Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Sweden is often held up as an example by politicians like Bernie Sanders as a socialist model that should be copied here in the United States. They epitomize the so-called Nordic model of governance with a strong humanitarian social welfare safety net sprinkled with little examples of free market capitalism. In 2014, Stefan Lovgen of the Social Democratic Party was swept into office as Prime Minister receiving 31% of the vote. Left in the dust was Jimmie Akesson of the Sweden Democrats party, once considered a fringe and racist element in Swedish politics.
Times have changed and Akesson and his party are now running neck-and-neck with the Social Democrats. A recent poll puts Akesson within 0.2 points of Lovgen. On major policy issues, Swedish pollsters have found that a majority of the electorate agree to a greater degree with Akesson on nine out of nine issues. The two major issues- immigration and crime- are the main reasons, and for good reason.
Like here, the liberal Swedish press have tried to discredit Akesson by digging up dirt on him. They attacked him for having an online gambling addiction years ago. His past comments on homosexual parents were used against him. Even U2’s Bono waded into the fray by comparing Akesson to Hitler. Despite the attacks, the popularity of Akesson continues to rise as many care less about comments in the past, gambling addictions and Bono’s thoughts on Swedish politics.
Sweden is in the throes of a crime wave. Since 2015, according to their own government statistics, murder, assault, rape, and threats have all increased. Sexual assaults have increased a whopping four-fold since 2014 and murder and manslaughter has more than doubled. In 2018 alone, there were 182 grenade attacks and 93 reported in the first five months of 2019. This is odd for a country not at war.
There is a reason for the wave of crime gripping the country. Again, using their own statistics, over 90% of shootings in Sweden were attributable to immigrants, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa. The authorities have identified over 50 immigrant-heavy “vulnerable areas,” or what is more accurately known as “no-go zones.”
The policies proposed by Akesson gaining favor with the electorate are straightforward and simple. They reject multiculturalism. They want a tightening of immigration laws and a return of refugees to their home countries. They are demanding tougher sentences for serious offenses and the deportation of foreigners convicted of serious crimes. Akesson recently wrote: “Many of us remember another Sweden…An everyday life where crime was there but not so close. Crime that was not as crude and ruthless as what we see today.”
This was dismissed by the liberal press and politicians as a paean to the past and rank nationalism. But what has Lovgen and the Social Democrats offered? Their explanation is segregation, poverty and unemployment are the drivers of crime in Sweden.
For the Social Democrats and Lovgen, it is all about denial. Taxpayer-funded organizations put out propaganda that all is well and good in Sweden. They even have an Arab-language advertising campaign inviting more refugees and immigrants amid promises of generous welfare benefits. Meanwhile, after Sweden opened its borders to refugees in 2015, more than 90% of them are unemployed today even though overall Swedish unemployment is low. The Social Democrats have embarked on a plan to suppress “politically sensitive” information when they are not outright fudging crime statistics. That increase in sexual assaults? It is a statistical anomaly, according to the Social Democrats, given the new definition of “sexual assault.”
Perhaps Lovgen’s liberalism was enticing to to the Swedes in 2014. But the crime and violence that started a year later may be his and his party’s undoing eventually. Their humanitarianism has been repaid in blood and a drain on the social welfare system that attracted these refugees and immigrants in the first place.
Why is Sweden shifting to the right politically? The answer is simple: liberalism has met reality.