Almost forty years ago a guy named Buzz Aldrin commented on why we went to the Moon, "the insatiable curiosity of mankind to explore the unknown." Aldrin should know since he had just become the second man to ever set foot on another celestial body - that same Moon.
Now it seems people are too buried in their Twitter or E! Extra over Michael Jackson to even care. On July 20th, 1969 America left a plaque on the Moon that read - HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON. JULY 1969 A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND. Golda Meir said at the time that this event might "open the way to that era of universal peace presaged by the prophets of old." Forty years on NASA tries to stay in space with three shuttles while the successor program seems to move from one crisis to another. Is anyone paying attention as Endeavour carries out another mission to the International Space Station to add the Kibo module? Thirteen people are now in orbit setting a record. That in a very short while all three remaining shuttles will be grounded to never fly again? It does not seem like it.
Nor does it seem many are paying attention to what is going on in Iran or in Honduras as despotism tries to hold sway. People are dying in foreign lands even as the satellites spawned by the Space Age bring the information to every viewer. It just seems none are programmed to receive anymore. If it does not happen within one's social network, then its not important.
Not even when it happens in their own country. We have seen multiple pieces of legislation get shoved through the Democrat Congress in the name of national emergency. Six months on the first has failed to deliver any relief. Meanwhile our President genuflects to foreign countries in apologia while they kick dirt in this country's face and continues being despots. We will see someone put on the Supreme Court of this land not because of the content of her character, but because of her gender, political views, and her being Hispanic.
We as a nation seem to have lost our way. Instead of pursuing a just society that rewards being diligent and honest, it has become a game in which large segments of the population prostrate themselves to chivvy danes geld from the government. Unfortunately the pot of danes geld is finite and when it runs dry, may there still be a country left to rebuild when the golden calf is thrown down.
But right now as I think of President Kennedy sending our nation to the Moon not because it was easy, but because it was hard; I do not sense that sense of commitment as it seems to have been destroyed by too many playing one side against the other in an illusionary zero-sum game. In the end, all of humanity will lose because they traded long term prosperity for short term games peddled by politicians only concerned for staying elected.