America: Naughty or nice in 2010?

By Columnists

As the holiday season approaches and the year comes to a close, it is time to start making our shopping lists and deciding who has been naughty and who has been nice.

For this week’s “In Focus,” various Northern Star columnists assess America’s performance over the past year and decide what gift it deserves.

Aaron Brooks, columnist: America: naughty or nice…that is a tough one. On one hand, America has shown great compassion when tragedy stuck: BP oil spill and Haitian earthquake. On the other, America has seemed to regress with a new batch of political racism. Considering such ignorance has been driven by a competition for resources–realistic conflict theory–I would say Santa understands. Overall, America has been good, even great. Although this year has been hard for many, we still are compassionate and look to lend a helping hand. So hopefully Santa will bring us what we really want for Christmas: money.

Phil Case, columnist: As a whole, I believe that America has been pretty good this year. Although I may not agree with all of the stances or views being expressed, the nationally-covered rallies tell me that Americans still care even if they do not agree. Of course, there always areas for improvement, but I would say America deserves a gift that falls somewhere between a lump of coal and front-row seats at the annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode. I’m thinking something along the lines of Inception on DVD.

Jessica Jenks, columnist: America has been a naughty country. She never goes to bed on time. She picks on other countries. She always eats her dessert before her vegetables, and she doesn’t do her homework. I would give America a lump of coal for Christmas, but she would destroy the environment with it. Instead, I will give her a homemade coupon for one free session of water board torture. Redeemable whenever. Not valid with any other offers.

Portia Kerr-Newman, columnist: America deserves a big lump of coal for Christmas this year. This year’s set of events has led me to believe that America has been quite naughty. The several oil leaks were the most disappointing, not to mention the cap that was supposed to stop the oil, which was a dud from the beginning. In terms of the entertainment industry, Mel Gibson’s alleged domestic violence episodes, T.I. being arrested on drug charges, and Kid Cudi admitting to drug use ruined any of their chances of getting anything for Christmas.  Most of all, WikiLeaks’ release of government videos and information definitely prove that America has been naughty.

Kathryn Minniti, columnist: A lot of people will say America was naughty this year, but when I think of “America,” I do not just look at government leaders; I look at our people also. So instead of judging it by our politicians’ transgressions, I am going to say America can be put on Santa’s “Good List.” America does so much whether it be donating money to needy countries or helping allies. The United States has helped out more countries and people than any other country, in my opinion.

Logan Short, columnist: I got a hold of the North Pole media relations director and he surprisingly put me through to Santa. I figured he’d be able to answer this question best, but when I asked him, it was a bit awkward. He said “Ah! There are so many factors to consider! You’ve got billionaires giving away much of their wealth while others are increasing their already hefty payroll. There was the terrible oil spill but then the great effort to clean it up. I don’t know what to think! The intricacies are endless! Why did you ask me such a vague question?” He hung up, and I realized why Santa’s belly is so big; he’s got a lot on his plate.

Taurean Small, columnist: America hasn’t been too nice this past year, but to say it has been naughty is kind of a stretch. Grouchy would be a better term. At the top of the year, we complained about having to bail out the auto industry, yet we make no mention of how it is flourishing because of it. Later, we complained about how reckless our government is spending our money, yet we want to consider reckless people (*cough* Palin *cough*) to be potential candidates. Now, we attack other nations for their violations against human rights, yet we support our intrusive procedures for airport security. Behavior like this doesn’t exactly deserve coal, but then again, that might be what the USA needs.