Incarcerated Writers Series: Superpower Status Requires Putting America First


The term “superpower” covers a wide range of topics from economics to military strength. The U.S. being known as the only or primary superpower in the world has put a dire strain on our resources. Economically, our status at being a superpower is just a mask. Other countries base the value of their currency off the U.S. dollar when our country is in extreme amounts of debt. Every year Congress sets a budget that is just enough to pay bills and still has to raise the debt ceiling to do so. Financial debt does not equal wealth and yet the country holds the façade of being one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

The view of the U.S. as a military superpower also tends to keep us in the center of international debate and controversy. If conflict or war arises in other countries we are the country looked to first for help. Other countries seem to sit back and wait to see what the U.S. will do before they take a stance on the issue, and many times ridicule us regardless of what we do. If we stay neutral and do not get involved, we’re seen as not doing our part, yet when we jump to the rescue we’re seen as bullies. It’s a game of finger pointing and blame. Let’s use the ongoing conflict in Syria as an example. When it came to the world’s attention that nerve gas was being used to kill ridiculous amounts of innocent civilians and children, President Trump stepped up to the plate and made a decision to act. Some countries said “it was about time,” while others felt we should keep our nose out of other countries internal conflicts.

Wouldn’t it be better to help other countries to help themselves rather than sacrifice our own countrymen’s lives and already depleted resources? Shouldn’t a country be able to protect, defend, serve, and aid its own citizens first, then be “big brother” and provide other countries the aid they request?

As bill-paying citizens, we know that we have to take care of and be stable ourselves before we can reach out and help other people. How can someone take care of someone else if they aren’t even able to take care of themselves? The same is true on the national scale. As a country, we need to put America first. President Trump and other followers of this belief have been seen as bigots, racists, and hateful. Our country and President have been scrutinized too much for pushing this view. Putting a country’s people first should be its number one priority.

A country with “superpower” status should be strong enough to help lift others up in their time of distress and need, regardless of whether it is financial, military, or some other type. Being kind and compassionate to others is something to be valued. The strong are meant to help the weak and those in need. But let’s be real: our country is in too much disarray and has its own distress needed to be dealt with first. We have to stop putting ourselves, our families, and our children in jeopardy. We cannot continue to cripple ourselves for the benefit of others. It’s not about “America only,” it’s about “America first.” Let’s rebuild our country first so that we can be the superpower country our citizens and the world look to and rely on.

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