With issues such as the bombshell IG report and the handling of the families of illegal immigrants cycling the news this week, a rather quaint story made the rounds today. President Trump doubled down on his previous statements regarding his desire for America to have a stronger federal presence in space, going as far as creating a seperate and sixth branch of the military that the President is dubbing, the “Space Force”. While the luddite online community at large failed to understand the value in this declaration, making a series of Darth Vader references and mocking the President’s optimistic vision, there are several important things to note about this possibly momentous change.
The Final Frontier
What’s always important when analyzing Trump is not only the actions he takes, but the rhetoric surrounding them. The President isn’t merely asking for an excuse to shoot rockets into space, despite what the media wants you to think (also of note is that they’ve taken a negative stance against Elon Musk of late, highlighting a worrying regressivism in feminine, liberal media, who have a bone to pick with both Musk and Trump’s lifestyles and ego). Channeling the America First bravado of both Kennedy and Reagan, Trump’s eagerness to create a Space Force comes from his desire for America to dominate an industry and realm it fought tooth and nail to conquer just decades ago. Society’s favorite TV intellectuals like Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson have lamented for years that America essentially abandoned it’s space program after beating the Soviets to the Moon, and after public interest fell after a series of widely viewed tragic incidents and technical failures befell NASA. Despite this constant admonishment of American society in abandoning the program, everyone seems to have fallen blind to the fact that Trump has been the most pro-space President in years. While this is unsurprising due to the media’s stranglehold on public perception of Trump’s decisions, public perception doesn’t change actual results.
Make Space Great Again
The President’s call for a “separate but equal” Space Force would be huge for American society going forward. While Trump’s support and essential revival of NASA has already been great for science, involving the military is a whole new game changer. Should the appropriate channels approve such a move, there would then be a beautiful triad of American forces all working towards similar goals.
NASA has been the tried and true workhorse of American space innovation these past decades, but like any government agency threats of funding cuts and bureaucracy mask the actual science, innovation, and results that could actually come from such an organization. That being said, NASA has a cultural relevancy, and there is value to a nation investing in such a noble scientific field. The second force at play here is the free market, most notably businesses like SpaceX who have created market solutions to advancing space technology and research. There is something inherently American and stimulating about entrepreneurs and markets competing among one another to do something as amazing as launching rockets into space and colonizing Mars, and as someone with friends in Aerospace Engineering, there’s never been a better time to be a dork that likes to play with rockets. Trump seemed to express a similar fondness for the free market, giving a shout out to them during his speech and claiming that he’d be more than happy if they beat the Space Force or NASA to colonizing Mars, as long as at the end of the day, it’s an American flag that is planted. This all being said, the final force at play would be the new Space Force, which shakes things up. Having space research and development, mainly with the aim of creating settlements and building up defenses against other nations become a priority of an entire branch of military is a huge move. America’s military budget is infamously huge, and so many important advancements in American society came from military technology being repurposed. While bordering on the edge of Starship Troopers level fascism, having the die-hard patriotism of the military infused with some great minds looking to advance American ideals could mean a lot going forward. Not to mention the economic benefits that would occur due to this industrial shift, as even the creation of fighter jets and other such military assets do wonders for the American economy.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see a 6th branch of military any time soon, nor would we even see the results of such a move in the immediate future, Trump continues to make decisions that shock most people who think they have him pegged down. Worth noting is that while the political layman still refer to Trump as conservative, expanding the military and government to further encompass space travel and warfare is such a pragmatic and centrist move that is inherently the polar opposite of libertarian and conservative thought. That being said, most pragmatic individuals see value in the government handling matters such as national security and massive, long term projects, and the issue of space is definitely something that fits into that box. I personally am excited to see if a Space Force can indeed be created, and I urge readers to watch Trump’s full statements. It’s rather endearing to see how excited the President gets about the matter, and reading into his full statements on the matter leave me feeling rather optimistic about the whole venture.