Fixing The World Through Star Trek

This is a repost from AOL’s Political Machine blog. I received an unusual assignment yesterday. In honor of the uber new Star Trek trailer: Which Star Trek characters should be in the new administration? I’ll update this post later with links to part II (real politicians as characters in Star Trek). Thought you guys might get a kick out of this one. Consider this a Star Trek themed open thread. – Caleb

So the perfectly logical and utterly expected question regarding the Obama administration has, at last, been asked: Which Star Trek luminaries ought to populate the Obama administration’s universe? Tommy Christopher has already provided his analysis, but herein in find the actual answers.

I’ll be ranking this fleet based on their degree of importance to an Obama administration. The first will be the most critical to his success, the last the least.


1) Redshirt: Poor redshirts always take the fall. Barack Obama has a nebulous cloud of expectations hovering just off starboard which it is unlikely he will be able to fulfill. Whether we are talking about people who expect not to worry about mortgages and gasoline anymore, or the Delta Quadrant fringes who expect nothing short of a global harmonic convergence (which is, by the way, how I refer to the upcoming Inauguration Day), there is an Obama support group out there who will probably find reason to be upset over coming months and years. That’s where the eminently disposable Mr. or Ms. Redshirt will come in handy. When Obama lands on an unexplored planet, old Redshirt can just … take the fall. This is the most important Star Trek character that President-elect Obama needs to appoint. In fact, maybe he’s already trying?

2) Admiral James T. Kirk: Well it’s obvious that any new President would do well to have Admiral Kirk working for him in some capacity. Tommy Christopher wants him for Secretary of Defense, but I don’t see Kirk on any existing cabinet position. What Obama should do is create a new cabinet level position for Kirk: Secretary of Offense. Give Kirk autonomy from the responsibilities of a normal office, put him in charge of a tricked out nuclear warship, and set him loose on the world. Sure it sounds scary at first, but if we’ve learned one thing from Star Trek, it’s that a captain of a ship with virtually limitless power who eschews authority at every turn can bring peace to the Klingons and love to women of every creed, color, and appendage-count. A Kirk thus freed would liven up, and straighten up, this planet.

3) Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The ultra-reasonable, ultra-responsible Jean Luc is perfect for Secretary of Defense. His natural role in life is a foil to Kirk, so the offices would be complementary. And his continental European accent makes him an excellent choice when it comes to delivering ultimatums or handing down orders. Who wouldn’t feel safe when talking missile defense or military action and hearing those three little words: Make it so!

4) Data: Data discovered the world as we discovered him. Newly constructed only a few years before taking an extremely important office, Data explored this thing called life while on the job. His positronic matrix served him admirably, and eventually, after some bumps in the road, his emotion chip as well. This is why he should replace Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff, who’s emotion chip seems to be on the fritz anyway. Who better to advise the new President than someone who has, essentially, been through this before?

5) Commander Uhura: Uhura should, of course, be Secretary of State. Not only is she an expert at communication, she’s well-versed in outright manipulation. If things are getting too dicey in the middle east, which under Obama they probably will, Uhura can simply fandance over the top of a sand dune and put everyone back in line. She can’t even be criticized as a diversity pick, because her predecessors already broke the color and gender ceilings for this post.

6) Lieutenant Commander Worf: Not all Star Trek appointments should be cabinet level posts. In the case of Worf, it’s clear he should be the White House Press Secretary. It is possible, if not likely, that President-elect Obama will be challenged by the press periodically. That’s where a warrior like Worf really shines. If some reporter gets too far out of line, out comes the Bat’leth. Plus, Worf has a proven track record in this capacity. When challenged on what could have been an extremely sensational and controversial story about why Klingons looked so different in Kirk’s era, Worf shut down inquiry with the stern rejoinder "We do not discuss it with outsiders." Did anyone ever get the real answer? I don’t think so. That’s the kind of message discipline Obama will need at the White House.

7) Scotty: Scotty can really only have one job: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Sure, the economy needs a strong hand working on the engine room, but the current crisis is a result, you’ll recall, of a housing crisis. HUD fueled the risky lending, stuck with Fannie and Freddie long after serious concerns were raised, and generally oversaw the snowballing housing crisis that got us where we are today. When it comes to HUD, we need, and Obama needs, someone who is not afraid to say "I can’t do it, Captain!"

There are other great choices out there, too. Nurse Chapel for HHS? Q for Secretary of Transportation? Donald Rumsfeld for Romulan Ambassador? (Wait, wrong premise). One thing is certain. President-elect Obama is going to need people on his side. As Joe Biden predicted, big challenges are coming his way. Who better to help him through than fictional characters from a sixties television show and it’s subsequent spin-offs?