Heroics for Liberals

Dana Stevens writes:

Star Trek’s vision of the future, as guided by creator Gene Roddenberry, was also a relic of its time, the age of NASA and the Cold War and Kruschev pounding his shoe on a podium at the United States. The show’s faith in diplomacy and technology as tools for not just global but universal peace might seem touchingly dated in our post-9/11 age of stateless jihad, loose nukes, and omnipresent danger. Yet in a weird way, Star Trek’s cheerfully square naiveté makes it the perfect film for our first summer of (slimly) renewed hope. It’s a blockbuster for the Obama age, when smarts and idealism are cool again. In fact, can’t you picture our president — levelheaded, biracial, implacably smart — on the bridge in a blue shirt and pointy ears?

I don’t think there’s anything particularly “weird” about it. In some ways, the original Star Trek is very much a product of the Cold War era. But in a more precise way, it’s very much a product of the high tide of American liberalism that was occurring in the 1960s. That era gave way to a more conservative era, but now, arguably, the pendulum is swinging back to liberalism.