Das Fuhrer says it is time to put America first. I do not think I can agree with that. I would say, instead, that we should instead place at the top all of humanity. As the late and great mind, Carl Sagan, said “we are made of star stuff,” and I would say it’s time for us to attempt to take our place among the stars. Even if we disregard the notion that we need to be the best in everything, because as far as we know we are at the top already, I would argue that we should instead strive to be the best that we can be, not to win some imagined competition for bragging rights, but because we are the best. Let’s ignore how it will make us appear now, instead concentrating on how we want those in the future to think of us and remember us.
When we think of ancient civilizations, like the Mayans or the Israelites, history forces us to consider how brutal their civilizations were. The Mayans routinely sacrificed captured enemy warriors and an ancient tribe of Israelites regularly sacrificed infants to gain favor from some deity or another. How do we want future generations to remember us? They will mention how strict our laws are, how we punish those whom we believe to have slighted our delicate sensibilities. They are certainly going to mention how a large and vocal segment of our population foolishly denied simple scientific principals in favor of an archaic text from thousands of years ago. Is this how we want future generations to remember us, as the society that set humanity back thousands of years? I don’t think we want future scholars to refer to us as the “society of idiots.”
Instead, I want future historians to remember us for starting a movement towards something. I don’t know what that something might be; I’m not sure anyone does, but there are many, many possibilities for these future scholars to remember us. My vision involves us moving beyond this planet to become, what Stephen Hawking posited, is “a multi-planet species.” Scientists can figure out a way for us to get to another planet, which will take time of course. Who knows what discoveries await us on another planet: rare elements on Earth found in abundance or resources that have run out or become uncommon on Earth, even completely new periodic elements! The possibilities are endless; the age of discovery that Columbus started over 200 years ago can be reborn.