17 October 2008

Barack Obama: The Logical Candidate

Two out of Two Spocks Approve!
"When this movie comes out, and Obama is President, hopefully there will be some parallels" declared Zachary Quinto, referring to the forthcoming Star Trek in which he inherits the role of Mr. Spock.  Leonard Nimoy, who originated the role of the logical one, endorsed Senator Obama's candidacy earlier this year.  Cementing the relationship, Obama is reported to have seen Nimoy at a recent event and, from across the way, flashed him the Vulcan salute.

On AOL News (where I first read the Quinto quote), readers have lashed out at politicizing Trek.  Um, excuse me.  Do you have any idea what Star Trek is even about?  One post insisted that technology, not politics, was responsible for the peaceful times depicted in Trek's version of our future, crediting food replicators with ending hunger.  Apparently, not everyone understands how things work.  Those of us in the post-industrialized world take for granted things like microwavable meals, but even though freezing and microwaving technology exists, politics prevent them from being in the hands of our starving African and Asian brethren.  Without politics that seek to end hunger, no technological advancement will ever be sufficient to feed the people of the world.

I realize there are some fans who responded to the special effects part of Star Trek, and the story was secondary.  Others identified with the miltaristic organization of Starfleet and the warrior culture of the Klingon Empire.  Any real Trekker, though, knows that what has driven Star Trek all these years has been its ideology, its social messages and political stances.  Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk once characterized the Viet Nam conflict as senseless brush fighting, and this was at the height of the war!  Not only did Gene Roddenberry place an African-American on the bridge of the Enterprise, he placed an African-American woman on the bridge, and this was at a time when the civil rights movement was in full swing, as was the women's liberation movement.  Star Trek has always pressed for a society in which equality, tolerance and peace are what we take for granted.

If Senator Obama has identified with the message of Star Trek, and if he sincerely wishes to lead a presidency that works to realize Gene Roddenberry's vision of how humanity can be, then he is undoubtedly my candidate.  It is only logical, after all.

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