• Ferengi or Republican? The Candidates in Star Trek Terms

    One is a group of humanoids who view the accumulation of wealth as life's central enterprise, devote themselves to a culture of unrestrained capitalism that holds labor unions and workplace regulations as abominations, condone unethical business practices in the service of profit, and are ardently misogynistic.

    The other is a fictional race of space aliens in the Star Trek universe. Just how well do the Republican presidential candidates align with the rest of their space-faring cousins?

    Mitt Romney: Changeling or Android?

    Deep Space Nine's Constable Odo is a Gamma quadrant native capable of shape-shifting into convincing imitations of various lifeforms. Romney's faith contends that he will eventually reside in the Gamma quadrant. Until then, he must be satisfied with somewhat convincing imitations of whatever ideological characteristics he needs to display at the present time.

    Like the Enterprise's Lieutenant Commander Data, Romney's positronic brain is capable of performing highly taxing functions that have led to success in their respective career fields, but lacks the ability to process human idiosyncrasies, humor and emotion. To wit:

    Data's attempt at a joke:  "I come from a town so small, we had a fraction for a zip-code. -… – It was so small, in fact, we didn't have a godfather of crime, we had a nephew."

    Romney's attempt at a joke: "I'm also unemployed."

    Verdict: Data is much too human. Romney is a Changeling.

    Newt Gingrich: Ferengi or Klingon?

    Ferengi are into latinum, Gingrich is more into platinum (blondes). Otherwise, he fits right in:

    Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #255: "A wife is a luxury…a smart accountant is a necessity." And #266: "When in doubt, lie."

    Still, the Klingon facility for holding a grudge and engaging in the wild rampages for the sake of a very idiosyncratic sense of honor is well represented in Gingrich.

    Verdict: Klingon.

    Rick Santorum: Cardassian or Just a Kook?

    The Cardassian Union is a frothy mixture of extreme nationalism and foreign policy misadventure (see occupation of Bajor). They were "developed by the writers of The Next Generation to provide an enemy race with whom the protagonists could interact, unlike the Borg, where such interpersonal drama is difficult due to their lack of personality and individualism." Rick Santorum was developed for the same reason.

    Verdict: Cardassian.

    Ron Paul: Ferengi or Borg Queen?

    One believes gold-pressed latinum is the store of wealth, the other…believes much the same. However, the Ferengi maxims "Never buy what can be stolen," "Never spend your own money when you can spend someone else's," and "If you can sell it, don't hesitate to steal it" are poor representations of paleo-libertarian philosophy.

    As much as his supporters doth protest their individualism, the Paulite hive mind does speak with a creepily consistent voice on complicated questions of monetary policy and national security.

    Verdict: Borg Queen.

    As for Barack Obama, there's little a debate. He's a Vulcan.

    Photo by CBS Photo Archive/CBS/Getty Images

    Tags: Conservatives, Mitt Romney, Nerdiness, Newt Gingrich, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Star Trek


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