Apologies for the scarce blogging over the last week - I have been hit by whatever bug it is that is currently circling around Manchester, and it has pretty much taken me out. So no podcast and obviously there has been very little blogging over this week.
In my cough syrup haze I ventured to watch the State of the Union/State of Obama address in the middle of night a few days ago. Perhaps it was the fact that it was nearly 4 in the morning British time by the time he finished, maybe it was the fact that I had mixed Scotch with my Beechams Flu Plus in order to soothe the pain of all the buzzwords and cliches, but all I could think throughout the entire thing was, "What the hell are you talking about you strange little man?"
There are so many things wrong with that speech it would take countless posts to go through them all, but I don't think I would be doing my duty if I didn't refer to the "Sputnik moment". If you were lucky enough to ignore the SOTU address (as we kool kidz call it on Twitter...yo!) then you may be surprised to learn that Obama's plan to "Win the Future" (the blood curdling slogan for the speech) is for America to have a "Sputnik moment", which should encourage America to fire up and work to something amazing - government sponsored and controlled naturally!
Apart from the obvious fact that he chosen a Communist success story with which to encourage America, he doesn't quite seem to understand what Sputnik represented for America. Sputnik was a moment that helped America to see how threatened it was, it showed how in danger it was of being destroyed, and how delicate the American dream ultimately was. Sputnik itself was almost completely useless, it just circled around the globe, making noise until the novelty wore off. Yet it awoke America out of its post-war slumber and encouraged it to rediscover itself and begin the drive into prosperity - not only with the Apollo program, but in general as well.
It is for this reason that I am going to take Obama's little metaphor and turn it on its head. America has had its Sputnik moment already - that moment was Obama! Obama is the useless little machine that buzzes around the globe making lots of useless noise. Obama is the novelty that everyone is beginning to get bored of. Sputnik was supposed to be a epoch defining moment, and really it just made noise - just like Obama. Sputnik was also a product of socialist initiative, as is Obama!
Yet, the more serious lesson of Sputnik is also the lesson of Obama's election and presidency. Obama's presidency, like the launch of Sputnik, has awoken America to the malaise that it finds itself in. Obama's failed presidency shows just how far away from the American dream that nation has drifted, how threatened the American dream is once again, and it is through movements like the Tea Party where the response to the Sputnik program - one might call it a modern Apollo program - is being conducted.
Obama is wrong to suggest that "winning the future" will come from more government "investment" and initiatives. Instead it will come from Americans reasserting their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and expressing America's greatness through efficiency and private sector prosperity.
The Apollo success was a response to the defeat of America that was represented by the Sputnik moment. It is for this reason that the modern Apollo movement is well under way in the conservative movement, and it is responding to the defeat represented by the election of Obama - America's modern Sputnik moment.