A recent article “Why Not the Moon?” is a well written argument for why humans should return to the lunar surface, covering the scientific, commercial, and political reasons for such an effort. The most eyebrow-raising fact surrounding the article is that it was published in the Daily Kos, a far left political blog.
In recent weeks, a proliferation of back to the moon advocacy pieces has appeared in both the mainstream media and in scientific journals. But for a leftist blog such as the Daily Kos to join the bandwagon suggests that something is brewing akin to a revolution in opinion on #Space exploration.
The left has traditionally not been very enamored of space exploration. The Apollo program was still landing men on the moon when then-Senator Walter Mondale, later to become vice president then a presidential candidate, inveighed about money being spent on space exploration rather than social programs. President Bill Clinton canceled the elder Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative that would have returned astronauts to the moon. President Barack Obama did the same service to the younger Bush’s Constellation program, icily heaping contempt on the idea of returning to the moon. Obama established the ill-defined and underfunded Journey to Mars.
The diarist who published the back to the moon article, who goes by the name of “DarkSyde”, describes himself as “a former moderate conservative who is fed up with Bush and Company.” His real name is Stephen Andrew, residing in the liberal enclave of Austin, Texas.
Bush was a warm supporter of a return to the moon and is also one of the many designated enemies of the people in the view of the Daily Kos. For a Kos diarist to find himself in agreement with such a number one villain, at least in one area, and in opposition to both Obama and the Clintons is both illuminating and encouraging.
It could well be that the idea of returning to the moon has become one of those rare issues that both left, and right can agree upon. Conservative writers such as Charles Krauthammer have warmly supported returning to the moon specifically and space exploration in general. The left may well be finally coming around to the same view.