Over the weekend, Ted Cruz was on the campaign trail for 2016 when he encountered a new frontier and went haphazardly where no man has gone before…he noted that William Shatner is “quite likely” a Republican.
In an interview with New York Times magazine, the beleaguered presidential candidate was asked about his affinity for Star Trek:
You’re also a fan of ‘‘Star Trek.’’ Do you prefer Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Absolutely James Tiberius Kirk.
Well, that goes with being a Kirk person. It does indeed. Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. 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.
So far, so good. Even dropped the middle name for loyalty points (suck up). Cruz knows his demographic will be the older, more established voter, so it makes sense to back up the original and swing the vote. Sure, Sir Patrick Stewart is suave and debonair, but he’s more of “Professor X” for the hipsters.
And then this happened:
Do you have a suspicion about whether Kirk would be a Democrat or a Republican? I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.
No doubt. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ was grittier. Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.
Shatner is passionate all right…about not alienating any of his fan base. He took to Twitter and called out Cruz for that:
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
Forget “stun.” That is setting your phaser to “burn.”