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May 14, 2005

These Are The Voyages...

For nearly forty years, the adventures of the starship Enterprise (whether it is the NCC-1701, NCC-1701 D, or NX-01), starship Voyager, and space station Deep Space Nine have intrigued many viewers. After an 18-year run that started with the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Encounter at Farpoint", Star Trek began a hiatus last night with the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Anyone familiar with Star Trek knows that the future portrayed is, unlike many science fiction stories, an optimistic one. Earth lives in peace with many other worlds as part of an intergalacitc Federation. Everything is bright and sunny, right? Not quite. While some malevolent forces exist, so to does a more liberal society. The Federation is a socialist government, running without money (highly unrealistic, particularly when one has to deal with a Ferengi), homosexual relationships are believed to be as natural as being heterosexual, and religion is all but eliminated. So what kind of conservative watches Star Trek?

This question is, quite simply, irrelevant. Star Trek is very idealist. At the same time, it does not entirely stray from looking at conservative viewpoints. While the preference runs for peace (as it should in all cultures), Starfleet, the interstellar navy and exploratory group of the Federation, still allows for self-defense and, when absolutely needed, war.

Prefer your leaders strong and intellgent? Look no further than the captains. As role models should, they generally use good judgment (though, perhaps Kirk should become a one-woman man). They allow no nonsense from their crews, and never put themselves before those who need to be defended.

If you love tradition and honor, look no further than the Klingons. Want capitalism? The Ferengi take laissez-faire to a whole new level. Obviously, all of us have an interest in politics, of which the Cardassians are experts.

While there are some that argue that Star Trek is a show for liberals, I like to believe that there is something in it for everyone. Star Trek can inspire debate, but should also not be neglected for its entertainment value. If you haven't watched an episode (or haven't watched one in a while), keep a lookout for them. There will be plenty of reruns to keep any viewer happy.

And a suggestion for other Star Trek fans, check out Right Wing News. John Hawkins loves Star Trek (though he rarely posts about it). Right Wing News was the first blog that I started reading, and it still remains one of my favorites. I'm sure many of you will agree that it is good as well.