Of all the proposals spit out by the Trump administration, none baffles me more than the Space Force.
It began, seemingly, as a joke back in March. But within days, President Donald Trump made clear he was serious.
“We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force,” he said in a speech in Florida in May. “We have the Air Force. We’ll have the Space Force. We have the Army, the Navy. I was saying it the other day because we’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space. I said maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force. And I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that.’ “
And they did do just that! By June, Trump was directing Vice President Mike Pence to come up with an actual policy around his Space Force joke. “It is not enough to have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said at the time. Earlier this month in a speech at the Pentagon, Pence proclaimed: “Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield. … The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.”
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Apparently, the American public doesn’t agree. Just more than 1 in 3 people (37%) in a new CNN national poll said America should establish a Space Force as a separate military branch “designed to protect US assets in space.” Fully 55% percent opposed the construction of a Space Force.
While Democrats are predictably opposed to this oddest of Trumpian ideas, even Republicans – who tend to say they like whatever the President does – are skeptical; 50% approve of the building of a Space Force, while 44% disapprove.
Will those poll numbers stop Trump, a most poll-obsessed President? Absolutely not. Remember that the idea for the Space Force is Trump’s and Trump’s alone. He joked about it, but then decided he liked the idea and used his sway as President to breathe it to life. The Space Force is his baby. He’s not walking away from it because some poll said people don’t like it.
The Point: Mars Awaits (still)!