Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Politics of Star Trek

Ted putting on his best Captain Kirk impersonation

In an effort to further divide Trekkies, Ted Cruz opined on rival Captains James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, considering the former a working-class Republican and the latter an effete Democrat.  It was one of those free-flow interviews that Cruz relishes, able to sound off on anything and everything, but the actor who played Captain Kirk had a bone to pick with Ted.  William Shatner is a Canadian citizen and considers himself politically independent, as he says was the same for the character he played so many stardates ago.  Not that it really matters other than to show that Ted is not a Gen X hipster but rather a traditionalist when it comes to his pop culture icons.

Ted seems to enjoy playing the clown, even mimicking all the main characters of The Simpsons.  It wasn't very successful, but heh anything to identify with the masses.  It's a far cry from the Donald, who gets so easily offended that he resorts to name calling and giving out personal phone numbers whenever someone has the audacity to question his motives.

Here was Anderson Cooper asking him the simple question how he planned to overcome his largely unfavorable rating among voters, and Scrooge McDuck got all huffy and puffy and fired back that the problem was Cooper himself and the media, which conducts such silly polls.  Who cares about a Washington Post poll when the Donald proudly proclaims he is leading across the board?

At least Ted has a self-deprecating humor about him.  He doesn't get surly when challenged in an interview.  He knows he has his supporters behind him, and that he will always be seen favorably in their eyes.  Being interviewed by the New York Times shows what a good sport he is.  After all, it was the NYT that chose to keep him off its best-selling books list, claiming he was bulk buying his latest piece of pulp non-fiction.

Ted chose to focus on pop culture, or at least the interviewer did, which he seems to know something about.  You get the feeling this guy binge watches syndicated reruns on TiVo or Netflix to calm him down after a stressful day, as he rarely seems to show any stress on the campaign trail.  Even when assailing President Obama or Mitch McConnell it doesn't appear that he harbors any real grudge against these guys.  He's just using them as cannon fodder to ignite a spark in his assembled crowds.  There isn't the mean-spirited nature that characterizes the Donald.

Does it really matter who was the better Starfleet commander?  It's not like Trekkies are going to vote for him anyway.  Ted fielded the leading question and gave the answer expected.  The scariest part is this self-styled Evangelical candidate, who is an avowed climate change denier, is overseeing the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Space and Competitiveness, which oversees NASA.  What would Captain Picard think of that?

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