Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise Is Voting for Hillary by Charlotte Martin Plus The Whole Crew Agrees.

Clinton has been racking up endorsement after endorsement. She's got praises from nearly every elected democrat out there, and more than a few elected Republicans. There are also business leaders, national security experts, celebrities, newspapers. The Dallas Morning News, which hasn't endorsed a Democrat in nearly a century, endorsed Hillary Clinton. Yesterday, The LA Times came onboard.

The endorsement I want to talk about would simply be another drop in the bucket, given the hearty list she's already built up. It's also not a real endorsement, technically-- given that the man is fictional and hasn't been on your television screens in over a decade.

I want to talk to you about why Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise would overwhelmingly endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I find myself constantly returning to Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is partially because I find cheesy science fiction comforting, but it is also because despite the dorky uniforms, bad special effects, and absurdly improbable science, Star Trek: The Next Generation provides compelling and very real stories.

I recently rewatched the episode "The Drumhead," a timeless episode where a young man is accused of being a spy and persecuted under very shaky evidence-- all because he is of Romulan decent. The federation is locked in a cold war with the Romulan empire, and though this man has been a loyal member of Starfleet, his pointed ears give away his heritage. The justice wing of the federation ruthlessly persecutes him and accuses him of being a Romulan collaborator.

Captain Picard comes to the man's rescue. Horrified at what he calls a witch hunt, he volunteers to be the young man's counsel. "We think we've come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches -it's all ancient history. Then-- before you can blink an eye-- suddenly it threatens to start all over again." Picard's speeches in this episode are a brutal commentary on how humans so easily gang up on others.

Watching the Trump campaign unfold, I wish I had Captain Picard here to witness and cover the Trump campaign. "Drumhead" deals with the chilling reality of how easily people fall into fear, and fall into blaming others. It is all too real when looking at Trump's verbal attacks on Mexicans, his proposed Muslin travel ban, his proposed Muslim registration.

As Picard said, we think we have come to far-- we think we have moved past bigotry and we think it's simply a small minority who hold those beliefs. But all it has taken is a candidate like Trump to make it clear to everyone what minorities in this country have known all along: hatred and bigotry go farther and wider and deeper than we are willing to admit.

Picard is horrified to find the Federation, which he has given his life to, can be so easily swayed by fear. As he says, "the first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged." He would be quite distressed over the prospect of a president Trump."Have we become so cowardly, so fearful, that we can extinguish a man? Because he carries the blood of a current enemy?" I suppose Trump would say yes. Trump would eagerly extinguish our Muslim citizens, make them register as a religious minority, deprive them of rights. Picard ends the episode with "the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is much shorter than we think." It looks like the next two months will be Trump charting a course down that road.

Picard would look on Hillary as a fellow leader, as someone who also faces rough choices and bears an incredible weight. "Trump and Pence's courting of white supremacists isn't a game: It's normalizing racism. And it's deplorable," Clinton said this week-- refusing to back down from her earlier comments on the "basket of deplorables." Much like Picard, she is calling Trump out.

She is not simply saying he's a bad choice. He's not competent. She is talking about the very real danger of a President Trump and the very real implications of his campaign thus far. While Republican have yelled until they're red in the face about these comments, others have gone to look at the data-- and as it turns out, over 40% of Trump supporters hold views such as "black American are lazier than white Americans." Picard does not tolerate those who stoke fear and create scapegoats. He does not tolerate liars. Trump embodies everything Picard has worked to eradicate from the universe.

Of course, just about everything from Hillary Clinton's platform would appeal to Picard-- her desire to improve women's health care, her devotion to creating an equal playing field, her vibrant support of education and making it affordable, her history of fighting for children. These are all things Picard holds dear and are shown in episode after episode. But this would be about so much more than simply "she agrees with my values." Clinton is fighting against an almost fictional villain, a true threat to the country and Picard would put himself in the ring to fight with her.

At the end of the episode, when it is revealed that the attack was a mechanical failure, not the result of pro Romulan sabotage, the leader of the prosecution is disgraced, and many see her for what she truly is. While the crew rests easy at having defeated a bigoted instigator, Picard does not relax, instead he reminds a crew member "... She, or others like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness, vigilance-- that is the price we have to continually pay."

In this election, vigilance means defeating Trump, but it means defeating him in double digits. It means winning in every swing state. It means Republicans crossing the ticket. It means working for every Democrat from Clinton to your local school board, to defeat Trump and his supporters at every level of government. As Picard said-- it is not enough to simply vanquish one bigot-- we must stand strong against bigotry as a whole.


September 23, 2016

Addendum. The whole Star Ship Enterprise has now turned out to support Hillary. Thank you all for telling the galaxy.

Star Ship Enterprise Crew speaks for Hillary

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