I have always been a big fan of Star Trek. When I was in the sixth grade, it was my favorite television show. (Yes, I am a nerd.) But you don’t normally hear references to Star Trek on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. So when Congressman David Wu of Oregon, a Democrat, recently compared Republicans in the White House to Vulcans and Klingons, he got a lot of attention. Brit Hume played the clip on Fox News. If you missed it, you can watch the video clip of Wu, who bears a striking resemblance to Lt. Sulu, at the following link: www.clipstr.com/videos/ThereAreKlingonsInTheWhiteHouseRepDavidWu. While I don’t agree with the Congressman’s assessment, I have to admit it was hilarious.
Having just returned from the RNC meeting, another Star Trek analogy comes to mind. You see, members of the Republican National Committee are expected to assimilate. Any independence of thought or opposition to leadership is seen as unacceptable. The RNC has become the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
The top-down leadership of the RNC attempts to squelch individuality. Most members do not publicly express their true thoughts because, just as with the Borg, resistance will be punished. Few are willing to vote against the majority because that could mean the loss of a committee position or the prospect of future retaliation.
In politics, examples of classic Star Trek characters abound. We have Ferengi, those who profit from their positions. We have Changlings, or shape-shifters, who change their position to fit the situation. But I don’t believe that we have Klingons in the White House. On the contrary, I think that President Bush is more like Captain Kirk. Vice President Dick Cheney is logical and unemotional like Spock. And perhaps Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is an effective diplomat because she possesses qualities similar to Ambassador Deanna Troi, a Betazoid. The United States, just like the Federation, is a force for good. Little did I know as a child watching Star Trek that it paralleled the politics of the era. For the rest of my tenure on the RNC, I will continue to resist, futile or not, because damn it, Jim, I’m a conservative. I will boldly go where no conservative on the RNC dares to go. And as Spock would say, live long and prosper.