This past September marked the 35th anniversary of the first season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987-1994).
Science fiction writers have made some incredible predictions in technology.
Here is a list of the 10 episodes from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" that are the most relevant to our current politics.
1.) "Best of Both Worlds Part": No enemy in Star Trek more closely resembles the woke left than the Borg. In the final episode of the third season, Picard is transformed into a Borg. In the cliffhanger, Picard said, "I am Locutus… of Borg. Resistance… is futile. Your life, as it has been… is over. From this time forward… you will service… us.”
The Borg are a cybernetic race that wants everyone to think like them. Once a Borg drone inserts nanoprobes into their victim, his/her brain is controlled by the hive mind.
In the next episode, the crew rescues Picard and destroys the Borg ship before it can assimilate the population of Earth.
2.) "Unification Part 2": Spock goes to Romulus to begin the process of reunification between the Vulcans and Romulans. Picard and Data secretly visit Romulus to rescue Spock. At the end of the episode, the Romulan government tries to conquer Vulcan. The lesson of this story is that making peace with enemies is risky.
We should never expect a quick result to a long conflict, but we should always keep trying to move closer to the objective. President John F. Kennedy once said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."
3.) "110011001": The Enterprise is stolen by the Bynars. They need the Enterprise’s computer space to save their planet’s master computer, or their entire race will die. The Bynars were constantly connected to their planet’s computer. As a result, their language, and their thinking, became extremely binary like a computer. I believe this episode also foreshadows how social media, and excessive use of the internet, can polarize our country through adopting a binary mindset. Instead of nuance, people only see ones and zeroes.
4.) "Justice": The Enterprise encounters a planet where the punishment for every crime is execution. This episode also makes a good argument for the importance of good judges, and substantive due process, when the ship’s first officer, Commander William Riker, said, "When has justice ever been as simple as a rulebook?"
5.) "Sins of the Father": Worf’s late father is falsely accused of treason. In the Klingon legal system, Worf must stand trial for his father’s crimes.
Today, the North Koreans employ a similar system of familial accountability.
If a person commits a crime, his/her children, and grandchildren, will go to jail as well.
In a reasonable country, people should only be held responsible for their own crimes. People should never be guilty through association.
People should be prosecuted for their actions and not their beliefs.
6.) "The Pegasus": An admiral from Starfleet Intelligence decides to violate a treaty that elected officials signed in good faith. The abuses of the intelligence community did not begin, or end, with Donald Trump's presidency.
Commander Riker comes forward and exposes the scandal. After Riker’s confession, Captain Picard places the admiral under arrest.
7.) "Schizoid Man": Dr. Ira Graves is dying. He finds a way to transfer his consciousness into the android Data.
Graves extended his life at the expense of Data’s life. Picard demands that Graves leave Data’s body. Picard said, "No being is so important that he can usurp the rights of another!"
In politics, there's no endeavor more worthy than providing equal protection under the law.
8.) "The Hunted":
The Enterprise visits a planet where genetically-enhanced super soldiers are imprisoned because they cannot return to society. Obviously, we must do what we can to help our veterans when they return home.
9.) "The High Ground"
Dr. Crusher and Captain Picard are captured by a terrorist group. In the end, the crew eventually finds the terrorist base and rescues their people through force.
An old man needs to find a purpose in his life after retirement. Captain Picard said, "You see, one of the most important things in a person's life is to feel useful. Now, Mr. Scott is a Starfleet officer, and I would like him to feel useful again."
We need our seniors to keep working as long as possible to benefit from their wisdom and sustain our safety net.
Hopefully, one day humans will explore the entire universe.
In the meantime, we need to reach for the stars figuratively and literally.
As English poet Robert Browning once wrote, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"
Robert Zapesochny is a researcher and writer whose work focuses on foreign affairs, national security and presidential history. He has been published in numerous outlets, including The American Spectator, the Washington Times, and The American Conservative. When he's not writing, Robert works for a medical research company in New York. Read Robert Zapesochny's Reports — More Here.
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