The shame of Greg Abbott
When the Artemis rocket, the most powerful in history, thundered to life on launch pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida it was aimed at the moon.
During the next years, Artemis rockets will carry American astronauts to the Moon and Mars. The first black Americans, women and other minority groups will be represented among a group of astronauts who are truly the best from among us. Their resumes and achievements are as unbelievable as they are inspirational.
They will see with their own eyes what President John Kennedy must have sensed as so vital and necessary for all of mankind to see during the hours of maximum danger when nuclear Armageddon seemed inevitable. They will see this:
Here is what he said about the most obvious and basic truth of all at American University in 1963:
“In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
JFK sensed his mortality. He lived heavily with it. It gave him great purpose and fueled great ambitions. There was a time within reach in America when our politics was less grubby, but our society far more unjust. America remained an apartheid state in 1961, held hostage by the defeated Confederacy, which interpreted defeat as a license to keep their flag, racist ideology and immoral practices of subjugation intact for another 100 years at least.
During those years of tumult and change, on the edge of civil rights, space exploration, assassinations and the Vietnam War a combat veteran of the Second World War said this:
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
Today, there is a new creed that is the bitter harvest of the Trump years. Trump is finished, but his fruit remains. His stench prevails. His meanness endures.