No one can deny that the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is unlike any other in recent memory with most Americans regardless of political persuasion agreeing that the outcome of this election is potentially among the most important ever to be decided upon by the American people.
Regardless of whether individual voters support the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee Donald Trump, or perhaps even the Libertarian or Green Party candidates, a large group of well known Star Trek celebrities as has been previously reported, have come together in their vocal opposition to the controversial business man, reality star, political new-comer, and freshly crowned leader of the Republican Right, Donald Trump.
Depending on individual voter perspectives, the 2016 election has had a polarizing effect on the electorate in all time high levels of anticipation, tension and even fear throughout the country. The Anti-Trump open letter dubbed “Trek Against Trump” boasts many of the biggest and most recognizable names within the Star Trek brand among its signatories, such as Eugene Roddenberry, Adam Nimoy, J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, George Takei and Walter Koenig along with many other notable Star Trek personalities.
Trek Against Trump asks Star Trek fans and life-long believers in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a better and more enlightened humanity, to join them in denouncing, standing against and working together to ensure that Donald Trump shall never be elected as the 45th President of the United States in the upcoming 2016 Presidential election.
Interestingly, some of these Trek personalities have been and indeed continue to be quite loud in their outspoken stances against Donald Trump through their ongoing social media commentaries against the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate. Both George Takei who played Sulu on the original Star Trek series as well as Robert Picardo who played the Doctor on Star trek: Voyager can be seen passionately posting regular if not daily Tweets and Facebook posts in their effort to help show Trump to be as dangerous to the United States and indeed the world as they believe him to be.
George Takei would seem to be the most vocal Trek celebrity whose opposition has become more of a personal mission against Trump and his running mate Mike Pence, with the fan-favorite and beloved Trek celebrity reaching more than 1.8 million social media followers with each tweet and post. Takei in essence sees and describes Trump as a dangerous political demagogue who has in essence grown his support by appealing to the more right leaning desires, fears and prejudices of his base, which he sees as inherent and dangerous in the current Trump/Pence campaign.
Most recently Takei spoke out against some of Governor Mike Pince’s Vice Presidential debate comments on social media saying, “You know, Pence’s argument once put me and my family into an Internment camp on the grounds they “couldn’t be certain” of our loyalty #shame.” In this way Takei is pointing out that it was those very types of political views and political commentary which contributed to thousands of Japanese Americans, including himself as a child, being forcibly relocated to American Internment camps during World War II.
Takei likewise made sure to point out Pence’s poor record on LGBT rights, which many readers will recall refers to the Indiana Governors recent signing of a religious freedom law that many saw as clearly discriminatory to the LGBT community, tweeting this during the recent VP debate, “Pence may try to seem like a good guy, but don’t be fooled: His record as governor on LGBT and women’s rights is absolutely appalling.”
While Robert Picardo may not be as politically and outwardly vocal as Takei, he is no Trump supporter with numerous and regular witty one liners posted to his Twitter account on the subject. Picardo posted the following in support of the Trek Against Trump campaign, “From some of us who have worked on Star Trek, believe in its vision and are concerned about the future of our great nation.”
An example of Picardo’s sharp sense of humor can be seen in a Tweet addressing the Miss Universe war of words Trump fought over social media with Picardo posting, “Turnabout is fair play. In fairness to the former Miss Universe that Trump fat-shamed, I ask: Is @DonalTrump too fat to be President?”
Picardo also recently made sure to post about a fellow Trek celebrity John DeLancie’s You Tube video entitled, ‘Election 2016 – Don’t get screwed” tweeting, “My colleague and friend John DeLancie has a message for young voters.”
DeLancie is best known within the Trek universe for his portrayal of a popular and recurring character named ‘Q’ who appeared in multiple Star Trek shows. In the on-line video the Trek personality addressed American youth and told a compelling story of England’s disenfranchised youth who recently failed to turn out in strong enough numbers to keep England within the E.U. England’s youth ultimately got screwed as he put it because they did not vote in large enough numbers to make their voices heard.
In speaking directly to young American voters, the actor urged America’s youth not to allow themselves to suffer the same fate as their English contemporaries with DeLancie saying, “… You have power and collectively you have immense power. There’s an election coming. You must vote on November 8th. Because this election will effect your future for years to come. The chances of you getting screwed are really high. So vote. And vote Democratic.“
At a recent Roddenberry Foundation event an attendee by the name of Vishen Lakhiani asked Eugene ‘Rod’ Roddenberry, the son of the late Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry about his thoughts on and support for the Trek Against Trump movement saying, “I spoke to Rod to understand why the cast and crew of Star Trek would take such a bold move as to come out against Trump, as it could lose them millions of fans. This is what I got to understand:
Diversity was crucial to Gene. Star Trek featured a diverse cast and dared to show scenes that in it’s day were controversial – like the first white man – black woman kissing on TV. Even in the upcoming Star Trek sequel “Beyond”, Sulu is shown as a happily married gay man. Tolerance and diversity are key values in the Star Trek universe. Which is what lead to the declaration that happened this weekend.
