You can't trust the American electorate and their political representatives to do what's important for the future of the species.
For most of us here on Slashdot, space exploration is cool, exciting, motivating, and instills a sense of pride and adventure in ourselves as humans.
But I get so tired of this idea that space travel is important to the future of our species. Even if the only way we could survive would be through an exodus to other worlds, how does that solve the problems that would lead us to such an exodus? Until we become more enlightened here on Earth and make some progress in the nature of the human heart, we will only bring those problems with us.
What the heck is so important about the survival of our species anyway? Hopefully we'll involve into something more than we are now, but if we die out, that won't be so unusual as far as species go. Do we consider it a tragedy that the dinosaurs evolved into birds? Compared to the vastness, mystery, and awesomeness of the Universe as a whole, we're really insignificant.
I doubt that we're the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, let alone the entire Universe; there are probably many more to fulfill whatever purpose we have, if any, as sentient, self-aware, curious observers and participants in the evolution of the Universe. If they've managed to solve the problem of interstellar travel, they're probably praying that we'll become more civilized before we escape the bounds of our planet.