I’m not a leftist as you would define it. Why? Because you have no idea what a “leftist” is. So, I’m going to educate you.
The terms “Leftist” and “Rightist” come from 2 Civil Wars. The first, the English Civil War between Charles I and the Parliamentarians. The second being the French Revolution between the National Assembly and Louis XVI.
At the end of both, those who believed in the monarchy, divine right of kings to rule, feudalism, and so on stood to the right of the king. Those who believed in rule of the people, by the people and for the people stood to the left of the king.
So, those who stood on the right believe in autocratic government with 1 person having unlimited power, having different social classes, oppression of the people, with power in the hands of the monarch and nobles and the people serve the monarchy and nobles.
Those who stood on the left believed in representative democracy (people elect those who serve them in the government), freedom for the people, that everyone is equal and no one is or should be better than anyone else, and no one should have more rights than anyone else.
This is why the belief that those on the “right” are the defender of democracy/the Republic, the Constitution, freedom and rights of individuals, defender of Civil Rights, and so on is false. By the very definition those on the right oppose all of that, especially freedom and equal rights.
Now that we’ve established the truth, let’s look at your actual question… “Why don’t leftists realize that America is too different to adopt the Nordic model?”
The only reason America is “too different” is because those on the right have ventured further and further to the right over the last 40 years. I grew up as an Eisenhower Republican. At the time Eisenhower was President, the Republican party were still fairly moderate/centrist. They were socially moderate, fiscally responsible. Eisenhower supported expansion of Medicare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Medicaid, Civil Rights, supported unions, investment into infrastructure (including expansion of research into new greener technologies) and that it was fiscally responsible to have a balanced budget, have high marginalized taxes on the rich, demand side economy, was against rescinding Fair Reporting regulations (News sources being required to present balanced views and evidence for their claims) and so on.
This began to change with Nixon’s Southern Strategy which was based upon Conservatives (those on the right) wanting to retain segregation, racism, white supremacy, and so on. It continued with Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan’s courting of the Christian extremist groups. This pushed all of the Republican Party liberals to the Democratic Party, and many of the moderate with liberal leaning Republicans as well. Most of the moderate/centrist Republicans became independents, as I did.
As the more extreme members of the Republican Party took control, the platform of the Party changed, emphasizing things such as firearms, anti-abortion, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, and since they needed members who voted from hate, anger, and fear, the Republican Party started calling everything that helped the poor, the middle class, non-Christians, non-whites, women, and so on as “Communism” and “Socialism” because people grew up terrified of Nuclear War with Russia, Cuba, China, and so on. This is how they stood apart from the Democratic Party. It also drove the Republican Party even further to the right. The hate, violence, anger, rampant racism, sexism, misogyny, Christian extremism, and so on reached its (hopefully) zenith with Trump and his supporters.
We aren’t too different. In fact, our country could become a shining light for truth, honor, justice, equal rights, freedom, and our economy and innovation could very easily reign supreme again, IF those on the right would stop allowing themselves to be lied to, manipulated, and stop letting their leaders prey upon their fears.
I was born in the US, grew up in the US, live in the US. I also lived for 5 years in Canada. I’ve seen both systems, and the Canadian system is superior and Canadians have more freedoms than we Americans do. They also have less crime per capita, less bankruptcies per capita, better standard of living per capita, better healthcare per capital, higher life expectancy, and much more.
I’d like to remind those on the right of a few things:
Our economy was strongest when there were high marginalized tax rates on the wealthiest and corporations.
Our Founding Fathers were liberals, leftists, and progressives. We know this because they rebelled against traditional values such as divine right of kings, social classes, and so on.
Abraham Lincoln was also a liberal, leftist and progressive. We know this because he went against traditional Conservative values, such as that Native Americans were savages, that blacks were subhuman animals, and he stated quite bluntly that he was a leftist when he said that we fought the Civil War so that a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth.
The United States is not a Christian nation, it was not created as a Christian nation, nor using the ideals of Christianity. This was said by John Adams quite bluntly in the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 in Article 11:
“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
This treaty was ratified, unanimously, by the US Senate.
The majority of our Founding Fathers weren’t Christians. They were Deists. They believed in a Creator, but saw that Creator, not as a divine force, but more of a Natural force or idea. They didn’t believe in the superstitions, miracles, etc in the Bible either.
Abortion was not only legal while we were British Colonies and in our early history (until 1890s to be precise) it was ADVERTISED.
The early United States, and even while we were British Colonies, gun regulations were common. They were based on English/British Common Law. You could own a firearm if you were a member of a registered militia, one that was overseen by the State (Colony). You could have it in your home, and you had the right to defend your home and your family on your property. You could not carry your weapon publicly unless you were responding to a call to arms. You could carry it when hunting, of course. After the Independence of the United States, you were also required to swear a loyalty oath to your State and to the new Nation or you were disarmed. For over 240 years, the Supreme Court upheld that the 2nd Amendment was not an individual right but a collective right. In the 2008 Heller decision, Conservatives overturned 240 years of Supreme Court precedent, but even Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, stated that gun regulations do not violate the 2nd Amendment, that you do not have the right to conceal carry nor open carry anywhere and everywhere. He said that the 2nd Amendment gave every individual the right to defend oneself and their family in their home, that’s pretty much it.
So, what’s the REAL reason we don’t have Universal Healthcare? The American Medical Associate, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. That’s right. In the early 1930s it was suggested. BUT, the AMA et al wanted to protect their profits and the CEOs of insurance and drug companies and doctors knew their salaries, profit margins, and the like would suffer. So their greed is why hundreds of thousands of Americans every year go bankrupt due to high medical costs, why people die because they cannot afford, even with insurance, the treatments. Those on the right oppose it not for any real reason, but because they don’t want their taxes to rise a little bit because they may help some black, brown, red, or yellow person or some poor white person, or some handicapped person, or some LGBTQ person. This is also why you on the right oppose welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, TANF, EBT, and every other social program and safety net. What you DON’T understand is that when all factors are considered, universal healthcare is LESS costly to you than the crap we have now. Why? Because your employer pays about 75% of the ACTUAL insurance premium, you’d no longer have copays, co-insurance, deductibles, etc. You’d also get a RAISE in pay. Why? Because if your employer is no longer paying $1,500/month for their cost for your benefits, you could get that as a raise. That alone would easily offset the extra $3,000 per year in taxes you’d have to pay on top of all those savings on copays, etc.
Here’s an example, when I lived in Canada, I paid $3,000 extra a year in taxes for my healthcare for my entire family. I got into a bad accident, was sent by ambulance to the nearest hospital, then airlifted to a different hospital, spent 2 weeks in the hospital, had 6 months of physical therapy and of course medications, etc. My total cost: $20 for the pain medication AFTER I was released from the hospital.
2 years ago I had Covid, I’m still suffering from long Covid, but we’ll just look at the first year…
$5800/year for insurance premiums. Every visit to my primary doctor costs me $30, every visit to a specialist is $50, a visit to the urgent care is $100 and an ER visit is $200. $1,500 deductible, 90% coinsurance. My total bill for my first year with Covid/Long Covid? $6,000 plus $45/mo in prescriptions (the $45 does not include prescriptions I was already on for my IBS). This is ontop of the insurance premium.
So, which is cheaper?