in. They just don’t see it. Ironically, the same people therefore blame Muslims for holding views they themselves hold, on e.g. women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, corporal punishment at home, etc..

Somehow, supporters of far right movements manage to both hate feminists and homosexuals while still hating Muslims for presumably being against said people.

I have spent hundreds of hours debating the antagonism against Muslims from SD supporters, but it is hard to get past their simplified view of the world.

Most of the really dangerous terrorists are today Muslims, sure, and that then means to these people that most if not all Muslims are dangerous. The fact that this is not logical in any way is impossible to explain.

Muslims have been in Sweden for some 30-40 years. Many came with the fall of the Iranian Shah in 1979. They were wealthy and often educated. Many run businesses today, or work in high tech companies. These people, together with Iraqi and Lebanese that came later, are an integrated and important part of the Swedish workforce. Most of them are secular Muslims.

They are now as scared as German Jews were during the phase that led to the Crystal Night.

”One simple solution for each problem, please!”

Trump and his Trumpeteers:

”Lock her up!”

”Bomb ISIS!”

”Mexicans are rapists!”

”Close the borders!”

Åkesson and SD supporters:

”Muslims are the biggest threat to our society!”

”Refugees are rapists!”

”Close the borders!”

”The only way is up!”

Both started out as underdogs, then gained surprisingly much ground in a short period of time. While doing so, the supporters and actually many others thought they would just continue to grow forever. Like beyond 100 percent. It’s like they just looked at the curves and extended the lines. They didn’t get that there is a limit to the amount of voters that will appreciate the message of Mr. Trump and Mr. Åkesson, and when you’ve reached all of them, you will need to change your strategy to expand. The SD party understands this, and now want little to do with their old racist voters in continuous attempts to appeal to non-nationalist voters, but Trump doesn’t.

”They’re cheating!”

The SD voters think Trump will win, even though there is little evidence of that. They also think the reason their own party is trailing in the polls is that there is a conspiracy against their leaders. Voter fraud is as high on the agenda for far right supporters everywhere, because they are scared and feel cheated in life in general and are hence more prone to believe that The Establishment is out to ruin their life. Donald or Jimmie is their champion and they need to fight the system for them.

Depicting and addressing the opponent in schoolyard bullying terms

Donald Trump calls his counter-part ”Crooked Hillary”, presumably because his supporters love it, which in turn is yet another proof of their complete lack of sophistication.

Åkesson does not behave that way, because he is politically smarter than Trump. He knows that in order to appeal to the voters that are thinking of joining his party, he must express himself with some kind of dignity.

Still, the SD supporters are pretty much the same kind as Trump supporters. They use degrading nick names for politicians they don’t agree with, they send hate messages to us who don’t share their views. The childish, bullying tone that most people leave behind at the age of 13 is yet another example that shows the core of what this article is about:

These people are narrow-minded because they are quite simple-minded to begin with.

We’ve been here before

Please re-read this article, but replace ”Muslims” with ”Jews”.

Then think about whether you’ve seen these trends before.

*All bildning står på ofri grund till slutet, blott barbariet var en gång fosterländskt.
— Esaias Tegnér (1782-1846)

… once famously paraphrased by then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and used as proof that he hated Sweden.

Did he ask them to kill her?

”Hillary wants to abolish – essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Those who defend Donald Trump have been wrestling over these words.

”It was a joke!” That was the first interpretation, and probably the most true one, from a former, now fired, campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

”This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment, and there can be no other interpretation … I mean, give me a break.”

This is what Trump now told his favorite pundit Sean Hannity, and it’s the version that is explained over and over by his supporters.

What we’re talking about is political power, there’s tremendous political power to save the Second Amendment, tremendous. You look at the power they have in terms of votes and that’s what I was referring to, obviously that’s what I was referring to and everybody knows it.”

I just have to poke around a bit among the sentences.

First of all: He didn’t actually tell them to kill her. So in order to prove that’s what he said, every other interpretation must be ruled out.

Who are ”the second amendment people”? Well, since not even Donald himself denies that he referred to the gun owners, that is a given.

Now, the interpretation he has provided, that he wanted them to vote, is not valid, simply because he starts with an ”if”, and what follows depends on that ”if”.

”If she gets to pick” places us in a situation where she was already elected. You can’t continue that sentence with ”we must make sure she wasn’t elected”, unless you’re in possession of a time machine.

Everything that follows ”if she gets to pick” must be based on the assumption that we’re in a future where Hillary Clinton is the president.

So, let’s simplify the sentences. What he said boils down to:

”When HRC has been elected president, gun owners can still do something about it”.

What can they do? Certainly not vote, for another four years. I would really love to hear any of DJT’s supporters provide alternative interpretations to ”shoot her”. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sulk and hide
  • Move to a war zone like Syria
  • Buy an island and fund a new country
  • Protest in the streets singing anti peace songs like ”We shall undercome” and ”Imagine all the people living life in war

If I were on his side, I would have stuck with ”I made a bad joke”. It’s probably half true. The other half of the truth is most likely that he is so into his poisonous rhetoric that he thinks suggesting to shoot her is an acceptable thing to say, like the next step after ”lock her up” and ”she should be shot by a firing squad”.



Plagiarizing the President

Next TeeDonald Trump Jr. is making a ”he did too” attempt to accuse President Obama of plagiarizing his speech during the RNC, since both contained the sentence ”that’s not the America I know”, which apparently to him is the same as Melania Trump’s quite lengthy sequences that were almost word by word copied from Michelle Obama.

If using this very short sentence could be called plagiarizing, which most people would agree is a bit ridiculous, then they are both plagiarizing George W. Bush.

”The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what islam is all about. Islam is peace. [Muslims] must not be intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value.”

However, I think copying the entire statement above, especially if done by anyone named Trump, would be quite welcome.

Please go ahead!