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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

'Lunar Liberty' by Todayinah Ed.
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed. says, in which early victory in Vietnam allows America to accelerate the Space Programme. A political satire of the 2012 GOP Presidential Nomination process. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.

January 27

In 2008, on this day smooth-talking Captain Willard ("Mitt") Romney closed-out the final duty of his "twenty" by organizing the security detail for the Republican Presidential Debate on the Moon.

Lunar Liberty Part 1With the population of the base approaching the magic thirteen thousand target required for a consideration of Statehood, the Lunar Primary had initially focused on the political issue of recognition. But the financial crisis had forced an explosive new item onto the agenda, whether the whole mission was economically viable (or not).

Budget cuts threatened to mothball the base. Inconveniently soon afterwards the discovery was made of an artifact (the so-called "alien statue of liberty"). As he travelled back to earth for the last time, Mitt chuckled that it was Capricorn One all over again.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.

January 29

In 1963, despite the very best efforts of young Flight Surgeon Ronald E. Paul, the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps William Westmoreland expired in Saigon after choking on a chicken bone.

Lunar Liberty Part 2Of course within four years, his more capable successor General Creighton Abrams had delivered an emphatic American victory in Vietnam. And re-elected President Johnson and his successor Hubert Humphrey were fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue non-militaristic adventures.

One of which, the Space Programme greatly excited Surgeon Paul. He dreamt of serving as the first doctor on a manned spaceflight. In the event, Johnson, Humphrey and Paul overachieved, and by the year 2000 Paul was the Chief Medical Officer of the Lunar Colony.

He stayed on after retirement, becoming a libertarian spokesman as the moon's population approached the magic thirteen thousand target required for an application for Statehood recognition.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.

February 3

In 2011, to mark the recent admission of the 51st State, inaugural Governor Ronald E. Paul was pleased to welcome the historian Newton Leroy Gingrich to the Moon (pictured).

Lunar Liberty Part 3Inevitably cynics viewed the payment of the archivist's services as a thinly disguised attempt to increase funding for the Lunar Colony during a period of budgetary austerity. Nevertheless, Gingrich's multi-part publication would provide an insightful exploration of space flight history that was well received by the academic community.

Part one reviewed the Soviet-America rivalry of the nineteen fifties, a challenge to national prestige that drove President Kennedy to make a pledge to land on the moon before the decade was out. And yet manned space flight had to complete with another program that was simultaneously draining national resources - the Vietnam War.

Part Two addressed the subsequent challenges of President Hubert Humphrey who was both a beneficiary and a victim of the hard-fought victory won by General Creighton Abrams. Overbold due to a misreading of American triumphalism, the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered a preemptive strike at the outset of the Yom Kippur War. The resulting Arab backlash forced America to develop alternative energy sources.

And Part Three outlined the accelerated development of Solar Power Satellites, the fundamental technology breakthrough required to transport humanity en masse to the moon. Surely without this invention of sustainable accelerated G-Force, modern rocketry would never had permitted thirteen thousand men and women to staff the Lunar Colony and reach the magic population number that would had triggered a consideration of Statehood.

February 9

In 2008, at his muted arrival on the Moon Colony, the outspoken austeritarian GOP candidate Rick Santorum provoked an instant reaction by telling reporters that the purpose of his visit was to "find out exactly what America had got for its hundred billion bucks" and lay bare that truth at the Lunar Presidential Debate.

Lunar Liberty Part FourThroughout the campaign Santorum had faced sharp criticism from advocates of the Space Program who pointed to American history for examples where costly outlays had been followed by long-term payback from unexpected developments. Dismissed by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune as a "frozen wasteland" Alaska became one of the best investments America ever made. The passage of the Transcontinental Pacific Railroad Act created a roadmap to world hegemony, even though at the time it was impossible to justify the investment with a sound business case. And the Kelly Airmail Act opened the door to ubiquitous passenger flight.

Nevertheless it seemed inevitable that these Kennedyesque "new frontier" aspirational arguments would fail to prevent austerity budget cuts from mothballing the base. But then something totally unexpected happened and it transpired that Space Exploration really had opened a new doorway.

During his visit, Santorum received a top security briefing and was advised of the recent discovery of an alien monitoring probe. According to archivist Newton Leroy Gingrich, this device was tens of thousands of years old and had been left at the dawn of mankind in a location on the Moon where it would be undisturbed. Somewhat alarmingly, it had just begun transmitting a tightly-beamed signal to a remote part of the Galaxy. Potentially including photographic images of Gingrich's over-sized cranium which suggested a tangential development in human evolution. Of course it was more widespread coverage than Santorum had been expecting when he boarded the space plane.
This post is an article from the Lunar Liberty thread.

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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.