Star Trek has always engaged closely with the political issues of its day: from its commentary on the Cold War and racism in the 1960s to more recent issues, it has always taken (or tried to take) a progressive stance, moving beyond prejudices, biases, and fear towards a more accepting vision of the future.
It has just taken another such step, as nearly 100 actors, writers, directors, and other individuals affiliated with Star Trek in various ways have just taken it a step further, creating the “Trek Against Trump” movement and putting forth an explicitly political statement which draws on a shared hope for Star Trek’s inclusive, open-minded future to create a call for action. The statement reads, in its entirety:
Star Trek has always offered a positive vision of the future, a vision of hope and optimism, and most importantly, a vision of inclusion, where people of all races are accorded equal respect and dignity, where individual beliefs and lifestyles are respected so long as they pose no threat to others. We cannot turn our backs on what is happening in the upcoming election. Never has there been a presidential candidate who stands in such complete opposition to the ideals of the Star Trek universe as Donald Trump. His election would take this country backward, perhaps disastrously. We need to elect a president who will move this country forward into the kind of future we all dream of: where personal differences are understood and accepted, where science overrules superstition, where people work together instead of against each other.
The resolution of conflicts on Star Trek was never easy. Don’t remain aloof –vote! We have heard people say they will vote Green or Libertarian or not at all because the two major candidates are equally flawed. That is both illogical and inaccurate. Either Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump will occupy the White House. One is an amateur with a contemptuous ignorance of national laws and international realities, while the other has devoted her life to public service, and has deep and valuable experience with the proven ability to work with Congress to pass desperately needed legislation. If, as some say, the government is broken, a protest vote will not fix it.
Have you just turned 18? Have you moved? Have you never voted before? Some states have early registration (early October) and/or absentee ballots. You can’t vote if you are not registered. So make it so. Go to RockTheVote.com, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, and fulfill your civic duty. Because, damn it, you are a citizen of the USA, with an obligation to take part in our democracy! Do this not merely for yourself but for all the generations that follow. Vote for a future of enlightenment and inclusion, a future that will someday lead us to the stars.
The statement has not gone without backlash: a Trek for Trump page has already sprung up, claiming to resent being manipulated into a political opinion by an entertainment show they’re a fan of. This is not dissimilar to the complaints leveraged by many alleged fans at Star Trek: Discovery. Despite Trek’s deeply political history, many have complained about the “unnecessary” political correctness of the upcoming show, particularly in the announced inclusion of gay characters, criticizing it for bringing politics into entertainment. In fact, it seems that it’s been long enough since the Original Series that much of its political commentary is unrecognizable without its context, and knowledge of its deeply progressive interventions require secondary reading. Trek Against Trump, however, brings the franchise directly and unequivocally back into engagement with contemporary politics, and highlights that all fiction, and all entertainment, is inherently political – whether it challenges the status quo or reinforces it.
— Nicole deBoer (@Nikki_deboer) September 29, 2016
Join us https://t.co/C3eDFjDJM6
and the twitter accounthttps://t.co/XbUFNdyEjQ
— Manu Intiraymi (@ManuIntiraymi) October 1, 2016
Please join w/ us in spreading the word.Visit https://t.co/mn6I5QZzmw retweet the message. Email it to friends&get people to register & vote
— Armin Shimerman (@ShimermanArmin) September 29, 2016
I am very proud to be part of #TrekAgainstTrump.https://t.co/Yqa3jlAR8C
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) September 29, 2016
TRUMP AND HIS POLICIES WILL NOT PAVE THE WAY FOR GENE @roddenberry's VISION OF THE FUTURE #TrekNotTrump @TrekNotTrump pic.twitter.com/IBkaL5mqZd
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) September 29, 2016
Get out and vote!!! https://t.co/GPe2trw5hJ
— Connor Trinneer (@ConnorTrinneer) September 29, 2016
This is how many of our Star Trek actors feel. Please read. https://t.co/Jzo6ZWVNNf
— Marina Sirtis (@Marina_Sirtis) September 29, 2016
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) September 29, 2016
From some of us who have worked on Star Trek, believe in its vision and are concerned about the future of our great nation. @TrekNotTrump
— Robert Picardo (@RobertPicardo) September 29, 2016
(Minion RT: "Star Trek has always offered a positive vision of the future, a vision of hope … a vision of inclusion") https://t.co/nw6ycAThnX
— Rene Auberjonois (@reneauberjonois) September 29, 2016
At the same time, others fans have been likening the events of the Trek franchise to contemporary political issues, with an arguable amount of accuracy. In particular, posters on Reddit have claimed that Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” extends to all views and perspectives, including those that are prejudiced and exclusionary, prompting “Yesterday’s Enterprise” writer Eric Stillwell to post:
Stillwell rephrases something found in the Trek episode “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” which first introduced the concept of IDIC:
“The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity.”
