GOP Primaries… The Final Frontier

As a Republican, I’ve been finding it hard to stay upbeat while watching the daily drama of the presidential primary campaign. It’s taken disappointing, unexpected turns and it’s been disheartening to see how personal it has become. So, I thought it might be a good time to lighten up the tone, escape the angry rhetoric, and put forth a lighter view of the GOP field.

I haven’t seen anyone write about this elsewhere, but I’d be a bit surprised if others haven’t noticed that the remaining Republican candidates hold striking similarities to crew members aboard the Starship Enterprise. I’m of course talking about the old Star Trek television series from the 1960s.

Think about if for a minute…

Mitt Romney is the Mr. Spock of the Republican party because he’s the logical choice. He’s disciplined, knowledgeable, and articulate. There’s respect for his intellect and numerous achievements, and his competence is rarely questioned. He has a clean record. Yet, he comes across as emotionally detached and artificial, which makes it hard for people to get a read on him. Like a diplomat, he tries to be everything to everybody which makes us suspect that he’s a political pragmatist with no ideological core. He can be counted on to deliver a firm message but we don’t look to him for inspiration. It’s easy for us to envision his ascension to higher rank, but we worry that his qualifications and professionalism won’t be enough to unseat the far more charismatic Captain Obama. Oh yeah… and like Spock, we’re enamored with his hair.

Newt Gingrich is James T. Kirk. He’s confident and fearless with a commanding presence, but he’s also reckless. He’s a maverick with a flair for theatrics and a passion for space exploration. He speaks the language of the people, and many of those people feel compelled to rally around him in times of turbulence, even when they’re not sure he knows where he’s taking them. He doesn’t back down from a fight, and his lack of discipline sometimes gets the better of him. He’s recognized for being a cad when it comes to women, but it’s accepted by most. Unlike Spock, he’ll break Starfleet protocol if he feels the situation warrants it. He’s tenacious, competitive, and he doesn’t like to lose as he’s proven by repeatedly reprogramming his campaign to overcome the no-win scenario.

Dr. Ron Paul is Dr. Leonard McCoy, the cranky old physician who’s overly stressed and gets a little too worked up at times. He’s old-school, bluntly speaking his mind without concern for tactfulness. He routinely has the best one-liners of the crew. When he speaks within the realm of his expertise, people listen and tend to agree with his diagnosis and recommended prescription. But the idea of him being in charge of the ship during an intergalactic attack makes us cringe. We fear he’ll try and convince us that the barbaric Klingons are no more dangersous than fuzzy Tribbles who we can best deal with by not feeding them.

Rick Santorum is a red shirt security guard. He’s a good, loyal crew member of the conservative movement, whose dedication goes without question. He’s eager to please. We know he’d take a phaser-blast for the country, but he’s largely nameless and lacks the pizazz and presence of a major character. We like having him by our side, and though we feel he deserves a chance, we don’t expect longevity from his campaign.

Yeah, I probably had a little too much time on my hands when writing this column. I’m just hoping that with only a few more months left in the season, the crew can work together long enough to repair the damage, restore warp power, and get the ship headed back in the right direction.