I asked Rod how he felt. He said that in Star Trek there was a concept called IDIC. It was a value system and stood for ‘Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations‘. In Star Trek humanity and other planetary species like Vulcans cross the Universe to discover new species, and new ways of life. IDIC, said Rod, meant embracing all life, all viewpoints. He could not understand how any Star Trek fan, who got the shows diversity message, could possible support Trump.
But what about Trump’s viewpoint, I asked? Isn’t that a viewpoint to tolerate too? Rod replied that viewpoints of “Hate” don’t fall under IDIC. They are counter to IDIC and the very idea that diversity is strength. So he said, he signed the document against Trump.”
David Gerrold who is perhaps best known within the Trek universe for having written the unforgettable and much loved, ‘Trouble with Tribbles‘ episode had this to say about Trek Against Trump on Facebook, “Some of the best people who have ever worked on Star Trek have recently published a letter opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy. The rationale is that what he represents would be a very dangerous future. Some people have taken objection to this. Some believe that entertainers should remain apolitical. Some believe that the job of the entertainer is only to entertain, then shut up. Well … yes and no. We can argue both sides of this.
But Star Trek is a special case. From the beginning, Star Trek was a series of little morality plays. From the beginning, Star Trek was an examination of the human condition. From the beginning, Star Trek was a vision of a future that works for all of us, with no one and nothing left out. For some people, Star Trek was just another job. Okay, fine. Collect the check and go home. But for many of us, maybe even most of us — Star Trek was something special, something apart from every other job in the world. It was a vision of possibility. It was an assertion that the way things are is not the way they have to be. It was a bold assertion of hope in a decade that had fallen into despair.
Even today, fifty years later, despite the apparent quaintness of the production values, Star Trek‘s best stories are still powerful assertions that the future will be what we make it. For those of us who believe that we can do more, that we can do better, Star Trek was a way to say so to the largest audience possible. But even without that platform, we are still committed and obligated to speak up. It is not that we are writers and actors, producers and directors — it is that we are human beings who passionately care.
We speak up because history has taught us the cost of silence. We speak up because Star Trek is not just a TV show designed to distract the audience from reality — it’s a stage on which we examine and question the nature of our realities. It’s a wake-up call. It is this simple. Every vote counts, every vote matters. Because as much as some people want to believe that it doesn’t matter who wins — it does.
We have 240 years of history to demonstrate that our lives will be impacted by who is sitting in the Oval Office, who is sitting in Congress, and who is sitting on the Supreme Court. We cannot take the future for granted — we build it today by what we do in the present. What’s at stake is too important to sit on the sidelines. If you want a better future, you have to make it happen. It’s a long journey, it’s one day at a time, but every decision we make today will have an impact tomorrow.
You want Star Trek? The people who made it as a television series and as a series of movies are sending a message about how to make it happen. What you do with that message is up to you.”
Star Trek fans are of course familiar with Terry Farrell who played Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and said this on Facebook, “I love my Trek family and I am proud to stand with them and Hilary. Together we can build a beautiful future!”
Another Farrell’s castmates Chase Masterson, who played Leeta on DS9 posted the following in support of Trek against Trump on Facebook, “The stakes with this election are unimaginably high. If you are an undecided voter, or are considering making a third-party protest vote (which could badly throw the election), or are considering voting for this hypocritical, misogynistic, racist narcissist who has filed for bankruptcy at least four times, and who stands against basic justice, we urge you to read this and reconsider. If you are not registered to vote, please register now. And please share. Let’s live in a spirit of true IDIC and vote to make this a world where we can ALL live long and prosper.”
Rick Berman, executive producer to several Star Trek television shows posted this to social media, “Everything Star Trek stands for is the opposite of what Donald Trump stands for.” Interestingly, Berman’s post got a few responses from other well known Trek personalities such as Denise Crosby who is best known within Star Trek as TNG’s Tasha Yar, respond Berman’s tweet with, “. . . Right, as a member of Starfleet, I committed to the Prime Directive. So hear I Am fighting to defend it!”
Likewise, Armin Shimerman known by Trek fans for playing Quark on DS9 said the following in response to Berman’s post, “No one knows Star Trek better than Rick & he is absolutely right. Star Trek is about a better future which won’t happen if Trump gets elected.” Shimerman also went on to poke some fun at Trump in a later post by saying, “So, I think Trump was born on Ferenginar. He certainly looks and sounds like a Ferengi,” further tweeting, “I suggest we all ask 4 his American birth certificate!”
