Thursday, September 29, 2016
Well, this is unprecedented.
Nearly 100 names and faces who brought Gene Roddenberry's hopeful, future universe to life over five decades are diving into Campaign 2016 with "Trek Against Trump." From the original series right through to the Kelvin timeline films and even Discovery—before and behind the camera alike, and alongside too.
And, I'm proud to say, me too.
It's not unusual in Hollywood —or in sports, or music, for that matter—to see celebs turn activist and political advocate. Kate Mulgrew, for one, stumped hard for her then-husband Tim Hagan when he was the Democratic nominee for governor of Ohio in 2002. Still, it's unusual for Star Trek, and most assuredly when done en masse. I'm sure that makes some fans queasy—or, since it's 2016, even outright hostile.
But here's the deal: It is 2016, and this group of Trek-related veterans have banded together for a political moment, wading into partisan waters with a joint message for their fans to at least consider—from actors, writers, producers, designers, and crew veterans of all incarnations. "Trek Against Trump" is the result: a simple yet pointed statement against perhaps the most controversial Presidential candidate ever arising from the mainstream two-party system, Donald J. Trump.
And it's a stand, the backers say, that leaves them uniquely affected because of their unofficial role as Ambassadors Emeritus for the Gene Roddenberry legacy of ideals, optimism, respect and future hope that they worked in: the core of Star Trek.
This all just came together in the past few days, and I've been proud to help contact and notify some of the names you see, and to consult on the social media logistics. You LN readers and followers know it's no secret where my politics lie, but they rarely if ever rear up on Trekland—as it should be. But, once again, the news reminds us daily how this is not even a typically partisan year.
And hey— this is an unusual step, and lots of the folks who signed on may have hesitated as to the normal effect that might have on career and even fanbase— not just for the stand, but in taking one at all, and so publicly.
But that again points to how so many see this election as not normal, like the signs for The Donald that are everywhere—from a stunningly historic lack of newspaper endorsements to a heavily split and divided party "behind" him. And yet we have a younger generation who see a protest vote as a viable option, who do not remember the bigger-picture consequences from the similar events of 2000—if nothing else, as depicted in the film Recount (check it out). As no less than Bernie Sanders himself has said, this is no time for a protest vote.
How will fans react to this "partisan stand" that backers say is not a stunt, but a natural reaction to counter their helpless feeling that "something should be done!"? There's a lot of high-power names here—and no doubt some fans will be incensed that their apolitical heroes got involved. Can it be barely two weeks since John Billingsley and Bonita Friedericy (Phlox and Rooney, if you need the prompt) felt compelled to launch their funny @MartiniShots anti-Trump mini-videos? Soon to be followed by Rick Berman's now famous tweet...
By that time, Armin Shimerman and John de Lancie were joining forces with John B, got more on board as signers and as help... and voila, here we are today.
So, yes, I'm glad to help.
If it's your cup o'tea, please join and share the simple Trek Against Trump Facebook (@TrekNotTrump on Twitter) everywhere. If not... well, this will all be over in just six weeks or so. Just dial up Netflix or slip in a new Blu-ray... and enjoy a non-political episode of Trek. If you can find one.
Oh, here's a list for that rewatch you might to check out: "The Drumhead" on TNG..."Past Tense" or "Home Front/Paradise Lost" on DS9... "Distant Origin" on Voyager, "Terra Prime/ Demons" on Enterprise... or, of course, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Because, once again, that's Trek. And that's the whole point.