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Ted Cruz is wrong about Captain Picard

Presidential hopeful and would-be Christ figure Ted Cruz recently did an interview with The New York Times, and it's an absolute must-read. Rather than delve deeply into policy, interviewer Ana Marie Cox presses the senator about who he is under that "wacko bird" exterior. As a youth, he was an unpopular nerd. He loved and still loves Spider-Man and Han Solo. He's a regular human being! However, there's just one thing about Cruz that will not stand: he is flat out wrong about Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Cruz sides with Captain James T. Kirk, the OG captain of the Enterprise, in this battle (which is perfectly fair!), but he puts his foot in his mouth again and again during the interview. Take this statement:

Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind.

No, sir. First of all, a better argument would be to say that Roddenberry inverted the dynamic Kirk had with Spock in TOS to serve as the blueprint for Picard's relationship with Riker in TNG. Picard is rational, diplomatic, and cool-headed in the same way that Spock always was. Meanwhile, Riker, like Kirk, is more dynamic and quicker to jump into bed with anything that moves.

Second, none of this means Picard is somehow an incomplete captain, devoted to the mind while disregarding his heart. He was passionate, sometimes to a fault.

And he was absolutely a fighter for justice.

Ultimately, Picard is a different captain for a different time. Kirk is a cowboy where Picard is a diplomat. But Picard got his hands dirty for the sake of his crew. And you cannot tell me or any fan that a leader who came back from being assimilated by the Borg or got stabbed through the heart and laughed about it is unfit for command.

Of course, Cruz's statements can't really be taken seriously. He's clearly going too far in his allegiance to Captain Kirk:

I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.

If anyone thinks a character created during the Civil Rights era by a humanist writer whose politics called for racial and gender equality is somehow a present-day Republican, it's obvious we were never watching the same show.


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