Another fellow DS9 cast mate to Shimerman, Aron Eisenberg who played Nog also shared his thoughts on Trek Against Trump posting the following, “Pls take a stand with us! RT, speak up, vote & do everything u can 2 insure the GOP nominee isn’t the next POTUS! @TrekNotTrump.”
SciFiPulse also asked Doug Drexler who endorsed and added his name in support of Trek Against Trump, for his perspective on why Trek Against Trump was actually important with respect to what the Star Trek perspective might have to say about this election and those issues at stake for the United States, its citizens and even our world.
Drexler who is an Oscar, British Academy and Saturn Award winner and worked on several Star Trek shows and movies as a make-up, designer, digital and special effects artist said, “Star Trek has always taken a stand, and has always been political. Star Trek has always been about ideas, tolerance, reason, rationality, and intellect.
Star Trek is often about surprising people with new ways to look at things… sometimes really big things. God, petty nationalism, the waste of war. The idea that love is not black or white but comes in many shades. You know, Star Trek was saying those things long before it was fashionable, and for Star Trek to remain as smart as it has been, it needs to continue to ask uncomfortable questions.
Star Trek is about tolerance But it’s more than that. Star Trek isn’t about tolerating the differences between us, it’s about celebrating them, and realizing what a gift they are.
Does anyone remember what the bridge of the Enterprise looked like in 1966? Black, White, Yellow, Male, Female, Russian, Scott, Japanese.. Japanese! A mere 20 years after WWII. On most of television at the time, the Japanese were portrayed as adversaries. Star Trek’s world was all inclusive, because Gene Roddenberry was smart enough to know that if we were to survive as a species we would have to not just tolerate, but take utter delight in our diversity. Star Trek is about inclusion for everybody.
There are no walls in Star Trek. The very core of the Trek philosophy is IDIC. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Our very strength lies in our differences. Some people call that tolerance. But tolerance suggests tolerating something. The Star Trek philosophy isn’t about that, it’s not about tolerating differences, it’s about embracing them. I like my Star Trek to make a stand for reason. That makes me proud.”
This Star Trek inspired Anti-Trump movement has as its premise a seemingly core set of Trek inspired values which perhaps above all others, stands the principle for a shared vision of an inclusion of all races, beliefs and lifestyles, fostered by equal respect and dignity within a positive vision for humanity’s future both on our planet as well as someday in space as well.
In reading the Trek Against Trump open letter, along with many of the related Trek celebrity social media posts with respect to their unified opposition to Donald Trump, Trek Against Trump attempts to warn Star Trek and science fiction fans that Donald Trump poses a great risk to both America and even the world’s future. Asserting that many of the political perspectives which Donald Trump represents, supports and stands for are in essence a fundamental contradiction of the most beautiful, sacred and inspiring ideals which the Star Trek Universe inherently stands for.
Trek Against Trump’s fundamental message asks Star Trek’s forward and free thinking fan base to recognize that the only way to achieve a future in which humanity’s differences may one day come to be celebrated and respected in an inclusive and bipartisan environment where science will logically overrule superstition, can only begin to be achieved by electing someone other than Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.
Trek Against Trump goes on to assert that a protest vote for someone other than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will in essence be futile and a practical waste of much needed energy because at the end of the election day either the Democratic or the Republican presidential candidate will in fact occupy the White House for better or worse.
Trek Against Trump strives to influence all Trekkies, Trekkers, lovers of all things Star Trek and those who believe in Gene Roddenberry’s original and current Roddenberry Foundation vision of a more enlightened humanity, to believe that Secretary Clinton is in fact the best and only choice for voters in 2016’s presidential election.
Trek Against Trump attempts to make clear what the group sees as glaring differences between Secretary Clinton and Trump. Alluding perhaps to Secretary Clinton’s decision to devote her life to public service beginning with her work with the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund after law school as inherent evidence of the kind of character along with years of valuable experience which the next President of the United States will in fact need in order to be an effective leader of the free world.
As apposed to what Trek Against Trump sees as Donald Trump’s self-centered and unapologetic contempt for truth accompanied by his boisterous discriminatory rhetoric, which has no place in the halls of American power and especially in the Oval Office of the President of the United States.
Trek Against Trump wants every lover of science fiction and Star Trek who will listen, to understand that each of us has a duty and obligation to take part in, maintain and support this amazing Democratic Republic, by going out and voting for the candidate who will best serve our country for the next four years.
Trek Against Trump asks that Secretary Hillary Clinton be the only logical choice for President of the United States by all believer’s in the Roddenberry and Star Trek dream of a better and more inclusive tomorrow come Election Day this November 8th, 2016.
Live Long And Prosper, may the Great Bird of the Galaxy look down upon and guide us in these coming days and please be sure to go out and vote!
Good luck to us all and Make it So!