As Americans prepare for their annual feasts, all eyes are on the TSA and the controversial airport pat-downs that travelers face this holiday season. It might appear a bit jarring to some to be engaged in such a furious debate at a time intended for joy and celebration. Does this recent security furor represent the state of our country today? Here, a rundown of what some national newspaper editors are saying about us at the holidays:
We're rude to outsiders: We've lost the holiday spirit, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board. "Across the country, xenophobia is enjoying a heyday." Just look at how we treat American Muslims. "The freedom to practice one's religion is celebrated this week, but of late, it is denigrated too often, as if this were a Christian country or a Judeo-Christian country rather than one of magnificent, intentional diversity." We should try to "recapture a measure of the original meaning of this holiday" through preaching "tolerance, curiosity, [and] shared appreciation for struggle."
Black Friday has ruined Thanksgiving: "How sad it is that a day that is supposed to be set aside for giving thanks for life's blessings is increasingly being hijacked by the daily rush of commerce and competition," says The Washington Post editorial board. Stores are opening their doors earlier than ever. Remember when "commercial things would be set aside" for the day? We "can't help but be discouraged watching such a lovely holiday -- family and friends giving thanks together -- take a back seat to the blue light special."
All this food could be bad for you: "When you sit down with friends and family on Thursday for a Thanksgiving feast, you shouldn't have to worry about uninvited guests such as E. coli, salmonella and Campylobacter," says the USA Today editorial board. Every year 5,000 people die of food-caused illnesses. "That's too many sick people and too many deaths to leave the system unchanged." It's time to get those numbers down. We need to pass a bill to "give regulators the power to order recalls of hazardous food, ending companies' ability to foot-drag or refuse" and to supervise facilities. There measures would greatly "reduce the chances of contamination as food makes its way from farm to fork."