What are the best and worst things about the United States?


The 20-person pollOn Thursday night, Democrats Abroad Ireland held a Thanksgiving party at the Hilton hotel on Charlemont Place by the Grand Canal in Dublin 2. UNA MULLALLYasked guests at the party to identify the best and worst aspects of American society.

Kerry Mahony, Boston

“The best is the cliche of opportunity. The worst is consumerism and ignorance around political debate.”

Róisín Smyth, Irish-American

“The best is that you can go over and make something of yourself. The worst thing is the consumerism.”

Tamuiria Sykes, St Louis

“The best is you realise everybody has a role to play in effecting change. The worst would be that there’s not enough attention paid to helping those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds in a meaningful way.”

MJ McMahon, Ireland

“The best is that they’re a very respectful and polite nation who look after each other. The worst is that it’s a money-driven society.”

Mary Murphy, Ireland

“Everything is possible over there, but the extremes can be hard to swallow.”

Geraldine Cusack, New York

“The best is that everyone has a chance: there are no closed doors. The worst is that they don’t know enough about the rest of the world.”

Stephen Calkins, Detroit

“Best is optimism. Worst is the excessive power of special interests.”

Margaret Ward, New York

“The best is America’s eternal optimism. The worst is consumerism. It’s completely gone mad and we are raising and educating a nation of consumers who spend their spare time in shopping malls.”

Eileen Byrnes, San Diego

“The best I would say is that it’s so diverse. The worst is the fact that some people don’t like that and they feel threatened by it.”

Amy Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia

“Best? Patriotism. If you ask someone to fight for their country, they would when it comes down to it. The worst is that everything has to be so big. They think big is important and forget the meaning of things sometimes.”

Marja-Kristina Akinsha, naturalised American

“The best aspect is just that it’s a melting pot. That is also the worst aspect, because while everybody is accepted, sometimes your culture isn’t accepted.”

Darrol McAlister, Oklahoma

“The best is chicken-fried steak. The worst is being broke.”

Kate Fullam-McAlister, Washington State

“They’re very open with feelings and very quick to make friends, but that’s also the negative.”

Sue Norton, New Jersey

“The best is openness. The worst is obesity.”

Denis Desmond, Massachusetts

“Some of the best aspects are our altruism and that we rise to the occasion for one another. Americans are good at helping each other out and when people are in trouble. The worst aspects are the values of the Republican party – selfishness and greed – that permeate through Fox News.”

Joan Wadsworth, Michigan

“The best is that it’s very diverse. I like that. The worst is that Americans tend to do things to excess, like shopping on Black Friday. No one else in the world would do something that crazy.”

Morgan Fullham, Derry

“The best thing about America is that people seem willing to shape their own communities. The worst part is that there seems to be a lot of people trying to limit that.”

Majella Hayes, Ireland

“I’m just looking at the best aspect: it’s a great country to come back from a disaster. They have great get up and go.”

Jennifer Spurling, New York

“The best is freedom. The worst is obesity.”

Ollie Hayes, Moneygall

“Best aspects are as a world we depend a lot on America. I see America as the president of the world: we wouldn’t survive without it. The worst is that it’s such a vast country with a lot of opinions, so there’s always a challenge to get things right.”