Another immigration backlash
“You’d think the lesson would sink in by now,” said John Fund. Political elites in both Europe and the U.S. continue to dismiss “deplorables” who object to a massive influx of immigrants, but those voters “are going to have their say.” Sweden is the latest country to pay the price for refusing to “grapple with the legitimate sentiments of working-class voters.” This week’s elections saw the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats (SD) take 18 percent of the vote—enough to deny a governing majority to the traditional left- and right-wing parties. The SD’s base is primarily concerned with “the poor assimilation of migrants to Sweden.” Liberal Sweden, with just 10 million citizens, proudly took in 165,000 asylum seekers in one year. Many of these mostly Muslim immigrants have struggled to find work or adapt to Swedish culture, resulting in insular neighborhoods where crime and gangs are rampant and many newcomers depend wholly on generous welfare programs. By making it “forbidden” to even discuss this, Sweden’s establishment fueled the Sweden Democrats’ rise—the same pattern that led to Brexit and President Trump’s election. When millions of voters believe their leaders “aren’t telling the truth” about sensitive issues, backlashes are inevitable.