LETTER: How others see the USA

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Below is an excerpt from a letter by a German and now Swedish physician to a member of his extended family in the USA.  Comfortably compensated under the Swedish heath system, the writer has devoted himself to treating patients in distant, isolated locations… even north of the Arctic Circle.  

…Well, Trump. You know, first I was somehow surprised. But you know what, I understand the people that choose him. Right now, even in Europe, there is a general feeling for many people to be powerless, rules by some kind of elite that always ruled and not listening to them. We have this problem in all levels.

Right now they build a new hospital I Stockholm. Financed by taxes. Probably the most expensive hospital in the world. Everything in the organization has changed, the changes organized by consultants above the head of the professionals (nurses, doctors…) They feel powerless, not respected, just like quite a lot of people in the US.

The discussion about Trump should not be so much about him, he is an a-hole, no question. The discussion should be about why the ruling parties, Republicans and Democrats, were unable to defeat him, unable to present a alternative. Sanders was one, at least for me.

All the discussion now is about him (Trump) and his team. That’s the wrong focus. He was elected by quite many people and they had a reason. Our (maybe US a little more than Europe) political system is sick. Son follows father as president, wife tries to follow husband – dynasty?

Even in systems lower than that if you are somehow high up, you can do what you want. Look at the industry. There are CEO´s driving companies into ruin; they disappear for some time and then they get new jobs somewhere else. Well payed.

Anther problem is that wealth is shared unequal. There are too big differences between rich and poor. Just 30 years ago a worker could at least have reason to  hope that his/her children would do better in the future, now this hope is much less. And that is a problem.