Never ask the gods for life set free from grief, but ask for courage that endureth long.
- Menander, Greek Dramatic Poet (B.C. 342-291)
So now we hear Barack Obama has been going around trying to sound the reasonable moderate, saying:
“I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.”
Well that’s wonderful that you say you believe that, too bad your actions show differently. Truth is, there isn’t a problem in America whose solution you didn’t try to reach with either more government spending, more government regulation, or both.
I’m not a government hater, the Manhattan Project involved 130,000 people at over 30 sites across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and cost the equivalent of over $25 Billion in 2012 dollars, as ambitious a government project as there has ever been, but imagine the horrors of a world where the Nazis or Soviets had built the atomic bomb first and held the entire world hostage with it.
The Apollo missions were a government funded program and to me, NASA putting a man on the moon was the greatest exploration, the greatest adventure and the greatest technological achievement in mankind’s history, especially when you consider the astronaut’s lives at stake and the major bravado of doing it all with the kind of technology that was available in the 1960s. It showed the world, Capitalism wins, Communism fails. Over 42 years later and no other country has still managed to duplicate that feat. It’s something I wish I’d been old enough to witness first hand and celebrate. To have watched it live, when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, I imagine the way it felt to celebrate that American achievement was probably like the USA’s Miracle on Ice in 1980 . . . times ten. Or twenty.
So it’s not like I don’t celebrate the great things our government can do. You know, little things like defeating Nazism and winning the Cold War, making sure those two evil regimes could not succeed in enslaving the world, saving South Korea from being overrun by the North and sparing half the nation from having to endure the hell that is life in North Korea. I’m proud to see the American government providing the largest share of aid for disaster victims, first on the scene at almost any corner of the world. Then of course, there’s everything we benefit from here at home with the government building roads, providing police and fire services, and the many social programs which give a good account in “judging a government by how they help those most in need”, but when I hear Obama quoting Lincoln and saying, “Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more,” it’s as if he thinks we’ll be so memorized by his oratory skills that we’ll hear what he says and not watch what he does.
The one time, the one time that I can think of Obama not going with more government as the grand solution to everything route?
It was after the $787 billion “stimulus” was rushed through Congress and there was money for every pet project and every government agency under the sun, but no love for NASA. Even with the rising unemployment and jobs that could have been easily saved, it was layoffs for NASA, Constellation program cancelled, no plan for a return to the moon or any kind of post-Shuttle America and our next great leap forward in space. It’s the one time Obama gets frugal as he decides to leave the bulk of space exploration to the private sector, forcing NASA for the foreseeable future to have to hitch a ride with Putin’s Cosmonauts any time we want to make it back to space.
And for the rest of America? No chance for the people of the country to come together and celebrate and take pride in another great NASA achievement in space.
For the guy whose wife once said during the 2008 campaign, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country,” perhaps this should be no surprise after all.
Part 2: In Gov We Trust