• Sweden edition
'Americans are narrow- minded about politics'

'Americans are narrow- minded about politics'

Published: 05 Nov 2012 12:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Nov 2012 12:10 GMT+01:00

With Obama and Romney still neck and neck in the final hours of a hard-fought and costly presidential election campaign, polls indicate the race could still go either way.

The vast majority of Swedes living in Sweden prefer the Democratic Party and Barack Obama over the Republicans and Mitt Romney, according to statistics collected by daily Aftonbladet.

89 percent of Swedes would like to see Obama win the 2012 US election, according to the paper’s poll.

When The Local took a straw poll of Stockholm residents about the Obama-Romney race, they all answered similarly.


Meanwhile, a joint investigation by CNN in Sweden and Swedish analytics firm United Minds showed that US cities with Swedish-sounding names were predominantly conservative.

And oddsmakers also seem to think that Obama will emerge victorious - but will he?

When the dust settles, which candidate will be able to call the White House home?

What will the result of the 2012 presidential race mean for Sweden and its relations with the United States?

And why are Swedes and the Swedish media so fascinated by the race for the White House?

Registered users may add answers using the comment field below. If you haven't yet registered, you may do so here - it's free and only takes a moment.

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:40 November 5, 2012 by Iraniboy
Dear Thelocal,

I noticed in the previous article that you mention Obama's support which 89% among Swedes. However you don't mention in either of article Romney's support which I assume is around 4%! Is it too humiliating to mention that? In either case it just shows that Swedes have no argument about this election so what should they say?
03:38 November 6, 2012 by Eric1
While I love Sweden and have a lot of Swedish friends, I find they are very shallow, don't understand economics, have very little ideal of what life is like in America. They except what is told to them without question. It's not their fault. It's the fault of an education system that values socialistic ideals over math, science, history, etc.... The television news broadcast all promote far left leaning stories. Plus, they get CNN, that is dying in the USA because it's just a joke. CNN just a leftist propaganda machine. (let's see if my comments get a rise)
10:07 November 6, 2012 by fikatid
@Eric1: I'm an American who happens to live in Sweden. I totally disagree with what you said. I graduated from a top 10 US national university and found that your comments to be nothing but lies that the Fox News have implanted in many uneducated narrow-minded people like yourself. I feel pity for you for how gullible you are.
10:55 November 6, 2012 by martin8558

I can not agree with you more I am also American who lives in Sweden, everyone knows that Mr bill and Fox News is Anti Obama!
11:28 November 6, 2012 by markusd
The common theme with all of these on-the-street interviews is something like, "I don't follow or know anything about American politics, but I want Obama to win."

I'd really like to know how Europeans would feel if they were put into this situation: First, you have a guy who increases your and each member of your family's share of your country's debt from somewhere around $18,000 to about $30,000 over 8 years. If you're like me, this would make you very angry. Then the second guy comes along, calls the first guy 'unpatriotic' for increasing the debt by such a large amount before proceeding to increase your share of the debt from around $30,000 to over $50,000 in only 4 years! To top it all off, you have a bunch of people from other countries who have no connection to the debt that either one of these two idiots gave you, trying to tell you how wonderful the second guy is.
11:35 November 6, 2012 by Scambaiter
Eric1 is what is commonly known as a neocon troll

As for markusd...you cannot be serious? Are you seriously blaming the "debt" and the financial crisis on Obama?

The "wonderful" thing about Obama is that he didn't start two hugely expensive wars, one of them illegal and on a false WMD premise (doesn't including the "war against terrorism")

It's not always just about the money...dum, dum. de, dum, dum
11:44 November 6, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
As a Brit, I´m continually being reminded by Americans that if it wasn`t for them & the boys who died in Normandy etc..we`d all be speaking German or the usual cold war one about Russia. I´ve also met just as many yanks who need to visit a dentist, something they always jibe us Brits for. In the US both candidates are not so far apart, however one of them might bring us closer to WW III if he supports Israel a bit too much. Like all other EU folk I don`t understand US politics, although interest group lobbying seems to be rife there. Remember it was actually Obama who saved the auto industry. Would feel a bit uneasy with a Mourmon in the WH, after all their church`s stance on afro-americans & women is a wee bit outdated & immoral.
12:34 November 6, 2012 by Roy E
I oftentimes find European comments regarding American politics simultaneously amusing and tragic.

It's amusing to see wildly off base the conclusions uttered with such certitude and stridency. One almost feels embarrassed for the speaker's disconnect from the reality because in many cases, it's not the individual's fault.

It's sad because so many conclusions are based on bad and/or incomplete information. People do not get the full story from the media. On both sides of the ocean, the media is guilty of two sins: sins of commission and sins of omission. The result is selective, biased reporting designed to create a desired narrative. Instead of providing all the facts so that one can form their own conclusion, the media presents is what they want you to believe.

