I'm in the land of ice and snow and universal health care. It's been a great trip. No headlines about 45 in the papers! Woo hoo! Beer Garden above Stockholm Yesterday I happened to be in Stockholm [...]">

Elections in the land of ice and snow and universal healthcare

I'm in the land of ice and snow and universal health care. It's been a great trip. No headlines about 45 in the papers! Woo hoo!

Beer Garden above Stockholm 
Yesterday I happened to be in Stockholm during their main election. The results aren't final yet, but the center left current ruling party has a slim lead. Guardian story

I was visiting my friend Dan M, I've known him since the early Atrios days, but never met in person. He had lots of great stories and insight into the political scene there. l'll write more about the fun part of the trip soon, and try not to bore people with my vegan meal adventures, 399 shots of Viking ships, mittens and statues. (Oslo's Statue park is Amazing!)

Viking Burial Ship (non-burned variety) 

I asked him about the rise of the anti-immigration party (called Sweden Democrats). He explained that their roots were with the Nazi skin heads, and to not listen to the English speaking press about them, because they get it wrong. I'm glad I talked to Dan, because that night I watched the BBC do a story about "The New Sweden" and it was clear they were pushing the following narrative: "Sweden thinks they are so great and egalitarian but they are becoming racists and bigots, just like America and England.They aren't so great after all!" Luckily, during one of his interviews with unemployed people saying how crummy Sweden was, a refugee/immigrant came up and talked about how fair Sweden was and how happy he was here. That kind of shut the reporter up, but not before he took the complaints of three unemployed people to the current political leader.

The reporter pushed the politician about problems with immigration and asked if the problems of the people he talked to was, "fake news." Luckily the politician was skilled enough to push back on the faulty premise. (Dear BBC, please don't use Donald Trump words in your interviews it makes you sound stupid, even with your British accent)

The immigration issue is real, but Dan M explained that as Sweden has taken a lot of refugees the right wing party has used the situation to blow the same racist dog whistles as in America. One of the politicians on the far right said the immigrants, "just need to learn to be more Swedish!" (as in change their skin color)
When I saw the "Queers Against Borders"
I knew I had found my people 
We actually walked into a political rally the previous day. Although I couldn't understand the language, the pacing and the cheering just SOUNDED like a fascist speech or Trump rally (Do they all listen to Hitler's speeches to practice?) I wasn't sure until I spotted the protesters penned in by the police who were holding a Queens Against Borders sign. The place they were speaking was an astroturfed location that Rick Steve's said "Latte Dad's" hang out. That's because of the intelligent family leave polices of the Swedish government. I saw a lot of Dads with strollers and kids in carriers. Like this guy!
Fit hot guys hold babies too! 
Why is the idea that you should invest in the health and safety of the people in your country so hard for Conservatives to get? What is that about? (There are multiple books that explain it better than I can, ask your local progressive.)

The thing that I noticed (and Dan confirmed) is that having health care makes a huge difference in the quality of people's lives. Imagine a world where everyone feels better and is less concerned about their health care. I'm visiting it now. Why don't we take a chance on it?

Why are Conservatives so against this? Earlier i I checked in with Digby and saw this piece
https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/theyre-still-trying-to-kill-us.htm about how 20 state AGs are tying to kill the ACA insurance pre-existing condition section. What a horrible policy these people are pursuing.

The smell of sweaty nervousness of Americans

People kept telling us how expensive it is in Scandinavia, but with the cost they get something we don't, a removal of the undercurrent of "sweaty nervousness" that Americans feel about health care. l realize I may be projecting based on a small sample size of everyone I know in American and the people I've talked to on our trip, but Dan confirmed that observation sounds right and he liked the term. It also might be because I know 3 people right now who are in financial crisis because of health care issues, so it has really focused my attention.

The right wing media in the US pushes the resentment that someone out there has something they don't. They also tap into the feeling many people have, "I work hard for my crappy-anxiety filled life, so everyone else should too!' People try to understand how politician
S can be so nasty about providing health care to all. Are they just mean? Hateful racists? Sure, some of them. But politicians, and rich Conservatives with great health care, also believe that, "sweaty nervousness" in people is a good thing. They believe it makes them more productive. They also know it makes them stick to a job.

They see it as a benefit that health care is tied to employment. It's good for people to not get too cocky, quit their job andé
and run off and protest like a dirty fng hippie!

When we destroy our planet, THEN we will learn

I'm reading a great book by Becky Chambers, in which the humans have had to leave the planet we messed up. But as they moved to the stars they realized that they couldn't view their generation spaceships as having unlimited resources. They needed to see them as closed systems. They also understood that massive inequality in resources bread resentment. On "The Fleet" all the people know they have a place to stay and food to eat. (I'm not to the health care part yet). They see they are part of the whole system.

Now is the time to push for Universal Health care. If the stigmata is good, and the unemployment rate is low, the excuse "We can't afford it! "is false, it's only driven by the health care for profit people and the desire to keep some folks more miserable than others as a motivational tool to stick to a job. But when the unemployment goes up again, that health care goes away. That's why the ACA and its insurance reforms are so important. There are millions of us in the sweaty nervousness of the "gig economy" who can't count on future money for housing and food and who don't have health care from a job. Contrary to politicians like Paul Ryan, we will still be motivated to work hard even if we have health care.

We end our trip in Canada, the home of the great Tommy Douglas, who brought universal healthcare to Canada. If Americans don't want to learn from Scandinavians, maybe we can learn from Canadians. I know listen to the wisdom of Canadians as often as possible like William Shatner, Canadian.