Gehrke: Some say we can’t afford Space Force when the truth is we can’t afford not to have Space Force

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune The Salt Lake Tribune staff portraits. Robert Gehrke.

Can we get serious for a minute? Like matter-of-life-or-death serious?

Can you, with absolute certainty, look your family in the eye and tell them there is no way, as you sit down to dinner or a movie this evening, that aliens won’t descend from the heavens and vaporize you — vaporize all of us — on the spot?

You can’t do it, can you? Just because the aliens didn’t come yesterday or the day before doesn’t mean they won’t come tonight or tomorrow.

We live on the razor’s edge in a universe filled with unknown peril. At any moment, civilization as we know it could be wiped out and there is only one thing that can save us — Space Force.

"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,’ ” President Donald Trump, who has great ideas, said in March.

Three months later, he signed an order directing the Pentagon to get to work on the creation of Space Force and last week, Vice President Mike Pence announced work was underway on the new branch of the military.

Vice President Mike Pence, center, is greeted by Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, left, and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis before speaking at an event on the creation of a United States Space Force, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Unfortunately, the best idea Trump has ever had has become a punchline for late-night comedians and naysayers who fail to grasp the crisis we could soon be facing.

One of those critics was James Mattis, who contended last October that the military already has a space command and making it a new branch of the military would simply add redundant bureaucracy. Yes, Mattis is technically the defense secretary and a retired four-star general.

But there are several times that many stars in space waiting to be explored. The truth is, Mattis is lazy and doesn’t want to have to do the extra work. He has come around to the merit of his boss' idea.

Astronaut Mark Kelly tweeted that Space Force “is a dumb idea.”

“The Air Force does this already. That is their job," he tweeted. “What’s next, we move submarines to the 7th branch and call it the ‘under-the-sea force?’”

And the answer is obvious: No, because Disney would sue for infringing on its Little Mermaid copyright.

Maybe the aliens are here already and are using their mind control rays to manipulate these critics, because they know the only thing that can thwart their plan to enslave the human race is Space Force. We can’t rule it out.

The bleeding hearts on the left are quick to point out that Space Force could cost billions, mostly benefitting defense contractors, and that the money that could be better spent on rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure, improving schools, or helping people get health care.

But there really is no better way to control future health care costs than by preventing aliens from snatching people off the streets in flying saucers and laying eggs inside them. It’s pretty obvious when you think about it.

Esteemed scholar and talk show truth-teller Alex Jones gets it.

“I know what’s going on with Space Force … the truth is there has been a Space Force since the 1960s,” he said during a recent broadcast. Trump is merely declassifying the existence of the program in which more than a thousand Americans have died developing the space weapons of the future, Jones contends.

But the United States can’t let the communist Chinese beat us into space. We must have dominance, he said.

“It’s a very, very smart thing Trump is doing in my view,” said Jones, who is renowned for his ability to recognize smart things. “Space Force is a great name for it.”

Shortly after Jones publicly connected those dots, purported space lizard-monster Mark Zuckerberg shut down Jones’ Facebook profile and other social media companies followed suit. Coincidence?

There’s another thing nobody is talking about: Asteroids.

A while back I watched a fascinating documentary called “Armageddon,” where an asteroid was headed for Earth and the only way to stop it was for a team to drill into its surface and detonate a nuclear bomb.

Some members of that heroic crew went on to have successful Hollywood film careers and another one was Billy Bob Thornton.

It was a thrilling mission that your kids will never hear about in public schools. But if we know one thing, it’s that history repeats itself, and the only way to prevent us all from having to suffer through the misery of “Armageddon 2” is Space Force.

We can’t wait any longer. We need Space Force and we need it now.

And I suggest it would be fitting to make Trump, who dreamed up this brilliant idea, the first one we launch into space.