A fine example is Sveriges Radio. Whenever the topic of America comes up, it's like taking a trip to an alternate universe. The listener does not get a report. They get get as you get a presentation trying to drive you to a predetermined conclusion about how you should think and what you should believe. It's truly sad. It reminds me of a cattle drive.

But this same distorted presentation of the news happens in the American Media as well. This bias created a huge market for Fox News because people knew that instead of the full story, they were getting agenda-driven narratives from mainstream media. Fox News stepped into this new reporting void and is now vilified by the Left because they dare challenge the monopoly on the narrative they once held on the narrative. (There are also a couple British reporters who report on America more accurately than the legacy American media. Hats off to them.)

Fox News is extremely disturbing to prejudiced Lefties pursuing their confirmation bias. It truly 'harshes their mellow' to have their ideas challenged and contradicted.

Yes, The "Be tolerant or we will destroy you' crowd' gets very angry when people have the temerity to suggest that there may be more than one side (their side) to a story.

Isn't that true, fikatid?
13:24 November 6, 2012 by momscar
CJ, did the powers that be in Sweden do anything to save Volvo from the Chinese or save Saab from going under?? Yet you praise Obama for saving American auto. The problem with our automakers are unions and I think someone that actually has business experience could have turned it around.

Nobody vetted Obama prior to the last election and they refuse to report anything negative now. Just look at our ambassador in Libya. He doesn't want to investigate what happened until after the election. Pffffftt. He LIED from day 1, and anyone that didn't think that this was a planned attack on SEPT 11, is a fool,

America isn't supposed to be a cradle to grave socialist country but that is Obama's vision. Most of his upbringing was around Marxist sympathizers.

Did you know that if he wasn't president he would not be able to get enough security clearance to sweep the situation room?? He can thank his good friend William Ayers for that.

You may think that Obama is good for the rest of the world, but he is not good for America, and after all, that's what counts..

Roy E. "thumbs up"
19:19 November 6, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
momscar: He did save the auto industry by bailing it out, one of the first things he did as president. Whats wrong with socialism ? free healthcare ? Another thing, at least 50% of Americans who will vote today disagree with you. Volvo, VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Renault, FIAT are all unionised & there is nothing wrong with them. If you live in Sweden you pay more tax on your salary, but as I point out the healthcare is free, chemotherapy, operations won`t bankrupt you like in the US ..there is no cut-off either. If you live in Sweden & you love Bush & Romney then go back to´your beloved America, just wait until you get sick or have an accident or get sacked ! Yanks are brainwashed & ignorant, that way they are easier to control.
22:29 November 6, 2012 by Eric1
fikatid: Thank you for your kind words. Leftist are always so polite and respectful.
23:29 November 6, 2012 by Richard S
There are many things wrong with America. But America did not get

to be a super power by disregarding human enterprise and letting the

government do everything. I do not and never have depended on the

government except for national security. I have worked for myself and

family. Paid for everything including healthcare as it was my responsibility.

Those who do not want responsibility for their actions are insecure as

to their abilities. I do not condemn Sweden for wanting something

other than what I believe. And there are many Americans that

believe we are heading in the wrong direction. Ask the Russians how

well Socialism has succeeded. Everyone equal means that only those

willing to work will provide for those who don't . Against human nature

I think.
09:47 November 8, 2012 by smilingjack
The part of the vote not reported was a big thumbs up for legalising cannabis! several states have legalised - YES LEGALISED cannabis use. Add to that a growing support for gay marriage in the USA and you get an idea that thosy crazy draconian old christians are losing power. As less people watch TV and can finally get the truth it was bound to happen! The yanks can try and brainwash kiddies into believing the world is flat and 5000 years old. That the yanks are all powerful and conquering and warm and fuzzy - but in the end the truth got out.

A great step forward for america and for ending religious mumbo jumbo.
10:30 November 8, 2012 by Old Stone
Oh my gosh!!! I had no idea I was narrow minded!!! Thank you for this informative article. Now what do I do?!??
12:53 November 8, 2012 by Danne8
Narrow-minded about politics? Well, let me tell you The Local, the narrow-mindedness does not just stop there...

Oh! and look! there's a new party that perhaps Americans can consider for the next elections: http://www.theswedishparty.org/
16:02 November 8, 2012 by kenny8076
what is wrong with peoples obsession that Healthcare and college in socialist country's is free?!?!

