On July 20, 1969, an estimated 600 million people around the globe watched Neil Armstrong take his first steps onto the lunar surface. This was about 15% of everyone alive at that time. (“When the Eagle Landed,” Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2009)
You can argue that we’re not as powerful as we used to be, that our economy is faltering, that we don’t innovate enough, and that African rap is better. But sheer firepower, dollars, box office, and music downloads objectively show dominance if not “greatness.”
Three years passed between the first transcontinental airmail service and the establishment of the first transcontinental airline. Twelve years passed between the Soviets’ first rocket and the Americans’ Moon landing. Forty-four years have passed since the last time humans were on the Moon.