Submitted by NIck Kamran of Letters From Norway
On Friday, January 20th, 2017, I went straight from work to the Hard Rock Café in Oslo to witness a most historic event: President Trump’s inauguration and I spoke with NRK afterward.
America is Both an Immovable Object and Unstoppable Force:
Watching the events leading up to the speech, I saw a grandfather enjoying the family circus with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Most notable was Barron’s admiration for his father. I got the picture that President Donald Trump, despite all the bling, is a rather simple guy who takes comfort with his family and close friends. He doesn’t drink and lives with purpose. We have to remember that Donald Trump is the oldest person to every take the oath of office, he is already a billionaire, married to a beautiful woman, and raised five kids. At 70, he endured a brutal campaign, winning on half the budget, while the whole world stood against him, including his own political party. He could have walked away with a huge following and start a TV network or another reality show, making much more than being a mere public servant.
President Trump spoke directly to the American people that day with conviction and heart (the full speech). He demonstrated an understanding of our collective (American) pain, caused by unabated globalism. Furthermore, he understands the concept and historical significance of our nation and potential as a united country, working together as one.
We are Americans first and foremost, without any prefixes in front. Everything he said, with force of conviction, was logical, making sense. I was moved and convinced that President Trump, despite his flaws and temperament, is for America. Moreover, I felt proud of my country and thanked my parents for making that journey from India to Minnesota in the mid-1960’s.
Our president, coming from Queens and working in business all is life, may not be as smooth as Obama, but he sure will be more honest and driven to succeed.
After the speech, my Ukrainian fiancé called me to say that she was in tears. Her parents and grandmother realized that Trump was not for Russia or Ukraine but only for America. They understood that all is not well in America and wished that Ukrainian leaders had such strength of conviction and love for their own people. American leaders are supposed to take care of American people first. It is time for America to take a step back and focus on itself, regaining our past glory. We all mutually agreed that when the American family prospers, the world benefits.
The Norwegian reaction, like that from the rest of Europe, was disappointing but expected. Instead of being happy for America on our historic day, The Norwegian “America Experts” (Nettavisen in Norwegian) blasted him as fierce and divisive. VG, the leading Norwegian paper referred to the speech as dark. Nowhere, in their analysis, was a counter-thesis, offering the underlying reasons for Trump’s statements. No acknowledgment of our decline over the past generation, despite the technological gain and offshoring.
Here are some examples of American pain:
- National Deficit almost $20 trillion (Obama added $9.3 trillion, and Bush Jr. added $4.9 trillion),
- 30% of Americans don’t have broadband at home,
- Child poverty in the US is among the worst of Western nations,
- Chicago (Obama’s home town)
- Jobs and Underemployment (U6 which counts all unemployed) is 9.7%,
- Our loss of pride – something Norwegians will never understand due to their Jenteloven.
Moreover, the articles carry a selfish tone that America owes Norway something. They are entitled to our bounty from hard work and risk taking so they can enjoy excessive sick leave, NAV, and very long vacations. Are we supposed to toil more than 2000 hours per year so they can work around 1400? Take note that those of us Americans living in Norway, generally work longer hours while paying tax to both countries (above a certain but not high threshold ca. $100,000 per year).
VG’s and Nettavisen’s one-sided reporting is not journalism but rather propaganda. The media, in an open and honest democracy, evaluates and hears all sides of the story, allowing the reader to decide which side to take. Nevertheless, from the Norwegian perspective, there is good for this kind of tabloid reporting. Norway doesn’t pull its’ weight with NATO while getting over on America with trade: America contributes 3.6% of GDP to NATO whereas Norway only 1.5%, and the US trade deficit to Norway is $391 million per year in 2016.
This was our day as President Trump stated. Yet, most of our “allies” and mainstream media decided to crap on it, showing malice towards American Democracy. They underestimated the will of the American before, and they will do it again. I fail to understand how putting America first is being construed as fascism or populism. Why does a leader of a nation, getting paid by tax revenue from the inhabitants, must serve other countries or global organizations like the UN?
I hope that more Europeans join us on this journey. Recognizing the importance of sovereignty, I hope more elect politicians who see taking care of your own people as their patriotic duty and not populism, racism or nationalism.
To the Americans out there, this fight has just begun. You cannot think that just voting and going back to daily life will solve the problems. We must apply pressure on Congress every day, writing them emails, sending letters and asking for visits. That will send them the message that they are on thin ice and better help the President deliver on his promises!