Speaking with the New York Times last week, Ted Cruz went on a brief digression about Star Trek, opining that William Shatner’s Captain Kirk is better than Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard because Kirk is, in Cruz’s mind, a Republican. He cited Kirk’s purported working-class background as proof for his proclamation, calling Picard a “cerebral philosopher” (as opposed to those non-cerebral philosophers). Cruz’s preference for Kirk probably has nothing at all to do with Sir Patrick Stewart’s open support of gay rights and his amazing, life-affirming bromance with Sir Ian McKellen.
William Shatner doesn’t agree. Shatner, surely the world’s foremost expert on all things Captain Kirk, posted on Twitter: “Star Trek wasn’t political. I’m not political; I can’t even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly.”
Of course, the late Gene Roddenberry might have disagreed a bit more fiercely with Cruz — Star Trek certainly was a political show, though its social bent was antipodal to that of Cruz — but Shatner’s response will have to suffice: Kirk is not a red-state shirt.