Recently, astronaut Neil Armstrong’s widow uncovered and notified the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum about an old bag of relics from NASA’s historic Apollo 11 mission that she found tucked away in a closet and forgotten.
As is to be expected in these times of bloated and intrusive government, it didn’t take long for some people to interject politics into this event.
America’s Misplaced Moxie
As I stated, it is to be expected in these times of bloated and intrusive government that politics will get interjected into almost anything. That said, I find this to be a childish, naive, and ignorant interject in specific. America’s moxie, as applied and exemplified by NASA’s space program, was not misplaced, it was discarded as no longer needed or affordable.
As much I love NASA’s space program and miss what it was billed as during my childhood – Yeah, I loved sitting in front of the TV and watching the landings – none of what NASA was doing during that time was for the sake of space exploration or science. The entire program was nothing but the US and USSR sublimating the Cold War into the “Space Race” rather than starting a thermonuclear WW3.
In this, our space program was quite similar to our Interstate Highway System, more properly named the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, which President Eisenhower had built for the purpose of improving America’s ability to get our troops to anywhere in the US, especially to embarkation points, quickly.
The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.
— T.S. Eliot
Murder in the Cathedral
What was and is also sadly similar is that NASA was allowed to languish just as the Interstate Highways were allowed to more and more fall into disrepair when the fear, pride, and perceived need and value that engendered it lapsed with the passing of time and reduction of the specific societal triggers that provided its impetus.
Yes, it could properly said that we fell to T.S. Eliot’s last and greatest temptation and the treason we caused and suffered from was the misplacing of our nation’s moxie.