Friday, July 20, 2007

Here’s What I Was Watching 38 Years Ago Tonight

Me and just about everyone else on the planet, supposedly. Oh there were some who didn't see it. They didn't have TV in South Africa until 1975 which quite frankly is a real shocker. I doubt that the people in the People's Republic of China – or as we called it then "Red China" to distinguish it from Chiang Kai Shek's truly "democratic" Republic across the Taiwan Strait – saw it. And you can be damned sure they weren't watching in North Vietnam or North Korea. Anyway, here's the clip.

The question I guess is whether the United States could do it again; an eight year program to do the near impossible because it was a challenge. I'm not sure. A few years ago I posted a challenge on soc.history.what-if asking whether, if Bill Clinton had said in the first year of his presidency that the United States had to put a man on the Moon by the turn of the millennium in 2001, the country and industry could do it. The responses I got weren't yes or no answers, or programs, they were diatribes on how Clinton in particular and the Democrats in general hated the space program. It degenerated from that into the usual Clinton hatred and politicized policy bashing of the Democrats that was so prevalent in the early days of the Bush presidency and still exists today. Looking back, I have to wonder if the United States could ever unite itself behind a leader and a policy as completely as it did around John Kennedy and the mission to the Moon (and yeah, I know it was hardly unanimous support but far more than any other recent president has been able to put together, let alone for anything so daring)? Right now, I despair about the possibility.

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