Sep 9, 2012

A mind-blowing somersault

-       What, what happened, Sweden has always been the land of the dreams?

That’s Matthew speaking, a friend of my friend Doug who turned 60 the other day and gathered his friends for a party. And Matthew and I ended up talking up about school systems, health care a s o. Which is mostly always the case among my friends here in Seattle, but these weeks are of course, extra interesting politically.

So, the feeling is odd I have to say. Watching the next convention. Now from the couch, I am doing a tiny bit better back-wise and have moved out of my bed and landed on the couch just in time for The Democratic National Convention. I love being in the US during political times. I do like being in other places through interesting periods too, although I have to say Northern Ireland has been a little too exciting for me a couple of times.

Anyway. Seattle. Through this summer in Sweden I haven’t mentioned the weather. For a good reason. I didn’t want to whine. Because this summer was the crappiest one in…like forever. We had four days of summer in Umeå. July 6 and August 15, 16,17. That’s it. Arriving in Seattle on this historic stretch of sun and warm temperatures was exactly what I needed, what I hoped for. This Friday we actually hit 90° (32,2 C) which has only happened five times before in September since they started keeping track! So spending the afternoons on my 8th floor balcony overlooking Elliot Bay, the Seattle skyline and The Mountain always out, charging my cold body combined with evenings in front of the broadcasted conventions has been just the perfect mix.

So, why the odd feeling about this week’s convention? Well, if following the Republican Convention was like watching a movie, listening to the speeches at the Democratic Convention felt like… home. Or, should I say, like home used to be, before the Right wing coalition took over the government six years ago.

Now, to be clear: The Right in Sweden is far away from the Right in the US. In fact, over the years I have always expressed the Swedish Right a lot more liberal than the American Democrats. And that’s where the odd feelings show up.

Because listening to the Democrats doesn’t only feel like home. It feels like listening to the Swedish Social Democrats. Sorry Obama, I know it’s only the most super liberal of your followers that would like this comment of mine, but I would say a lot of those speeches at the convention would fit right in to the Swedish Social Democrat’s Convention.

And here is what happened on my couch. Listening, watching, I found myself with the surprising and slightly uncomfortable feeling of “I want that. I want that for Sweden too! Holy cow, was that a somersault of my mind....

So, Matthew, what happened was six years of Right coalition government has turned Sweden into a country where the American Democratic ideals in overall sound like a really good idea. Well, we would skip the God Bless and throw in some Solidarity, but other than that... And it makes me feel extremely sad about Sweden, the land of Matthews dreams. It is two more years until we have the vote and I really do wish that we will have come to our senses by then. And I am hoping that the American Democratic Party gets four more years to prove their ideals right.

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