Critics were understandably puzzled last Saturday when President Donald Trump appeared to reference a terrorist attack in Sweden that didn’t occur. In front of 9,000 supporters at a rally in Melbourne, FL, Trump said, “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe it?”
After Swedish officials and others mocked Trump for inventing violence that didn’t exist, the president admitted that he mistook documentary footage from a Fox News report for breaking news. This gaffe might have given his critics enough ammunition to fuel another week of wisecracks and warnings about AMERICAN AUTHORITARIANISM…but their glee was cut short only two days later when riots erupted in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby.
Suddenly, the “peaceful Swedish utopia” memes seemed even more absurd than Trump’s original quote.
In an area of Sweden with a heavy immigrant/refugee concentration, around 30 masked thugs hurled rocks at police after they arrested a man on drug charges. It may not have been a terrorist attack, but it showed that Sweden’s open-door policies have had a different effect on the country than liberals were claiming just a couple of days earlier.
In an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, two political leaders from Sweden said Trump was right on the money when he talked about the problems now plaguing the country. Sweden Democrats Jimmie Akesson and Mattias Karlsson wrote, “Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems. If anything, he understated them.”
Taking a different tact than many of their colleagues, the two Swedes said the world was getting a skewed picture of reality from the mainstream media.
“Riots and social unrest have become a part of everyday life,” Akesson and Karlsson wrote. “Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel are regularly attacked. Serious riots in 2013, involving many suburbs with large immigrant populations, lasted for almost a week. Gang violence is booming. Despite very strict firearms laws, gun violence is five times as common in Sweden, in total, as in the capital cities of our three Nordic neighbors combined.”
The two politicians pleaded with the U.S. to learn from their mistakes.
“For the sake of the American people,” they wrote, “with whom we share so many strong historical and cultural ties, we can only hope that the leaders in Washington won’t make the same mistakes that our socialist and liberal politicians did.”
As long as Trump is in office, we’re quite confident that we will not.