I love aviation. Chuck Yeager signed my private pilot log book. To me, the National Air and Space Museum is a holy place. But when I read that on the afternoon of April 30 a trio of F-35 fighters from Hill Air Force Base will be flying up and down Utah in an effort to cheer us up, I cannot help but think about the insanity of it all.
Over the course of its service, the F-35 program will cost a trillion dollars, and it is beset with serious technical shortcomings. We don’t have enough medical testing supplies, protective gear for hospital workers or ventilators. Sewing clubs are having to make our face masks. Yet we have a trillion dollars to spend on a jet fighter that cannot fly in the rain? And who exactly is the F-35 supposed to fight? Russian computer hackers? Chinese entrepreneurs?
I will stand in my driveway Thursday afternoon, wearing a home-sewn face mask, and admire the planes as they fly down the Salt Lake Valley. But as I watch them, I will be thinking about our nation’s deeply irrational and dysfunctional priorities.
Salt Lake City