Captain Kirk: Not a Republican
Ted Cruz's analysis of the Star Trek hero's political allegiances were shut down by fellow Canadian William Shatner.
While being interviewed by the New York Times Magazine last week, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was asked by writer Ana Marie Cox whether he prefers Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) or Captain Picard (Ian McKellen‘s friend Patrick Stewart). Cruz answers amicably with Kirk’s full name: “Absolutely James Tiberius Kirk.”
He goes on to offer an interesting-enough analysis of the ways Star Trek: The Next Generation developed Picard and first officer William Riker. “It basically split James T. Kirk into two people,” Cruz says. “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.” A good point if he’s only talking about fictional starship captains and not subtly trying to say something about himself.
Cox then comments that she’s surprised that Cruz isn’t bothered by The Next Generation‘s “touchy-feely politics.” “No doubt,” Cruz responds. “Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher.” When Cox asks whether he thinks Kirk would be a Republican, Cruz responds “I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.” Because being working class and valuing justice are traits inherent only to the Republican party.
It’s all good, gentle fun, the kind of puffy interview question that allows us to theoretically get to know The Man Behind The Man. (And to be fair, Cruz does come off like an okay guy.) But now Shatner himself has entered the fray, tweeting out a pair of simple reminders: “I can’t even vote in the US,” he says, and, perhaps even more importantly: “To put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly.”
Star Trek wasn’t political. I’m not political; I can’t even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 23, 2015
(via Entertainment Weekly)