Why does a hugh government spending project fascinate so many people. Over at The Corner Stanley Kurtz suggested that space fascinates secular libertarians as a substitute for the religion they reject. For some that is it, I suppose.
But, why does spending huge amounts of money to go to the moon fascinate fiscal conservatives like myself who believe in one Creator God? I don’t really have an answer. I try to think these things out, but this is more of a feel than a think — that should indicate a problem, though it doesn’t.
John Derbyshire has a theory called the BSD. B=Big, S=Swinging, D=male organ that you can guess at. Going to the moon and Mars strikes me as a BSD thing to do. The Americans can go to the moon and Mars. We put our minds to it and we can do it. We should do it to remind the world that we are the BSD. We don’t want to be like anyone, but everyone wants to be like us. Project Hubris some might call it. I don’t.
That is the heart of it for me. We can do it because we set out to do it. When the American spirit is harnessed, there are few forces able to stop us. If we choose to go, we can.
Some countries have royalty to rally around. We don’t. We have a President who is to embody both the political and the royal. Because he is political, not everyone will rally around him.
Instead, we rally around the country (unless your first name is Noam or you work for the New York Times). We rally around great projects that harness American energy and ideals. We rally around making an idea a reality.
Sure, going to the moon is a waste of money, but so are many other things. Going to the moon, however, is money spent advancing our civilization as no other civilization has. And, the progress and advancement that inevitably flows from our advance into space will benefit us in many ways and will, over time, generate income that will return a dividend. Let’s call it the space dividend. We see that dividend in astroturf, computers, GPS, tang, etc.
We go because we can. We go because we have gone. We go because we should. We go because our spirit demands no retreat and no surrender and we have done both. Now we must recapture the territory we ceded to no one, but abandoned all the same.
So God save the King — his name is American ingenuity and he will rally the American mind and lead us back into the heavens.