Letter to the Editor | American hegemony is passe

Iowa City resident, Isobel Anthony, on American hegemony.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

American hegemony is passe. Less than 5 percent of the world’s family, we behave as if we own the planet while unabashedly destroying it. We claim superiority when our shining city on the hill is one hot mess. We neglect the most vulnerable, creating supplicants, not friends. If we’re to survive as a species, we must change.

President Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine provoked a surreal celebration of violence. War is America’s bread and butter, romanticizing it central to our identity. But “might makes right” is shamefully obsolete. The world is one human family. Let’s cooperate, not dominate. Collaboration, versus annihilation, can transform the world.  Our abundance can heal, hoarding does not. Let’s lay down arms and open our hearts.

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, we are absolutely corrupt. Our status quo insists, “we’re number one!” If we can’t manage our own affairs, why insist it’s our way or the highway?

Let’s build state of the art passenger railways, creating access to transportation. Traveling together, we might appreciate our diversity. If workers receive living wages, we can share the pride of our accomplishments, ending exploitation. Why pretend wealth is status?

While many Americans struggle to survive in our plutocracy, the well-off resist change, reluctant to share. Corporate greed has grotesquely compromised our environment, our health, our ability to govern ourselves, and our ability to trust and care for one another. Career politicians, the arrogant agents of hubris, refuse to pass the task of governing ourselves to the next generation. Democracy isn’t about being or becoming, tone-deaf millionaires.

We can welcome family fleeing tyranny and starvation, be what we claim to be: a safe place of refuge. We can offer open arms, at home and abroad. In compassion we know our effectiveness firsthand, experience the rewards of empathy. We can let our people know the human right of health care! Change requires courage. Let’s muster it, America! Let’s reinvent ourselves, and lose our illusion of “us vs them.”

There is plenty of inspired American vision backed by youthful energy. But this wave that could save us is consistently pushed back. We must trust our next generation to lead if we’re to effectively move forward. It would be a gift to ourselves and the world to recognize and embrace this truth. Here’s to a people’s revolution. Can we muster an American Spring?

  • Isobel Anthony, Iowa City, UI Alumnus