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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Mike Potemra, writing at NRO makes, an odd observation:

I have over the past couple of months been watching DVDs of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a show I missed completely in its run of 1987 to 1994; and I confess myself amazed that so many conservatives are fond of it. Its messages are unabashedly liberal ones of the early post-Cold War era – peace, tolerance, due process, progress (as opposed to skepticism about human perfectibility).

The first thing that occurs to me is that if conservatives can only like a TV show if it thematically rejects progress, then no conservative should like Star Trek at all (in any incarnation), as Roddenberry was all about the perfectibility of humanity.

Second, is he saying that to be conservative is to oppose “peace, tolerance, due process and progress”?

And not to get too Trekkie on everybody, but even this struck me as odd:

I asked an NR colleague about it, and he speculated that the show’s appeal for conservatives lay largely in the toughness of the main character: Jean-Luc Picard was a moral hardass where the Captain Kirk of the earlier show was more of an easygoing, cheerful swashbuckler. I think there’s something to that: Patrick Stewart did indeed create, in that character, a believable and compelling portrait of ethical uprightness.

I will grant that a)  Picard was a hardass at times and b) Kirk’s libido 1 wasn’t exactly a social conservative’s ideal; however, Kirk was quite the moralists, something of a neo-con, and something of an anti-communist (at least allegorically!).

And, Good Lord Man, Picard was French!2  And he sipped wine!3

But, in truth, that whole post is just weird.

BTW:  it was just a TV show…

h/t:  John Holbo at CT.

  1. Not that Picard was celibate, let alone confining sex to marriage. []
  2. That’s a joke—although true. []
  3. Not to mention the tea, Earl Grey, hot. []
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3 Responses to “Odd Quote of the Day (Star Trek and Conservatives Edition)”

  1. Max Lybbert Says:

    My problem with Star Trek: The Next Generation was the fact that the Federation sounded like an intergalactic communist government, and that this future was inevitable.

    I don’t know any conservative who doesn’t want peace. It’s just that they realize most peace plans are doomed to failure.

    Likewise, I don’t think intolerance is a conservative quality; but I don’t believe what passes for tolerance and diversity today is hardly related to the actual definitions of the words “tolerance” and “diversity” (generally tolerance and diversity policies do everything to guarantee that nobody expresses themselves in any way, out of fear of offending some culture who may not be present).

    I strongly believe in due process; (I agree with several conservatives that the phrase “substantive due process” is an oxymoron because it sounds a lot like saying “not quite what was legally required, but close enough”). I would argue over what process is due in particular circumstances: should the underwear bomber be read his rights and provided a free attorney? should he be interrogated by the CIA? should he be interrogated by military personnel with the understanding that interrogations by either the CIA or the military could make it more difficult to file criminal charges in federal court?

    And I have no idea why progress was even included on the list.

  2. Mike de la Loyola Says:

    Clearly Queen Elizabeth finds something redeeming about Picard, as Patrick Stewart is slated to be knighted:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/30/patrick.stewart.knighthood/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

  3. Neil Says:

    ya i too agree with max points why writing a topic like this are included in this list but any way information is good thanks


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