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A Turning Point in Sweden

A Turning Point in Sweden
The deplorables are awakening, but not the elites.
By Bruce Bawer

The statistics may not impress anybody currently living in Chicago or Los Angeles, but the level of violent crime in once-placid Sweden has risen so steadily over the last few decades, with bombings, car burnings, and machete attacks now as familiar fare as meatballs and lingonberries, that Norway’s state TV website, which ordinarily deep-sixes such unpleasantnesss, recently ran an unusually long article on the topic. Noting that Swedish elections were scheduled for September 11, it reported that crime, which only four percent of voters considered a big issue in 2014, was now cited as a major concern by more than ten times that number.

Unsurprisingly, the NRK article managed to go on about violent crime in Sweden for 2300 words without using any of the words that are key to understanding the problem – among them Islam, immigration, and disastrously failed integration policies. Nor did it mention that, as I wrote here last month, the September 11 elections would mark the electoral debut of the Nuance Party (Partiet Nyans), which is devoted to promoting all things Islamic – from building more mosques and permitting niqab everywhere to criminalizing the criticism of Islam and opening the floodgates even more widely to Muslim immigration.

As I also noted last month, the Swedish elites, who’d previously been perfectly sanguine about their country’s ongoing Islamization and the high crime levels that have so far had a relatively minor impact on their own tony neighborhoods, were reacting with panic to the advent of the Nuance Party, whose founder, Mikail Yüksel, has ties to an Islamist movement called the Gray Wolves. This party’s appearance on the scene marks a sea change: for decades, Muslims constituted a voting bloc that helped prop up Social Democrats’ power – which was one of the absurdly short-sighted reasons why the Social Democrats were loath to limit immigration. Now, however, the nation’s Muslim population has grown so large – and has turned an increasing number of urban areas into veritable Muslim enclaves capable of electing members of their own communities to local offices – that they’ll soon no longer need to ask for, or even demand, what they want: they’ll be in a position to take it.

Which shouldn’t surprise anybody. Critics have long warned – and have been demonized for doing so – that Sweden’s irresponsible approaches to immigration, social services, and crime control were leading it down a road to disaster; if the Nuance Party were to gain a foothold on September 11, it might well suggest that the final corner had been turned and that the finish line was in sight.

Well, the numbers are in, although they took a while to count. Not until Wednesday evening did Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson concede that the left-wing parties, including her own Social Democrats, had won three fewer votes than the so-called “bourgeois” (non-socialist) parties. And according to Swedish Television, the Nuance Party seems to have done very well indeed in some key city council elections, winning 30.9% of the vote in the Rosengård district of Malmö, for example, and 25.2% in the Västra Hisingen district of Gothenburg. Not bad for a fledgling cabal of Jew-haters and jihad fans.

And at the national level? This part is interesting, too. During the last decade or so, even as the Muslim voting bloc has demonstrated its increasing strength, the number of Swedes who, resisting official propaganda, recognize this development as alarming – and cast their votes accordingly – has also grown apace. Hence the incredible success of the Sweden Democrats (SD). Founded in 1988, the party opposes mass Muslim immigration and candidly addresses Muslim crime, self-segregation, welfare exploitation, and contempt for Western values. SD is anti-EU and pro-NATO, supports Israel and the relocation of the Swedish embassy to Jerusalem, and (imagine that this even needs to be said) opposes child marriages, forced marriages, and polygamous marriages.

In its early years, SD was the constant target of vilification by the media, which called its members racists, Islamophobes, even Nazis. The major parties, which regarded SD as a gang of pariahs, used various machinations to keep it from the levers of power. But eventually SD grew too big to exclude. In 2019 the cordon sanitaire that kept it out of the insiders’ club broke down when the Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson entered into talks with SD leader Jimmie Åkesson. The next year, for the first time, SD won seats in the Riksdag, Sweden’s parliament, its 20 seats (out of 349) making it the nation’s sixth largest party.

Since then, as Sweden’s Muslim population has risen and Muslim street violence has exploded, SD has grown steadily. In the 2014 elections it won 49 seats, becoming Sweden’s third largest party. In 2018, it remained in third place with 62 seats. And after last Sunday’s election it will have 73 seats, becoming the country’s second largest party after the Social Democrats, who have 108 seats. Once the numbers had started coming in, even the mainstream Swedish media felt obliged to declare that SD – which they still despise – was the day’s big winner. In some places, SD’s numbers were nothing less than spectacular, for a country where eight parties are represented in the Riksdag. In nineteen of 290 municipalities, it’s the top party. It got its highest percentage of the vote – 42.7% – in Sjöbo, a town of 20,000 with sky-high crime rates owing to the proximity of the Muslim-heavy crime center of Malmö.

This explosion of support for SD is another thing that shouldn’t have surprised anybody. But it did. Just as New Yorkers, Los Angelenos, and San Franciscans still vote for the Democrats who’ve turned their cities into crime-ridden hellholes, urban Swedes continue to form a reliable voter base for the Social Democrats. As the editors of Expressen wrote on Monday, the Social Democrats tried to turn the election into a referendum on SD, arguing that no decent Swede would vote for such a party. It was, in other words, Hillary on the 2016 campaign trail all over again, calling Trump supporters “deplorables.” Or north London snobs saying that only a bigoted “Little Englander” would vote for Brexit.

But on Election Day, instead of trouncing SD, Sweden’s leftist parties were handed – just as with Trump and Brexit – what Expressen called a “real shocker.” In an editorial for Aftonbladet, Lovisa Arvidsson spelled out what should have been blindingly obvious a long time ago: “If you take the bus out of a city, onto the country roads and into smaller towns, people’s voting patterns change.” If the big city is likely to be “a strong social-democratic stronghold” with pockets of support for the traditional “bourgeois” parties, out in the boonies the proles are in the tank for the Sweden Democrats. Drawing the obvious comparison to Trump and Brexit, Arvidsson insisted (as the media feel obliged to do) that part of SD’s appeal is pure racism, but also called on political leaders to understand why SD attracts voters “who live far from power” but who’ve been harmed by the policies formulated in the nation’s power centers. It’s time, she argued, to stop ignoring these voters and start taking their grievances seriously.

She’s right, of course. To be sure, Sweden isn’t the only Western country whose big-city elites have backed policies that harm those countries’ ordinary citizens while benefiting foreigners. But Sweden is a case unto itself: its decades-long mismanagement of immigration and integration, which will almost certainly bring down Sweden as we know it, is a cautionary tale for the whole world. On Wednesday, AFP quoted an Iraqi immigrant who said he understood SD’s big win. “Burning cars, shootings….People get sick of it. I have many friends who are immigrants and still voted SD.”

SD’s electoral success proves that more and more Swedish voters – rural ones, anyway – can read the writing on the wall. But Swedish politicians? Not so much. Appearing on TV after the Social Democrats’ big loss, veteran journalist Willy Silberstein turned reality on its head by claiming that in the U.S. after Trump’s win, and in the U.K. after Brexit, “racially motivated violence rose noticeably,” and that SD’s win would have similar consequences. Although it looks as if the non-socialist parties will wind up with a slight edge in the Riksdag over their socialist counterparts, it’s unlikely that they’ll allow SD, which is now the largest party on their side of the aisle, to form a government. Indeed, they’ll almost certainly attempt to put together a “bourgeois” government that excludes SD. In other words, the fools who run Sweden seem determined to keep ignoring its ongoing downfall for as long as they can.

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