Super Tuesday has come and gone. While Americans were voting the Swedes were eating huge amounts of semlas. Apparently it was official semla day. A semla is a delicious baked good with lots of whipped cream and some almond paste like thing. So in a bit of a twist, it was the Swedes, who pride themselves on political involvement, who sat idly by and shoved their faces full of fattiness while Americans went out and voted.
But I digress. Super Tuesday got quite a bit of pres here. And with that press I began to notice just how much weight American politics carries around the world. Because regardless of your views towards the US, the country is a major player in world politics. And so, with an election like the one that looms in November there have been plenty of opinions.
And everyone assumes a Democrat will win. Which one, no one knows. But the majority of press here is focused on the Democrats. In fact, I was speaking with one of DCPs friends. A French girl who studies political science. She didn’t even know that the Republicans also had primary elections. She’s not dumb. It was just never discussed. Her view of American politics focused solely on the Democrats. That’s what international universities teach.
It’s also what the newspapers report. Very little has been written about the Republicans. It will be interesting to see what happens now that McCain has emerged as the frontrunner with Romney dropping out. I’m going to throw it out there and say even less now that the only real race for the nomination is on the Democratic side. We’ll see.
What I find so interesting about this whole situation is the lack of journalistic balance. That lack of balanced reporting is one reason, I believe, that the world was so shocked when Bush was re-elected. It came as a surprise to Swedes. I remember. I was here after the election. Of course, when the Swedish press focuses only on the Democrats, a Republican win would come as a surprise. Rather than giving a good idea of the pulse of American politics, reporting here gives a good idea of the pulse of Swedish views on how American politics should be. Which doesn’t work. The Swedes aren’t voting.
I’ve also realized that no matter how conservative the government here in Sweden might consider itself. It’s not. The current Prime Minister decided to throw his weight, whatever that might be worth, behind Obama. So here is a government, that a majority of people in Sweden are disgusted with because of their conservative leanings, backing a Democrat in the American elections.
It will be interesting to see what happens. November is getting closer. And it could be historic.