“And the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.”
Other disagreements have included Reddit posts likening refugees to the Borg bent on assimilation and claims that political correctness is unnecessary in a post-scarcity future where “everyone is empowered.”
In short, despite numerous claims that Star Trek is just entertainment, it has always been – and continues to be- a point of reference against which contemporary events are debated. Trek Against Trump is a hugely important intervention in these debates, making a clear statement by individuals affiliated with Trek across all series and platforms about which side the hopeful, progressive future of Trek lies on.
October 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm
This isn’t a binary choice. This also isn’t a cult, I hope.
James Michael Taylor
October 2, 2016 at 4:56 am
It doesn’t surprise me that a bunch of b-list actors want to support Hillary, after all, acting is nothing more than professional lying and delusion building.
October 2, 2016 at 6:13 am
“Professional lying and delusion building” <— This is Trumps actual platform.
October 3, 2016 at 10:03 am
Well played Adam, well played.
James Michael Taylor
October 5, 2016 at 9:36 pm
Paul R. Faulkner
October 2, 2016 at 9:59 pm
I am sad to see so many brainwashed by Hillary. Essentially the contemporary version of being Borgified.
I have been a Star Trek fan my whole life, I am also gay, and I will be voting straight ticket REPUBLICAN starting with TRUMP. Hillary must be stopped. Dennis DeYoung, formerly of Styx, has said, “The next time you see a movie star on tv telling you what you should think, turn it off. Turn it off. Actors? I love them. But they basically pretend to be other people.”
When Star Trek celebs are encouraging you to vote for one particular party/candidate, I encourage you to draw your own conclusions. Dont be pressured to vote Clinton OR Trump. Vote (or dont vote) for whoever you choose in the end. But do it because that’s where your conscience leads you. NOT because a bunch of actors tell you to.
October 3, 2016 at 10:14 am
So tell me, why is your opinion any better? I love how you start with the hard rhetoric of “Hillary must be stopped” following, of course, the typical use of ALL CAPS, which everyone knows is yelling, which seems to be the common vibe of any Republican these days. Of course, after yelling Trump and Republican at us and telling us that Hillary must be stopped you go on some rant about how we should not let others influence our opinions. I guess you just mean actors but we should listen to you because you are, well, nothing that I know of.
I can only assume that you are unable to see the inherent hypocrisy in your post. Trump followers seem quite unable to process such simple things.
Paul R. Faulkner
October 3, 2016 at 11:49 am
1) I capitalized two words for emphasis.
2) I began by expressing my OPINION. Yes, I cannot stand the air around Hillary and think in an election of two unfortunate choices she is by far the worst. But again my viewpoint and an effort to show that not all of us die-hard Trekkers have the same feelings. I too have waited hours in line for autographs and camped out (in the days before online ticket sales) to make sure I got to see the latest Trek film. My point is to refute the thesis of the article. You can be a huge fan of Trek without succumbing to group think. Surely it is far more inline with IDIC to understand we can all have different political perspectives than it is to expect us all to be liberals/progressives.
3) My use of the Dennis DeYoung quote was because someone had asked him his opinion on a political position. He answered as he did because he understands celebrities do not process things they were normal people do. The world as it exists in the eyes of Streisand or Jane Fonda or William Shatner is not the same world as the rest of us. When you have chauffeurs taking you everywhere, get paid millions for a few months work, or can charge thousands for tickets it immediately shows someone who processes reality differently. When a celebrity throws a fit because someone didnt remove all the yellow M&Ms from their backstage candy bowls they dont see life as I do. So Dennis, who has been far better at escaping the trappings of celebrity than most, makes that comment, dont worry about what those celebrity types tell you, cause they dont have a clue what the world is really like. And he’s right.
