Quote of the day–Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt

What does it take for Americans to do great things; to go to the moon, to win wars, to dig canals linking oceans, to build railroads across a continent? In independent thought about this question, Neil Armstrong and I concluded that it takes a coincidence of four conditions, or in Neil’s view, the simultaneous peaking of four of the many cycles of American life. First, a base of technology must exist from which to do the thing to be done. Second, a period of national uneasiness about America’s place in the scheme of human activities must exist. Third, some catalytic event must occur that focuses the national attention upon the direction to proceed. Finally, an articulate and wise leader must sense these first three conditions and put forth with words and action the great thing to be accomplished. The motivation of young Americans to do what needs to be done flows from such a coincidence of conditions…. The Thomas Jeffersons, The Teddy Roosevelts, The John Kennedys appear. We must begin to create the tools of leadership which they, and their young frontiersmen, will require to lead us onward and upward.

Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt
Sen., New Mexico
[To win wars? Hmmm… If Schmidt is right what are we missing?–Joe]


1 thought on “Quote of the day–Dr. Harrison H. Schmidt

  1. Its a good and valid quote as far as it goes, but I find it telling that all he could come up with as examples of greatness were massive public works projects. Coming from a senator its predictable.

    I’ll point out that if greatness is defined by the size and scope of a country’s public works, then the Soviet Union and Communist China are examples of great countries.

    I reject that completely, and spit on it besides. Now I wonder what Mr. Schmidt would say to that.

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