It has come to my attention that Newt Gingrich wants to build a base on the Moon.
Even in my day, of course, travel beyond our atmosphere was being speculated upon. Everyone from Jules Verne to Percival Lowell to Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote of it. (In regard to the last: Yes, I will confess—I had a guilty fondness for the pulps.)
It did not surprise me, upon my awakening in the 21st century, that Americans had set foot upon the Moon during my absence. Even a century ago, it seemed among the enlightened to be an inevitability.
It does surprise me, however, that Gingrich now speaks of such outlandishness.
America does need hope. It does need purpose. It does need aspirations toward bigger things. But unless Gingrich plans on sending the homeless and foreclosed-upon to live on his Moon-base, I don’t see how it will provide any real solutions.
On one hand, Gingrich speaks of reducing the influence of government. On the other, he wants that influence to extend to the stars. At the cost of billions—and to the neglect of the dire situation here on terra firma.
While I was in office, my fellow Ohioans the Wright Brothers were still perfecting their flying machines. Our nation has come so far since then, and for that I am proud. But if my opponent thinks he can inflate his own sense of grandiosity by draining this nation’s wealth, he may want to think again. For the commonsense electorate—the solid, sensible citizens of Earth—will not stand for it.
From my recent studies regarding the science of the century I missed, I have come to understand this: In that airless void between the Earth and the Moon, gravity does not prevail—that is, objects float through empty space as if they have no mass.
I fear Gingrich’s thoughts are floating in exactly such a void.