President Trump asks, in referring to immigrants from Africa, why would we want to accept “all these people from shithole countries?” Rather, he says, invite in more immigrants from places like Norway.
I am quite sure that my cousins in Norway hear his words with head-shaking dismay and a bit of amusement: dismay for his heartless, racist rant against suffering refugees who need our help; and amusement that Trump thinks Norwegians might prefer living in America to life in their own country, ranked first place in the United Nations World Happiness Report, 2017. The understated Norwegians might use the word “contentment” rather than “happiness” — but why are they content? Beautiful scenery, of course, but also a sense of equality and security. “Nok” is a Norwegian word for “enough.” The ideal is not to have extremes of rich and poor, but rather that all have enough for a good life. Everyone should have good schools, good health care, and old-age security. And in Norway they do.
So not many Norwegians are likely to move here; but Americans should pay attention and perhaps learn from them how to create such a functioning, humane country.
Gloria Reinertson Koll