Space Alumni.com thinks we need to talk up Mars more:
To attract the future generation of explorers, NASA needs to establish
itself as the agency of the future, not the agency of the past. A return to the
Moon is merely the stepping stone necessary to set foot on Mars and beyond, but
advertisements would have the audience think the return to the Moon is the main
goal of the VSE.
I would argue that the goal of the VSE is to get humanity into space permanently. If we get fixated on one destination, we sell ourselves short.