Barack Obama about Sweden in The Daily Show

Barack Obama about Sweden in The Daily Show
Barack Obama about Sweden in The Daily Show

Published: Just now

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Barack Obama on
Barack Obama on “The Daily Show”.

Barack Obama was on a talk show to talk about disinformation and the threat to democracy.

Then he took Sweden and the new government as an example of how the world has changed.

– We always used to think: Swedes, they are funny, they are so relaxed and democratic, he said.

Former US President Barack Obama made several appearances in New York on Thursday. First, he gave a speech at his own foundation where he warned that democracy cannot be taken for granted.

– Democratic ideas are currently under attack around the world. We see it manifested in the unjust and brutal war in Ukraine, we see it in the decline taking place in what were once well-established democracies, he said, according to the Independent.

In his continued reasoning, Obama brought up Sweden and the change of government after the election in September.

– We see it in the escalating polarization and misinformation that was so evident in the last elections, whether it was in Brazil, the Philippines, Italy, Sweden, or here in the United States.

Obama continued in a doom-filled tone:

– What we see, what is being challenged, are the basic principles of democracy itself.

Be on The Daily Show

Later in the evening, Barack Obama appeared on The Daily Show where he was interviewed by host Trevor Noah.

Even then, the discussion revolved around disinformation and the threat to democracy.

– What we have seen in the US and elsewhere is that the belief in facts is abandoned. If we cannot have a debate based on facts, we cannot find better solutions. We start talking in slogans and nonsense: “I didn’t lose the election, it’s broken over there,” Obama said in a clear reference to Donald Trump.

Obama reasoned that people get scared when change happens too quickly and that they then become vulnerable to populist politicians.

– That appearance usually involves saying: The problems you are experiencing are someone else’s fault. Those over there. It’s immigrants, it’s gay, it’s Hindu, it’s Muslim, and so on.

Obama continued:

– Democracy, by definition, requires that you get along with people who disagree with you. The second thing that happens is that these countries become less homogeneous.

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Jimmie Åkesson, Ulf Kristersson, Ebba Busch and Johan Pehrson.
Jimmie Åkesson, Ulf Kristersson, Ebba Busch and Johan Pehrson. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Then he brought up the change of power in Sweden once more:

– You just got a right-wing party in Sweden. We always used to think: Swedes, they’re funny, they’re so relaxed and democratic, aren’t they? But if there are a lot of immigrants, people suddenly start to get nervous.

In the next breath, Obama began talking about how the threat to democracy can be defeated:

– Part of what I think we have to do is stick to the principles of equality, autonomy and representation, that everyone gets a seat at the table. But I also think we need to find a language and a story, a way to tell the story, about how we can come together without it being so big a threat to people who are uncomfortable with change.

Obama: “See you, Sven!”

Later in the program, Trevor Noah asked if Obama sees “inclusive capitalism as a paradox.” Then the ex-president talked about Sweden again.

– I mentioned Sweden and some of the problems they have due to immigration. On the other hand, the Scandinavian countries are capitalist and work very well.

Trevor Noah objected that many Americans see the countries of Scandinavia as fundamentally socialist.

Obama countered:

– Not really. People pay more in taxes and have more common ownership, but you still go to work and you get paid. It’s not like you go into the store, take what you want and pop out: “Okay, see you, Sven!”, said a laughing Obama, waving his hand theatrically.

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“Okay, see you, Sven,” says Obama.

The article is in Swedish

Tags: Barack Obama Sweden Daily Show

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