CJ from Sunshine Desserts..... HEALTHCARE IS NOT FREE!!!!!! do you have ANY idea of the amount of taxes they pay here for their mediocre healthcare? the same system that continually has reports of ambulances not responding to 112 calls deemed not serious enough and the person dies!! people are incredible..... 25% sales tax...30-60% income tax. 12% tax on grocerys, tax on fuel (try $8.50) a gallon). There was a story on here the other day saying swedes (and me, albeit temporary) pay something like 70% of their monthly income on taxes, from everyday spending and income.......

and dont get me started on their education.... people say its free.... Well in America we say "you get what you pay for"...... perhaps they should start actually paying for school, then maybe it could be competitive and worthwhile
23:07 November 8, 2012 by Camlon
So Swedes are not narrow-minded? Most Americans are narrow-minded about politics AND most Swedes are narrow-minded about politics.
04:37 November 9, 2012 by Billerica
It is difficult to compare America ,with over 300 million legal residents, not counting the 12 million or more illegals, to a population of 9 million Swedish residents. Our country is based on a constitution that supports a democracy. In Sweden, which I happen to love, you have socialism. It works for you but America was not based on socialistic principals. When our founding Fathers lead a revolution against England it was to reduce the control of government on the citizens. What is happening now is a reversal, more control less individual responciblity.
07:17 November 9, 2012 by Bentham

No, Sweden isn't a socialist country and has never been. It's a *welfare* country built upon a market economy. Get your facts straight Yankee.


"Socialism (play /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/) is an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity." End quote.

07:38 November 9, 2012 by KossBoss

Perhaps you should fix your own messed up public school system first before you post your bull? US spends most money in the world per student, and yet the nation sinks lower and lower in the international education rankings. Well, the dollar is weak so it makes sense I guess. So what do you get from your well funded high school students? A large bunch of illiterate dropouts who can't even point out Europe or Africa on a world map? Say, Yale next? So much for "you get what you pay for". You should be happy for the floods of well science educated Bulgarians, Russians and Asians who fill your ivy league unis. Without them you'd be nothing.
11:22 November 9, 2012 by Bentham
@Richard S

Allright Richard. You forgot that you also once depended on all your socialist funded schools which prepared you for college or land your first job by flipping

burgers at the local joint to make your first well earned bucks.. Right? ..

Sweden didn't get it's wealth from disregarding people's enterprise either so please to lump Sweden together with old Soviet which relied on a completely

different system. In fact, it was thanks to all the inventiveness and hard work which built up all the successful private companies, private investments in

the building of the railways, private donations to technical colleges such as Chalmers and KTH and the large private export sector that made the country to

what it is today. You have to understand that Sweden's welfare model presupposes and is built upon a market economy, which means being dependant on private companies' revenues where people have an incitement to compete for the best paying jobs. That's far from socialism where *everything* is owned by the state or by a cooperative. So in reality, it doesn't encourage people to depend on the state as it would be impossible to live a decent life only on government

hand outs. But in case you'd need it, it would make you survive, but not much more. People do however, get benefits such as healthcare, university education, childcare etc which everyone has already paid for through their taxes. Along with it there are also private options for healthcare, dental care and private schools which complete and unburden the regular state services. Some nights ago an American researcher in economy told in an interview that Americans in reality actually get less for the same amount spent on private healthcare in US than Swedes get through taxes in Sweden. In reality many Americans have to

spend just as much or more on health insurances, childcare, schools etc as Swedes to live up to the same standard. The difference is that you can choose

between many more options in the US and have the freedom if you want to pay or not. But having such a system presupposes that people have decently paid jobs. The essence of the American dream is that *everyone* can become rich through hard work, so in that way it's essence is equality as in the meaning of gaining a decent or rich life is possible for everyone as long as everyone is prepared to chip in. So good so far. Unfortunately one cannot control the world economy and therefore not choose

to stay employed or have a steady income during rough times. It all depends on the state of the nation which system people prefer to suit them best. During

recession such as now in the US, I think it's no coincidence that the Americans have re-elected a democratic president a second time as people prioritize

stability before anything else.
11:29 November 9, 2012 by eppie
It is not strange europeans or others actually would en masse vote for Obama if they could. Not because he is so great, but just because he is not republican.

Voting republican would be the same as saying you like the Taliban, or say you vote for Putin. The republican party is outdated, and it is time that the US start basing its politics on modern day life instead of on a few100 years old document from a time they were under attack by England and Indians.

We in Europe should however not forget that history is much different for us than for the US. When we started to build up our society based on science and humanism, all kinds of religious outcasts went to america to build up a life. They had to do everything themselves and start a country to protect themselves from Spanish, English, French and locals.

I for one hope for change, and hope the GOP will start behaving like modern world citizens instead of just frustrating every Obama step into the modern world.
19:02 November 9, 2012 by MarshaLynn
It is so ridiculous what liberals equate as modern and intelligent, whether they be American or European. It is intelligent and modern to them to give up your personal liberty and hand it over to a huge government that will take care of you cradle to grave. That is precisely what America was all about from the beginning, i.e., to have personal liberty, to chart your own course, to not be under the thumb of any government that lords it over you. The government was to be of the people by the people. That is certainly not true in Europe, and it is gradually becoming untrue in America.

