Newt Gingrich is a lot of things. A LOT of them.
But no one will ever say that he’s a man afraid to dream big.
Much hay has been made about his recent comments on Florida’s Space Coast that, as president, he’d actively build a space colony on the moon and look to fund a mission to Mars. Many have particularly singled out his confession that early in his career he backed the “Northwest Ordinance for Space” which would allow for 13,000 space colonists to petition for statehood once they’ve permanently made homes off world.
What I find curious is that many of those mocking Newt are the same who lamented the brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson saying on Bill Maher’s show Real Time that the budgetary issues with the James Webb telescope was an indication that America has “stopped dreaming” about space.
The dreams of society are corollary to our belief that we can accomplish them. As the price of rockets come down thanks to private companies like SpaceX, a lot of the “dreams” which seemed futile while operating completely inside of a slow moving, money bleeding, budget busting bureaucracy might seem more feasible.
Here is a quote from Newt about his Moon state ordinance:
I wanted every young American to say to themselves, “I could be one of those 13,000.” I could be a pioneer. I need to study science and math and engineering. I need to learn how to be a technician. I could be a part of building a bigger, better future. I can live the future, looking at the solar system. Being part of a generation of courageous people who do something big and bold and heroic.
No matter what your politics are, that sounds like a dream worth pursuing to me.
[Newt as Moon picture via BoingBoing]