Gingrich, like most Republicans politicians, wants to lower taxes and cut spending. That's a core platform for the party and presumably what gets one votes from their base. Where does the moon fit into that? Nowhere, that's where! Space travel is expensive, and it seems ridiculous to think we could cut spending on health programs, cut taxes, and then pump money into the pricey moon base idea Newt dreamt up.
Of course, Newt thinks the money should come from private companies, which means the moon base wouldn't really be an American one, but a cooperate one. Maybe a nice theme park on the moon. That'd spice things up a bit. I'm sure it would add a lot of class to the beautifully, shining sphere we see every night. Maybe they could run ads on it to make their money back. Imagine sitting in an open field in the middle of the night and staring at the stars, wondering to yourself what's out there in that great, black ocean. Then you see a neon glow coming off the moon, "Subway. Eat fresh."
This romantic notion of Gingrich's isn't really about money. It's about jingoism...
"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American."
"We clearly have the capacity that Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to us."See, Newt Gingrich doesn't care about the growing divide between rich and poor. He cares about Cold War-era competition between countries. The moon sits outside the reach of mortal man. It is an intangible part of our world, but one that is always with us. If you are away from your family, your friends, and loved ones, if you are in foreign lands or unsure of the future, you can look up into the night sky and see one giant looming constant: the moon, the light in the darkness, the waves of the ocean, perfect and serene, you could be forgiven for thinking such a natural wonder belongs to everyone. It unifies us across an entire planet.
Fuck no! America owns that rocks, because we're the superior race to those Chinese and Russians. We're rich and technologically advanced. We are better than them, so we deserve to own the moon. Whenever a Chinese farmer finishes working in the fields at dusk, and looks over the beautiful country-side then up to that gorgeous, orange sky, he needs to be reminded of America's flashing neon grandeur telling him, "Subway. Eat fresh."
What I love most about Newt Gingrich is his lack of humility. I truly believe he longs to be Overlord of the Earth (and now: Overlord of the Moon). As he put it, "Does that mean I'm visionary? You betcha." Call me crazy, but I don't think you're supposed to call yourself a visionary. That's usually (but not always) a posthumous honor heaped upon a particularly beloved and creative mind. The "You betcha" doesn't add much class to his statement either. It makes the whole thing slightly more ridiculous. It pairs high-minded idealism with low-brow language. I think its fair to assume Gingrich is guilty of hubris.