â€œMore than half a century ago president Eisenhower sat the standard for mocking Sweden, when he publicly stated that suicides were more common there than elsewhere. The reason implied was that Swedes were so deeply bored in there cuddling socialist state that they didn’t want to live at all. The assertion about the suicides was in itself not true, of course (speaking of lying presidents), but it is still glued to the Swedish image in the whole world.
Eisenhower served an entry, and then it has just rolled on. Every small crack in the smooth facade of the idyllic social democratic paradise did create media frenzy (with mostly less correct reporting) and cozy schadenfreude. That provoking Nordic welfare country, number one in most rankings, was an aching thorn in the eyes of conservatives around the globe.
But the reactionaries may relax now. Sweden has been hit by neoliberalism (facilitated by a right-wing government) and is becoming increasingly compatible with rest of the industrial world. Welfare is fading and there is cause for grievances among the less affluent, a development that, not surprisingly, has handed xenophobes and the Alt-right considerable progress in public opinion. At the same time, economic gaps are widening faster than in other EU-countries. – So: SkÃ¥l, reactionaries of the world! Your future seems bright (but to the others: let’s disappoint them thoroughly!)â€
This was a comment of mine on an article in New York Times that mentioned Trumpâ€™s gaffe about some attack in Sweden. A day later there really was riots and car burning in a Stockholm suburb, as if Trump were clairvoyant. That elicited the following answer to me in the comment section:
â€œOdd you say that, knowing that riots just broke out in Sweden. Guess which community areas? Isn’t it terrible when facts on the ground don’t cooperate with dogma?â€
Well, I never said anything about a riot-free Sweden; I could have commented on the opposite.