A criticism of not just Mitt Romney but all the candidates, past and present, in the Republican primaries is that it’s an incredibly negative campaign and that no one is offering a positive vision for the future. They all say they have a positive vision for the future but when asked to quantify it, the positive vision seems to be to dig up Ronald Reagan and the future is 1986.
Then Newt Gingrich said something that most definitely qualifies as a vision for the future. He said that by the end of his second term (and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t mean a Grover Cleveland style second term) there will be the first permanent colony on the moon. The need or purpose for such a base isn’t clear to anyone but the two pieces of speculation are that it’s either about minerals or that we’ve stuff this planet up so much that it’s time to look for alternatives.
Anyone who knows me knows there are few greater supporters of space exploration. The return is far greater than the investment and the investment is a pittance compared to many other escapades. The shuttle program could have continued for a few more years (or better still, a replacement developed) for the amount of petty cash that was lost in Iraq. That’s not hyperbole – I’m talking about actual petty cash that actually went missing. Having said that, the first question regarding a moon base is, Why? Even some of the people who have already been there say that a return to the moon is pointless. Been there, done that, let’s go somewhere new.
Here’s an even more interesting question: What if such an outlandish idea had been proposed by, oh let’s say, John Kerry, or Howard Dean, or Dennis Kucinich? Or even Hillary Clinton or Ron Paul? Do we really need to imagine how much they would be mocked for it by the right wing? Would it not surely have destroyed their campaigns even sooner? Yet (and I know I’ve said this before) Newt Gingrich is still being taken seriously. Why? Is this fair and balanced?
We report, you decide.