Oh how easy at times it has been to make fun of Gingrich’s penchant for grandiosity. However, this isn’t one of them. Call me nostalgic or a victim of selective recall when it comes to history, but I see a real need to channel some of our restlessness and negative energy towards big projects. Projects that can capture the imagination of the nation and instill a sense of national pride. That has always been the American model for nationalism.
Give Newt credit, he can deliver ideas on such projects with a straight face and then dare you to scoff at him for being, quintessentially, American. One president can gut NASA and make it irrelevant, another can give it a new mission and focus.
“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American,” Gingrich said to applause.
He said the development would include commercial and private efforts, and will make apparent, “we clearly have the capacity that Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to us.”
Gingrich also said he would push to develop propulsion technology that would get man to Mars.
He emphasized that it doesn’t have to be expensive, exploration in partnership with private companies can lower the cost.
“If it’s cheaper and it’s faster and it works, do it,” he said (Politico).
America has always operated paradoxically; a nation of profound idealism but always tempered with practical application. What I mean by that is America has all the patience in the world for dreamers just so long as its interesting, capturing, and desirable. Space has long been considered the final frontier for man’s exploration and it will truly be a matter of time before other nations of the world begin to militarize it and use it for their on advantages.
But there is the problem of our national debt and of course our budget is a mess. It’s a mess because we can’t prioritize and each party plays to its own power base. It is a see-saw battle between hoarding resources and dispensing with the spoils after political victories. There comes a point when constituencies and ideological differences must take a back seat to national interests.
It’s time America gets back to dreaming and doing.