Self-professed “Star Trek” nerd and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz believes Captain Kirk was “quite likely” a Republican. And William Shatner, who starred as the character in the original 1960s hit television series, is having none of it.
“To put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly,” Shatner tweeted Thursday after The New York Times Magazine published an interview with the Texas senator in which he offered “a little psychoanalysis” on why Kirk was probably a Republican and Jean-Luc Picard, the starship captain in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” was a Democrat.
“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,” Cruz said, later comparing himself to his favorite character.
“The original ‘Star Trek’ was grittier,” Cruz continued. “Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original ‘Star Trek’ pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.”
Although “Star Trek” has been praised for its progressive outlook on racial and gender relations, which broke ground with a diverse cast, humanitarian plot lines and television’s first interracial kiss, Shatner pushed back on any political reading.
“Star Trek wasn’t political. I’m not political; I can’t even vote in the US,” tweeted the actor, who was born in Canada. At least he and Cruz have that in common.