The United States is not a spacefaring country. In 1972, we could put a man on the moon. In 2014, we can't put a person in orbit. We have to hitchhike on other countries' spacecraft. The X-37 is a wonderful monument to the power of robotics. But it doesn't make the US a spacefaring nation.People also tend to forget that, RIGHT NOW, the US has a reusable spaceplane that can stay on orbit for years, and autonomously re-enter and land at a chosen base.
So when somebody in the US says, "If we can put a man on the moon...", they've lost the argument. It took 11 years for the US to get to the moon the first time (work really started in 1958. Kennedy didn't pull that deadline out of the blue in '61.) I don't think it could be done in 20 years now. The problem isn't the technology. The problem is the will.