A few months ago, Beaucoup Kevin wondered aloud why so many conservatives are Star Trek fans, when the show clearly depicts a multiracial cast existing in harmony in a near-socialistic universe.
My first answer was a little flippant: “Because quantum torpedoes make things blow up real good.” My second answer had a bit more thought: “Star Trek presents the fantasy that a military commander, wielding a mighty starship, can be the ultimate force for good in the universe.”
Think about it: Kirk could usually solve the most ingrained problems with a good bluff and a few phaser shots. The Federation’s civilian leadership was usually depicted as incompetent, to the extent that it existed at all. Kirk was basically David Petraeus at warp speed.
Consider two examples from the Original Series:
The Apple: The Enterprise finds a race of humanoids kept in a childlike state by a computer tyrant named Vaal. The Enterprise destroys the computer with a heavy phaser barrage, leaving the natives to discover self-determination for the first time.
A Taste of Armageddon: The Enterprise finds two planets who have been at war for centuries. But they now handle the war by computer, with the “casualties” reporting dutifully to disintegration booths to commit suicide. Kirk exposes the planets to real warfare, with the prospect of real destruction, and they are forced to find a way to live together.
Those two episodes contain about 75 percent of the Bush Doctrine. Maybe we can run the ol’ corbomite bluff on the Sunnis and Shiites.
Whoops. Nearly forgot something there.