4) Im not attempting to pressure anyone else to back my candidate. I have a hard enough time backing him myself. But its important to show that yes you can be a Trek fan and still be a conservative, and whatever your political views, make sure you have them because they are your views. Dont allow anyone, but especially some jet-setting celebrity to pressure into thinking you have to live like x and believe like z. Just be you.
October 4, 2016 at 12:27 am
So let’s paraphrase. Your opinion is that people should not follow others opinion. You seem to actually feel fairly strongly that people should follow your opinion on not following the opinions of others.
The best part is that your big prop for why you shouldn’t follow the opinions of others, especially celebrities, comes from the opinions of Dennis DeYoung, who is, of course, a celebrity.
I think this is roughly how Kirk took down Norman in “Mudd’s Women”.
I did like Styx in the 70’s, however.
October 4, 2016 at 4:44 am
Now you’re just being pedantic. Paul R Faulkner’s point is that most celebrities are ill-informed and self-important, and you’ve said nothing which refutes that.
October 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm
No, actors are just people whose opinions count the same as anyone else. Why would they be more “ill-informed” than any other Joe on the street who we constantly see asked for opinions by reporters? Further, if you actually look at the list of actors we are talking about here …. well … let’s just say that I doubt Robert Picardo is all that “self-important”.
I think it is you that are missing the point here. My reply had nothing whatsoever to do with the validity, or lack thereof, of a celebs opinion, or OP’s opinion, for that matter. It is really about the humor in a person who is throwing out the opinion that people should not listen to others opinions. That is basically a form of the “liar’s paradox”. He doubled down on the paradox when he gave the opinion of a celebrity who is saying that you shouldn’t listen to a celebrity’s opinion.
Really? You don’t find that fairly amusing?
I am not sure why you would consider this “pedantic” in any way. If we look at the meaning of that word (from Dictionary.com):
1. ostentatious in one’s learning.
2. overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching.
I’ve never professed to being better educated, in any way, than OP and my pokes at his post in no way concerned any minute details, in fact, it poked at his very thesis.
In my opinion you picked the wrong word, and seeing that I am not a celebrity you should probably listen to my opinion. Note how stupid it sounds when you reverse the thesis to say that my opinions should be given more credence because I am not a celebrity? This is a sure sign that faulty logic has come into play somewhere.
October 14, 2016 at 1:05 am
You state “actors are just people whose opinions count the same as anyone else.” But the disparage
Paul R. Faulkner’s opinion as if it doesn’t matter. Perhaps it doesn’t matter to you because it doesn’t align with your opinion.
October 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm
No, I disparage it for the reasons I clearly stated. In all actuality it is Paul R. Faulkner’s opinion that I should decry his opinion and that is what amused me enough to comment. I am sorry you are having a difficult time seeing that but I do not appreciate your attempt to politicize my completely non-political opinions concerning his quite amusing little rant.
October 4, 2016 at 2:57 am
You may have watched Star Trek, but you clearly didn’t understand the series at all.
October 4, 2016 at 4:57 am
Islam rejects tolerance and diversity. For example, Muslims throw homosexuals such as Paul R Faulkner off tall buildings– their holy writing tell them to do exactly that– so Trump wants to restrict immigration from Muslim countries. It seems to me Trump is more in line with Star Trek’s ideals than Hillary, who wants to import hundreds of thousands of Muslims. Furthermore, America has no moral obligation to give the southwestern part of the country to Mexicans, which is what is happening, since they now outnumber gringos in California. Respect for diversity does not demand cultural suicide.
October 5, 2016 at 12:33 am
No fan of HRC, but the claim that she wants to “import hundreds of thousands of Muslims” is, of course, a lie. And just how many Messicans would be a safe number, Talosian, before the imposition of the dreaded cultural suicide of which you speak? 20%? 40%? Well, by all means, justify your own bigotry in whichever ways best float your boat — but understand that you aren’t fooling anyone, with the possible exception of yourself.
October 5, 2016 at 1:57 am
“Based on the most recent available Department of Homeland Security data, the U.S. permanently resettled roughly 149,000 migrants from predominantly Muslim countries on green cards in 2014. Yet Clinton has said that, as President, she would expand Muslim migration by importing an additional 65,000 Syrian refugees into the United States during the course of a single fiscal year. Clinton has made no indication that she would limit her proposed Syrian refugee program to one year.
