SWEDISH JOURNALIST KARIN Henriksson holds up a notebook in which she listed ways Europeans find American politics odd. Sitting with her is Brian Smith, co-director of Ripon College’s Center for Politics and the People, which hosted Henriksson’s talk.	          		          Ian Stepleton photo
SWEDISH JOURNALIST KARIN Henriksson holds up a notebook in which she listed ways Europeans find American politics odd. Sitting with her is Brian Smith, co-director of Ripon College’s Center for Politics and the People, which hosted Henriksson’s talk. Ian Stepleton photo

     IF THE VIEWS OF ONE Swedish journalist are representative of Europeans in general, it seems a few generalizations could be made. ...

     From gun rights to our voting record, it seems Americans are out of step with our brethren from the “old world.”

     That’s one major takeaway from Tuesday’s visit by Karin Henriksson, a Swedish journalist who recently penned a biography about Donald Trump.
Speaking at Ripon College Tuesday morning, her talk was titled “A View from Europe of Donald Trump,” but Trump proved to be a bit of a footnote to the conversation.

     Henriksson has reported from around the world as a foreign correspondent for one of Sweden’s leading national newspapers, the daily Svenska Dagbladet ...

     That perspective seemed to inform her views as she gave a 15-minute, semi-prepared talk that included how Europeans, and Swedes in specific, see America.

     “I was putting together a little list of the issues where I think ... the differences are the largest,” she said at the outset of her talk. “Let me start with guns. Every time there is a mass shooting in America, the Swedes go, ‘How is this possible? Can’t they do something about it?’ ... [But] it’s a totally different attitude [in America] about guns, about the right to defend yourself.”

    She also argued with President Trump’s assessment of taxes in America.

     “[He] says that the United States has the highest taxes in the world. No!” she said. “No; that’s simply not true. Ask any Scandinavian.”

     She also drew a distinction in Americans’ attitude and policies on health care.

     “Sweden has a national health-care system; health care is considered a right, and there are large subsidies so that somebody who has a chronic disease doesn’t have to pay a lot out of their own pocket,” she said.

     And on the issue of climate change: “In all western Europe there is agreement that something has to be done, that this is not a left/right-wing issue anymore.” ...

     To read the entire column, see the Oct. 26, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.