One Trek Mind #47: Spock the Vote
Spock the Vote!
If this subspace relay makes it back to the Sol III on time, many of you north of your equator and west of your prime meridian are engaging in the democratic process.
For a show so firmly rooted in enlightened social touchstones, there isn't THAT much in Star Trek devoted to the topic of voting. Trial by jury, yes – enough of those to last a millennium.
Even though TOS' “The Omega Glory” concludes with Captain Kirk's stirring recital of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the mechanics of how the Federation's leaders come into power are dealt with in mostly broad strokes. (Note: before the hardcore readers out there race to leave angry comments, I'll fess up that my copy of Keith R. A. DeCandido's “Articles of the Federation” remains on my sizable stack of unread Star Trek novels that I'm dying to get around to one of these stardates.)
There have been a few episodes devoted to the power machinations of the Klingon Chancellory, the Cardassian Detapa Council and the nomination of the Bajoran Kai by the Vedek Assembly, so it isn't outside the realm of possibility that 23rd and 24th century citizens have to deal with what we've been suffering through these past weeks and months: campaign advertising.
Just imagine, then, if you weren't inundated with robot calls to re-elect Obama, but were hit with unsolicited holograms attesting to the good government of O'Brien!
Yes, President Miles Edward O'Brien (affectionately known as “Chief”) still promotes a platform focused on a bootstrap-style approach to social services. Basically, don't trust anyone else to fix the problem; learn to fix it yourself. He's still reeling from criticism, however, from changing Nixon's bowling alley into a presidential dart pub. His wife Keiko, however, remains on the forefront in the battle to make education the top priority of all domestic policies.
O'Brien's running mate, of course, is someone who is known to be a divisive figure. We're speaking, of course, of Joe the Bynar. Joe the Bynar can sometimes get into trouble for just spewing out whatever Ones and Zeroes are on his mind, but when President O'Brien needs someone to get on the stump and act tough, Joe the Bynar always has his back.
If you live in a swing-sector you are no doubt flooded with just as many PADDs offering propaganda for the other side. Mitt ROMney and Jeri Ryan make a curious duet. On the top of the ticket is a man known primarily for his business acumen (although his actual qualifications are subject to debate), while his running mate sure has purrty eyes.
Then there are the third parties. Shran thinks he has a shot at the blue states. I don't know what frequency his antennae are on, because his aggressive, hawk-like attitude will never play in places like Massachusetts. Even Future-Massachusetts.
Scotty, as patron saint of the Redshirts, is also making a quixotic run in the red states. It's a noble effort, but it is unlikely that the constituency will ever get over the accent. You should just hear talk radio get up in arms about “nacelle babies.”
The future won't be free of sloganeering, either. For various senate and gubernatorial elections front yards and the rear bumpers of runabouts are festooned with phrases. You might find: I Like Riker! or Tippecanoe and Tuvok Too!
As Worf runs for office in Louisiana, try to go anywhere in that state without hearing the song “Every Man a Kling!” And while earlier I mentioned that Jeri Ryan was Mitt ROMney's running mate, she's being prudent and also running for reelection in her home district. It's not the first time someone has done this, but surely the first time one has done it claiming to be the “7 of 99 %!”
Elections certainly bring out the emotion in people, and there are those convinced the whole thing is rigged. But even if you have a cousin out there convinced that the Tal Shiar, Obsidian Order and Section 31 are actually running everything, it is still important to get out there and Spock the Vote! (Also, don't respond to any of your cousin's emails. They're totally watching you now; you know that, right?)
Jordan Hoffman is a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can also be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels.