Re: Policy for Future American Leadership in Space
"indicative of a deeply rooted feeling of insecurity and paranoia in the American psyche."
No. Think of it as part of "Make America Great Again". We used to lead everyone in things like this. The reasons why we do NOT do so now stem from "globalism", socialism, and various policies that stifle the private sector.
Besides, so many technologies sprung from the space program in the 1960's, we oughta just do it for that reason alone... [except for those who want to 'hold back our technological development' 'for our own good', this should be perceived as a GOOD thing!]
What I see being different is the role of the PRIVATE sector, this time around. Trump kept saying 'commercial interests' and so I bet that's what he's thinking. I think it's an EXCELLENT idea, and it can begin with the licensing of even MORE private space stuff.
As for Elon's Mars trip - interesting, but the reason _I_ would want to go to Mars would be to ESCAPE the SOCIALISM. Problem with Elon's plan, is that he'll have SOCIALISM ARRIVE BEFORE WE GET THERE.