The worst kept secret of Bush’s vision for the Moon and Mars has been unveiled. It is all very easy to appear to human exploration nature when such scheme is discussed. However if one look deeper into the history of exploration, pure exploration for its sake never happened.
Did Magellan round the Cape Horn just to prove he could do it (he was not the first to do it)? Nope, the urge to round the Cape Horn was to find another route to the Far East for the lucrative spice trade. Likewise for the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope for trade with India and beyond.
Though the space race in the ’60s had nothing to do with financial gain, the stake was far higher as it was nations and ideas that were at stake.
Unless there is an overwhelming drive that grips the population and provide the political incentive and support for the decade(s) long space exploration program, the enthusiasm from the minority of space advocates will not suffice.