Or maybe just read a US news website once in a while.
Isn't your media much less diverse? ;)
Well, it's not my media -- I'm Canadian, and have never lived in the US. I visit from time to time, and have had some business related trips here and there, but it's not my country.
Still, if you want a more impartial view of things that are happening in the US, you can do worse than talking to a Canadian. Canadians are the great American watchers. It's somewhat hard to avoid -- we share a continent, they have 10 times our population, and we get most of their television channels. Their politics and business often affects us quite intimately, so we have a collective habit of paying a lot of attention to what they're doing down there. To paraphrase one of our greatest Prime Ministers, we're a mouse in bed with an elephant. It's certainly good policy to keep an eye on the elephant, in case it decides to roll over.
The whole court system I guess is more scary in the US.
Sweden was a good country .. =P, it's just that I feel like the freedoms may be given away / taken away by people of different ideas and I don't see how a generous small well-fare state (we don't have the highest taxes of the OECD any longer but we could easily get there again ..) as applicable together with open borders / citizenship for everyone.
I've never been to Sweden, so I can't really say much about your experiences there.
What I can say is that anytime an American has decided they need more freedom, they come to Canada. There are a lot of examples over the last few hundred years: the United Empire Loyalists (basically, people loyal to England during the American Revolution), black slaves via the Underground Railroad, Vietnam draft dodgers, Iraq veterans who did't want to be redeployed yet again -- the list is long and varied.
In Sweden people think the police are "racist" if they ask people to identify themselves to figure out if they are illegal immigrants and I think you can hide for four years if you are supposed to be forced out of the country and if that haven't happened within those then it's supposedly societies fault and you get away with it.
This debate has also occurred within the US, in conjunction with illegal immigrants from Mexico, particularly in places like Arizona, which tried to pass laws permitting law enforcement to target people like this. IIRC, the measure failed in the end due to the fact they were targeting people who "looked Mexican", even if they were long-time American citizens. So that's hardly unique to Sweden.
It's the basic idea of freedom I'm after.
There is a big difference between the propaganda and how Hollywood would like everyone to see the US, and reality here too, unfortunately.
It's hard to be free when you can't afford health care, and a member of your family gets ill. It's hard to be free when the state you live in has a history of serious racial segregation. It's hard to be free when you're homosexual and your employer is 100% legally entitled to fire you from your job, or your landlord to evict you because of your sexual orientation. And the US has the largest incarcerated population of any country in the world (more than 2.2 million Americans are in jail, giving it the second highest per capita incarceration rate in the world). There are a lot of people in the US for whom "land of the free" has never lived up to the hype.
I'd much rather take US idea of "hey we need to be able to surveillance all communication!" and be free to express my opinion than being able too but also having too hide my ass to express it.
I'm somewhat proud of "my old Sweden", but I'm also not ignorant to the fact that the US have shown better growth and as such at least parts of it is richer.
You'd probably find that Sweden would be a whole lot richer if it had 330 million people living there.
A very large part of the US's wealth really comes down to the number of people. That's not to put down the fact that they have developed a very advanced nation, of course -- it still takes a lot of work to get to the Western worlds level of development, and to maintain a high level of productivity. However, Sweden is also an advanced nation, and if it had the population of the US, you'd probably find that Sweden would be a whole lot richer as well.
I don't mean to put down the US. But there is a difference between the nationalistic/super-patriotic way they see themselves, and reality. I invite you to travel there and see the reality for yourself. There are amazing people and places there, but there is also a lot of unnecessary social ills. How you are treated there will depends a lot on where you are, what colour your skin is, what religion you follow, immigration status, and what your sexual orientation is. Different people will have wildly different experiences, because there is still a huge amount of prejudice there. People in those groups hardly feel all that "free". As the great American President JFK once said, "...this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free."