Clinton’s Syrian refugees would come on top of the tens of thousands of refugees the U.S. already admits from Muslim countries.
Adding Clinton’s 65,000 Syrian refugees to the approximately 149,000 Muslim migrants the U.S. resettled on green cards in the course of one year, means that Clinton could permanently resettle roughly 214,000 Muslim migrants in her first year as President. If Clinton were to continue her Syrian refugee program throughout her Presidency, she could potentially resettle as many as 856,000 during her first term alone.”
–Julia Hahn, Breitbart.com, July 14, 2016.
Even if the above figures turn out to be inflated, and I doubt they are, there’s also chain migration, which means that everyone who is admitted to the U.S. can bring in their extended family, and that definitely would amount to hundreds of thousands.
Regarding the “Messican” issue (your slur, not mine), I would object to mass migration even if the situation were reversed. In other words, I would be opposed to millions of gringos like me moving to northern Mexico, even if it were legal, because such large-scale migration would undermine the linguistic, cultural and ethnic cohesion of that country. Turning a large part of their country into what would essentially be another country would be unfair to the people of Mexico.
October 5, 2016 at 3:32 am
Yes, your Breitbart figures are definitely inflated, i.e. a lie. Funny how an additional 65,000 refugees managed to suddenly metastasize into “hundreds of thousands” — but even the smaller figure is, by any reasonable definition given what HRC and Obama have actually proposed, a lie. The right’s awesome dedication to the welfare of the LGBTQ community is much appreciated, but since not so many have been thrown off buildings by Muslims in the United States it hardly seems a sufficient reason to deny help to desperate people whose plight American foreign policy is at least partly responsible for. (Or, as Captain Kirk might have it: what kind of pu**y fears an orphan?)
Of course, in the real world net Mexican immigration to the United States has been decreasing since the Great Recession and, coupled with record levels of deportation under the Obama administration, is mostly a non-issue to anyone but dupes, bigots, Pepe the Frog, and other alt-right white nationalists. Nevertheless, your precious concern for Mexican cultural and linguistic integrity is duly noted.
October 3, 2016 at 6:30 am
You know what they should do with Discovery? Include an Arab in the main cast, to tackle the issue’s of today 🙂 I would love that.
October 3, 2016 at 10:20 am
They absolutely should. This would very much harken back to including Chekov in the original series. I grew up during the 60’s and 70’s and the fear of nuclear war and the “soviet threat” was front and center in the mindset of most Americans’. If you think terrorism is scary you should have lived during the time where you looked up in the sky multiple times a day to see if there were any missile trails. Yet you could turn on a Star Trek rerun and find a different time in a different place where everything seemed so different. Included in that bright and shiny different world was the face and the voice of our most feared enemy, and guess what, he was just a guy.
October 14, 2016 at 1:10 am
Doesn’t matter who or what they add. I was a fan from 1966 till this. I will not support this franchise anymore. I refuse to spend one cent on these folks who presume to tell people “how to vote”. I may watch, but I will never pay.
October 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm
Kirk and Spock 2016 … “The Logical Choice:”
October 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm
As a practically life-long ST fan, this is disappointing, but not unexpected. Liberal “diversity” never includes dissenting views. God-fearing Christians have no place at the table as usual. I have grown up on and appreciated the work of many of these talented actors who have no respect whatsoever for my views. They do not tolerate my lifestyle, choices, or associations. I pray for the day when an intelligent discussion can be had between disparate views – but that day is not today.
Roddenberry was a visionary, but he was just a man – with many flawed views. IDIC is self-refuting as long as truth is objective. And truth can’t be subjective since it would have to be *objectively* subjective. It’s funny to me that so many people cling to this faulty ideal to justify their own philosophies and bury others’.
January 24, 2018 at 9:55 pm
They absolutely respect your lifestyle and your choices. Your opinions, however, have real world implications on the lives of others. When those opinions result in harming them, those opinions can absolutely be rejected outright.
Get it straight.
November 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm
These Star Trek actors certainly have no experience in politics. They should take a page from veteran actor Robert Duvall and not say anything about a topic they have no knowledge about or any experience in.
SMH. Typical Hollywood liberalism!