This week marks the forty-first anniversary of one of America’s crowning achievements, the first manned landing on the moon. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, riding on the shoulders of thousands of engineers, technicians, and manufacturers, touched down on the Sea of Tranquility at 4:53 pm on Sunday, July 20, 1969. During the next twenty-one hours, they walked on the surface of the moon, planted “Old Glory” there, and finally lifted off the next day for their return to earth.
This brief foray on another world marked not only the triumph of American space technology, it represented a pivotal moment in the simmering life or death struggle for western civilization known as the “Cold War.” The necessity of American supremacy in space was rightly perceived as a critical component of American military dominance, and thus reflected its ultimate ability to employ high-tech means in order to defend itself against aggression from the Soviet Union.
Throughout the late nineteen fifties and early sixties, the space race was clearly the dominion of the Soviets, who had not only surpassed America by orbiting Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite, but successfully put the first human into space a year before the Americans. Unquestionably, both nations recognized the importance of trumpeting their technological prowess, and to no small degree, their competing philosophies of Marxism and capitalism as the driving force behind their achievements.
Of course, once the tide turned against the Soviets in the middle of the decade, they were compelled to totally shift their public relations campaign from the former self-aggrandizing of early space milestones, to a complete disparagement of America’s ability and willingness to spend enormous sums of money on the moon landing. This has always been particularly ironic, since right up until Armstrong’s announcement that “The Eagle has landed,” the Soviets never truly abandoned their efforts to garner some comparable success, such as the unsuccessful last minute unmanned flight of Luna 15, with which they hoped to upstage Apollo by returning a sample of lunar soil to earth.
Hedging their bet however, they engaged in a public relations campaign that vehemently denigrated the twenty-four billion dollars spent on the Apollo program. And in predictable lockstep, the American left joined in, parroting Soviet criticism of American technological pursuits. This was particularly hypocritical and outrageous since America’s leftists were among those crowing the loudest only a few years earlier during the brief period of Soviet space superiority.
Of course the Soviets knew they could count on their fifth column of ideological allies among American liberals. At no time in history have those on the left been willing to extol the worthy and honorable achievements of this nation. And the moon landing was not going to be any exception. Rather than lauding the great accomplishment of Apollo and all of the good that it represented for humanity, liberal/socialist critics lamented that its funds were squandered in a meaningless quest, instead of being used to “improve” the lives of people on earth by enslaving them to the public trough.
In the four plus decades since Apollo 11, this nihilistic mindset has only worsened. Rather than hearkening back to it every July as a shining monument to American greatness, the moon landing has either been totally ignored or somehow relegated to an inconsequential status. Few people of the present day exhibit any awareness of the event at all. And in a manner much like the history revisionism that is so pervasive in America’s public “education” establishment, the last year of the nineteen sixties has since been entirely defined by riots, anti-war protests, “Woodstock,” and LSD.
Likewise NASA, which once carried the torch of America’s determined effort to decisively win the Cold War, has since degenerated into a prop for “climate change” propagandists and their modern day war against free enterprise and liberty in general. Rather than being an organization representing this country’s greatest scientific resources, it has become a repository of fraud and agenda driven eco-extremism.
So it was really no surprise last month, when NASA Administrator Charles Bolden proffered the notion, at once dangerous and imbecilic, that per Barack Obama a principal function of the organization is now to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” And though the firestorm of public outrage has since caused the Obama Administration to backtrack, the fact that Bolden would make such an absurd statement proves how far this agency, and the government that it represents, have been diminished from their former greatness.
It has been only five months since Barack Obama publicly announced his intention to cancel NASA’s Aries program, by which it had planned to return human beings to the moon on a grand scale. It may be fine to squander trillions of dollars to subjugate America under a system of Euro-socialist styled “healthcare,” and eagerly lavish similar amounts on every other decrepit left-wing social pipedream, but Obama cannot abide the expenditure of a tiny fraction of that amount on a program that could rally and inspire the nation, while ensuring its continued standing at the forefront of modern technology. So he has disgracefully consigned NASA to more “politically correct” purposes.
Nevertheless, real flag-waving patriots, who love their country and have not forsaken their birthright, stand against this effort. Irrespective of the liberal political/media establishment, they laud the true heroes and deeds of greatness. And on the day when the ravages of leftist ideology and governance are relegated to what Ronald Reagan properly termed the “ash heap of history,” the America which spawned the world’s great inventors, from Bell, to Edison, to rocket pioneer Robert Goddard, will once again celebrate its noble heritage.
Copyright ©2010 Christopher G. Adamo