#ObamaSciFiQuotes: Conservatives are Never the Good Guys in Sci-Fi

This morning, in a moment that is already famous on the internets, Barack Obama said:
"Most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree that I’m presenting a fair deal.  The fact that they don’t take it, means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right."

This spawned the #ObamaSciFiQuotes hash tag on Twitter where users mixed their sci-fi metaphors in new and entertaining ways. Some of them were amusing, others less so. The least entertaining ones came from Republicans who tried to score political points over a sci-fi nerd gaffe.

It seems to me, and this is not the first time I've noticed it, that conservatives don't realize that they would be the bad guys in every major sci-fi universe. In another example many right wingers were shocked and enraged when George Takei, an openly gay actor from the original Star Trek, endorsed Obama.

So, given that most conservatives are not big on analysis and reading between the lines let's break things down a bit:

Star Trek: In the Star Trek universe the Earth has become a socialist paradise. They no longer use any form of currency. While there are still some individuals with religious belief there is no prayer on the bridge and zealots are only ever enemies or obstacles. No one on Star Trek ever, mentioned Jesus or the Bible except as vague references to ancient superstition. Star Trek officers also do not generally carry weapons. Weapons are carried by security forces, except on away missions. During day to day life phasers are stored in secured weapons lockers.

Doctor Who: Religion has never come up in a serious way on Doctor Who. There was a double episode where the villain might have been the Devil but it was made clear that even if it was that creature pre-dates not only Christianity but also the creation of the Earth. There have also been many references to human evolution. The Doctor also carries no currency. In the rare instances where he needs cash he simply takes it from the ATM of a bank  where he doesn't have an account. He is also an absolute pacifist. He doesn't carry and won't use weapons of any kind and is firmly anti-military.

Star Wars: Again, the Jedi seem to carry no currency. Obviously they are not absolute pacifists however they put great stock in diplomacy and never strike first. They also have a religion but it is a religion that seems based in physics and not a divine creator. While they are very happy about their religion, they are hardly zealous about it and do not feel the need to convert everyone.

Dune: Dune is a little more obscure, but I did see it come up in #ObamaSciFiQuotes so it's worth a mention. Dune is the story of poor people who live in a desert and rise up to overthrow imperial forces who are only interested in the planet because of the valuable resources it contains ... hmmm.

Lord of the Rings: Although it's fantasy, Lord of the Rings came up a lot too. LOTR isn't as clear cut. Again, money and religion aren't a huge deal, though religion is there. It is worth noting though that in the story, when the forces of darkness control an area they rush to strip away all of the natural resources for short term gain.

Battlestar Galactica: Most political issues are skipped in Galactica, it is about a fight for survival. That fight for survival though is made necessary by monotheists, a zealous cult whose actions nearly result in the destruction of humanity.

So, can you be a conservative and a sci-fi fan? Sure you can, but if you are it means that you don't really understand the morals and themes of the stories. The Jedi were not social or fiscal conservatives, neither are the Doctor or the heroes of Lord of the Rings or Dune. The United Federation of planets is socialist, secular and humanist.

I know that some social/religious conservatives will claim that some of these stories follow the story of Jesus (of birth, struggle, death, rebirth and triumph) but every religious story follows that pattern. Virtually every story that has ever been popular among humans (long before the Jesus myth was born) follows that pattern. It is not about Jesus.

So, if you're on the right and want to use these stories be aware of the role your side would play in them. At best conservatives would be an irritant and an annoyance and at worst a villain.
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