Sure. We choose what we develop.
We could have focused our world creativity on developing harp-based music, but instead we focused on guitar-based music. It's an arbitrary choice.
At the end of WWII, rockets were looking better.
The Me262 was a desperate and very costly experiment whose engines were good for 1-2 flights. Fuel economy was terrible and had little prospect of improving. This is a problem, because - ask Ukraine - a slightly faster fighter that uses 10 times the fuel puts a heavy load on the logistics chain - and amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.
The V-2 was a competent production craft that was absolutely delivering the goods with good efficiency and obvious advancement prospects.
The speed of sound is not a barrier for rockets but in 1945 was a huge barrier for jets. Aerodynamic effects right at the speed of sound (Mach 0.99-1.01) are brutal, and this may be seen as impracticable to overcome.
A rocket will always be fast enough to catch a jet, but a jet will never be fast enough to catch a rocket. The military may conclude that no matter what they do with a jet, the enemy's rocket will always be able to catch it.
A central planner looking at both of them, and having to choose one for national commitment, wouldn't be unreasonable to choose rockets and call the jet a dead-end. That might mean that on into the 60s, they made Apollo-like investments in rockets, certainly reaching the F1 engine by 1965.
They may even make a treaty with would-be adversaries not to waste their mutual national industry on the pursuit of jets. Which would stop development cold, obviously.
Carve up our city for longer runways? No thanks.
Postwar, it was fashionable for cities to destroy tens of thousands of homes, gouging up whole towns in pursuit of longer, longer and longer runways at airports. All this to accommodate the new jetliners.
What if they didn't? What if towns with harbors or lakes were perfectly happy with flying boats? Which worked great, and were enormous as they had no structural limits like a land plane.
Well now the longest runway you can count on is 4000' or so. The high speeds of jetliners become impractical for such short runways, and water landings as well. That kills the commercial market, which means the military would need to pay all the freight for jet development.