Communists in Space
Newt Gingrich's moon colony proposal received a great deal of ridicule from the media and his fellow Republican contenders. In response to a question about Newt's ideas, Mitt Romney stated that he'd "rather be rebuilding housing here in the U.S." (Will the government under Romney begin constructing colonies for poor Americans?) Ron Paul, throwing a rock from his glass house, made a quip about sending politicians to live on the moon. Rick Santorum, who must always be contrary, accused Newt Gingrich of being irresponsible with American tax dollars during a time of severe debt. He stated that Newt was merely pandering to Floridians, and that the "idea that anybody's going out and talking about brand new, very expensive schemes to spend more money at a time when we do not have our fiscal house in order in my opinion is playing crass politics and not being realistic with the people of this country[.]"
Newt Gingrich's plan, however, calls for opening up the space race to private companies and entrepreneurs in a way never seen before. While one can certainly debate the feasibility of such a plan, Gingrich isn't calling for dumping billions or trillions of dollars into the usual governmental black hole. Instead, Newt Gingrich envisions a new era of space exploration, starting with the establishment of a moon colony as early as 2020. If Nietzsche's Last Man is defined by his inability to take aim at lofty targets, then Newt Gingrich is the Zarathustra of today's political class. Is he dreaming? Perhaps, but he's not the only one.
Other countries have their own plans to build moon bases within the next fifteen to thirty years. While friendly countries such as Japan and India both have this desire (and who would dare frown at their attempts?), also among them are the unfriendly Red Chinese. Unlike with the Japanese or Indians, a communist foothold on the moon would be dedicated purely to Chinese financial, technological, and military benefit. Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, expressed concerns that China would use a presence on the moon as a pretext to claim the most valuable mineral rights and locations. While there is an international treaty (to which America is not a signatory) forbidding such a claim, treaties to communists are like pie crusts -- meant to be broken. The United States would be taking a backseat in space exploration as the communists of China revel in spoils we gave up without a fight.
While we Americans would likely share our progress and invent new technologies which would benefit the entirety of civilization (and this can be said of any free country who pursues this, though we would do it best!), the Chinese view things with a purely mechanical eye aimed at benefiting the Communist Party. This is not a surprise to those who understand the true nature of communism. Far from being about the workers of the world and abolishing the classes, communism merely shifts power into a new class of party elites and military leaders. If one considers China's often belligerent behavior when handling disputes with other countries, it is not a huge stretch to imagine China's poor behavior intensifying if they manage to achieve such a grand milestone before us. A failure to act on our part would embolden the communists' arrogance. After all, an America not involved in the space-race must be a country in decline.
And that truly is the root of the problem we face here: America is a country in decline, and this decline manifests in elected leaders who lack true vision and creativity. Bringing it back to Nietzsche, Nietzsche defined the "Last" men of our civilization by their incredible smallness of mind. "'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?'- so asketh the last man and blinketh. The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man who maketh everything small." We are a blind and foolish people who will not endure sound doctrine, always turning our itching ears to the most pleasant sounds coming from the most feckless of people. We march on our way following these blind men, not caring that the end result is in a ditch: "A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much poison at last for a pleasant death."
A man seeking to rejuvenate a nation from such a wretched spiritual and mental condition will need to unify the country with creative ideas and bold stands. It was for this reason that Cain's 999 plan struck such a strong chord with millions of Americans. Far from being the usual vapid policy proposals, Cain's plan showed real imagination and courage to make a difference. The fair tax (from which 999 was derived and to which it would ultimately lead) was something that only conservative geeks dreamed about in lonely saloons and dark alleyways before Cain took it and breathed life into it. Ron Paul ignites a similar attraction with much of the youth, primarily because so many have become godless and lack basic patriotic feelings. Nevertheless, Ron Paul attracts them because of the perception of being "courageous" and "new."
So many people are still full of life in this great land, but they have no outlet to express their love of life in a society that surrounds them with only the dead. This is why big ideas are powerful and good for the health of the country.
Barack Obama has probably been one of the greatest blessings to have ever been inflicted upon the United States. He has provided for us a very large and public image of an enemy who has slowly sapped away at the livelihood of this country for decades and decades. We have found ourselves having conversations about communists, deception, the debt crisis, corruption, and many other things with a fervor not seen for a very long time. It was Barack Obama himself who was the chief architect of the Tea Party, a sleeping giant that needed his slap to awaken; however, a common enemy alone isn't enough to bring us back to our Republic's roots. Big ideas, whether they are radical tax policy schemes or wacky moon base proposals, are needed to unite the country under a common American vision and tradition. What we have seen from many great men and women over the past few years has been a good start in the right direction. We must ensure that we continue this battle with ideas worthy of our movement.
Ricardo Galván Estrada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.