Friday, July 24, 2015

Ted Cruz as Captain Kirk?

Senator Ted Cruz is a Star Trek fan. Possibly a delusional and ill-informed Star Trek fan. That's not a knock on Trekkies. That's a hit on Cruz. I'm a pretty big Trek fan (and overall sci fi fan) myself. Cruz could have won me over with slightly more accurate and interesting commentary. 

In a New York Times interview the presidential wannabe declared, "I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat."

Quote from the article: 
If you were a journalist interviewing, what would you ask? Who knows, I might well ask, "Kirk or Picard" I've never been asked that before, and I actually have a strong opinion on it. 
Well, that goes with being a Kirk person. It does indeed. Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at "Star Trek: The Next Generation," it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk's rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective you need both heart and mind.
I thought your critique might go in a different direction, because "Next Generation" is more touchy-feely in its politics than the original. No doubt. The original "Star Trek" was grittier. Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original "Star Trek" pressed for racial quality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.
Do you have a suspicion about whether Kirk would be a Democrat or a Republican? I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat. 

He's flat out wrong. Even Shatner called Cruz out. 

(Shatner is Canadian.) 

But let's get serious here. 
Kirk is no Republican. He's a playboy who likes to save the day and revels in the glory. He's all about equal rights and free love, and will create those rights with a raygun as needed. Republicans have never been big on creating equal rights with military force. (They will defend existing beliefs with military force, but have never been ones to create new rights. It's just not their thing.) Kirk was all about expansion and the unknown. Republicans like to keep things close to home and traditional. 

Picard is not a Democrat either. He's a Lincoln Republican. He's a diplomat, well-read, and academic in his decisions. He wouldn't make a good politician, but he'd be a great U.N. ambassador, balancing the needs of different cultures so that everyone can live in peace and justice. 

Riker would be a Republican. He's all about defending his beliefs and isn't afraid to pull out a gun. 

Spock and Data would be Libertarians- straight up, unbiased, literal readings of the law without emotion. Spock would be great on the Supreme Court. You know, if he were human enough. 

But that's just my take on things. 

As one friend put it, "The entire argument is moot, albeit interesting; politics is the art of managing limited resources to fulfill unlimited wants. Both captains live in a world of unlimited resources."

He has a point. 

Now, if Cruz were to follow up his NY Times interview with a blog post further expounding upon his Star Trek rational, he could conceivably win over a few Trekkies. And considering his ranking in the polls this week, that couldn't possibly hurt. 

Click to enlarge. 

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