Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yup. I'm taking the bait.

Yeah, there was really no way I can let this pass without comment. It's an interview Republican hopeful Ted Cruz did with New York Times magazine in which he is asked by writer Ana Marie Cox whether he prefers Captain Kirk or Captain Picard. It's maybe not the best example of hard-hitting journalism, but it is a completely valid question. Needless to say, he got the answer to this very personal and subjective question wrong.
No, he didn't say Captain Archer. Good guess though.
"What? I'm a huge Star Track fan. 'Keeenn!'
See? You know, from the Wrath of Ken?"
Look, I think we can and should judge our political leaders by their choice of favorite Star Trek character. It's an excellent gage of a person's priorities and values. That said, the last thing we want in a leader is a Kirk fan. Check out Cruz's rationale:

"Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice, Picard is a cerebral philosopher."

-Ted Cruz, not very good at being trekkie

First of all, I'm not sure that phasering a primitive society's malfunctioning computer-god really qualifies as justice, but sure, I'll give him passionate.
Pictured: Vaal, the computer-god on Gamma Trianguli VI which Kirk
destroys before warping away and leaving the planet's natives to pick up
the pieces of their shattered culture and-holy shit, Kirk sort of is America...
Twice the fists, twice the
raw punching power.
Kirk was definitely one for dropkicking his way through problems, and that can make for interesting television but the whole point of Star Trek was that humans in the future would resolve their problems with reason and cooperation. Of course, this was TV in the 1960's so Kirk did a lot of double-fist punching which he usually followed up with a heavy-handed and halting speech about how violence isn't the answer. He was, by the standards of the time, a cerebral philosopher even if he's now held up as the action captain to Picard's thinking captain.

Poor Lieutenant, Leslie. He will be
missed. By someone. I assume.
But are punching skills alone really what we look for in a political candidate? I mean, the Oval Office comes with missile codes. I don't see where cerebral is a bad thing for a President to be. Sure, the ability to take decisive action is always going to be important, but so is not getting people killed. There's a reason the term red-shirt has worked its way into our language. Someone did the math on this out of a crew of 430, 59 crew members bought it at some point during the show's 3 seasons. That's 13.7%. If you joined Kirk's crew you had a worse than one in ten shot and winding up dead. One in ten. I mean holy shit, why did they give this guy a starship?

I'm not saying that Picard's crew didn't have their share of Borg-related mishaps and sentient oil-slick related fatalities, but 64 out of a crew of 1014 over seven seasons? Way better odds. Also, they had holodecks. Whose ship would you rather be on?
One of these captains is an accomplished, competent
Starfleet officer. The other is Captain James T. Kirk.
A whole movie, in a language like 8 people
actually speak and he's calling you out Ted.
Oh, and then he said this:

"I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and that Picard is a Democrat."

-Ted Cruz, digging 
himself in deeper

Even William Shatner took to Twitter to call Cruz's assertions ridiculous, and he once shot an entire movie in esperanto. 

This is where I'm always a little suspicious of conservatives who identify themselves as trekkies. Like it's a show about how the future will be a shining secular humanist utopia where everyone gets along, there's no war and humans don't believe in money. So what's the appeal for guys like Ted Cruz?
I'm not saying there aren't people like Ted Cruz on Star Trek,
I'm just saying their not exactly Captain Kirk.

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