In America we have hoardes of highly unintelligent ignorant people who just want free Obamaphones. That is as deep as their thinking processes go. Just give them free stuff and they will vote for you; then they return to their lives which are barely above the level of an animal. They can barely speak at all, just lots of guttural sounds strung together that apparently one another understand.

Then there are the more educated liberals who operate on the level of feelings. If they feel a certain way, then that is their truth. These people are supposedly highly intelligent, yet they lack the capacity to see that trading personal liberty for physical comforts is a bad trade. They are the misguided ones, who operate strictly on the level of feelings and are unable to follow logical argument to the contrary.

The other issue is morality. Apparently morality is outdated with liberals. To them, you should just be free to engage in sex whenever with whatever. This is considered enlightened. Never mind that time shows, and will continue to show, that such behaviors are terrible for human beings. Destroys the family, leads to disease, other stuff. These people are narcissists. No point trying to reason with them. They too live barely above the animal level, though they appear oh so elite and oh so intelligent outwardly.

I realize I am wasting my breath. Reap what you sow, liberals. Unfortunately, you force the rest of us to reap it with you.
20:41 November 9, 2012 by sgbsse
It is funny that whenever something goes wrong people would be questioning "why the government let this happen" "why is the government not helping?" "why is it not regulated" And yet they do not want "BIG" government.

Many Americans complain about the so call "Obamacare" how many actually sit down and go through the document item by item. Whatever you got from the campaigning Ad are mostly not true from both sides.

Check for the facts on FactCheck.org
23:02 November 9, 2012 by bcterry
@ MarshaLynn,

Right on point, well said.
03:50 November 10, 2012 by Eric1
Swedish politics lacks diversity of ideals. It's all one version of socialism or another. Any other thoughts are prohibited.
14:21 November 10, 2012 by useronthenet
I think most Americans don't really have a choice do they, it's either Republicans or Democrats. In any event I don't think it will make much of a difference whoever gets in power. 14 trillion dollars in debt and rising. Massive unemployment. The only democratic country (and I use that terminology very loosly) that doesn't have a National health service for everyone regardless of their financial position (even Cubans get better health care than the average American) Unelected and undemocratic banking system ie: the Federal Reserve Bank (owned by an anonymous entity) which is paid an exstortionate amount of money by the US Government. I'm sure George Washington would be proud if he was alive today. Yep must be nice living in the land of the free (NOT),
19:26 November 10, 2012 by bcterry

"Yep must be nice living in the land of the free (NOT), "

Yet the Cubans, and millions of others from every corner of the planet are doing whatever they can to to get to America to live under those terrible conditions where there is no freedom.
09:58 November 11, 2012 by Lavaux
Quoting the inimitable Mark Steyn:

"In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There's no one out there on the planet — whether it's "the rich" or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, U.S.-government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government."

Mark Steyn's comments are factual, i.e. stating facts. Yes, facts; remember what those are? You won't get facts from the Swedish media, who simply ape the American legacy media's supine worship of Obama and his regime.

Let's recap Mr. Steyn's comments: For every $5.60 Obama borrowed and spent, he got $1 of GDP growth. Would you borrow 36 kr to get 7 kr back? If you would, how long could you do so before becoming insolvent?

Next, will the rest of the world, including Sweden, spend 19% or even 6% of its GDP buying US Treasuries in order to bankroll America's expanding welfare state? Never gonna happen. Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain are out for sure.

Finally, when the Federal Reserve (equivalent of Sveriges Riksbank) buys 70% of Obama's debt, what it's actually doing is printing money equivalent to 70% of Obama's debt, or approx. $4 trillion thus far. Would you lend money to a country that can repay you in printed money hot off the presses (this is known as "monetizing debt")? Of course not.

In view of the foregoing facts, one must conclude that there isn't enough money in all the world to bankroll Obama's America. But our Community Organizer in Chief does not believe this. After all, he began his career as a political extortionist, shaking down banks, insurance companies and city governments for unearned cash and benefits. Therefore it's safe to say that the Obama regime is not going to fix any of these problems. If not, America will collapse and probably drag Europe down with it, leaving Europe at the mercy of Russia and China.

Bet you haven't heard this from DN, SvD or SVT 1 or 2, huh? Get ready for a brave new world, folks.
09:13 November 12, 2012 by entry
Stop wasting oxygen!

10:34 November 12, 2012 by what would thomas paine do
Lavaux: "Reason, blah, blah, Logic, blah, blah, Reason."

Sheeple: "Logically, if Lavaux weighs the same as a duck, he's made of wood. And therefore, a witch. Burn him!"
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