Space Force: 2020 Is The Real-Life 'Star Trek' Sequel No One Needs
You gotta hand it to the Trump administration. It has apparently ruined America so far ahead of schedule, it's taking its diabolical plans beyond the "surly bonds of earth" to the furthest reaches of space. Aging Ken doll Mike Pence detailed plans for a proposed "sixth branch" of the military Thursday before a crowd of people who'd been told they were seeing a Journey concert. (Allegedly! The vice president himself isn't a big draw.) Because Donald Trump is an overgrown, emotionally damaged child, he has dubbed this new franchise opportunity in the military-industrial complex the "Space Force." This "Space Force" (I will continue to refer to it in skeptical quotes until I see some evidence of rudimentary starship construction) will protect "national security in outer space."
The Pentagon even released a 15-page report on "Space Force," which to us says the general directive at DoD was "Make it too long for the president to read, but not long enough that you actually have to spend time on it." Also, Mike Pence said "Space Force" is coming in 2020, so don't hold your breath:
"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea."
Pence didn't really need to clarify that these were Trump's own words since they are so clearly batshit.
John F. Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade ... not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard." Donald J. Trump declares, "Space is. .. a war-fighting domain." He's like the worst "non-Worf or B'Elanna" Klingon stereotype.
If you're a 40-something geek like me, you spent your teen years watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on Saturday nights with your mother, who'd spent her teen years watching "Star Trek: Original Gangsta." The whole point of space travel in the "Trek" universe was exploration. It was presented as the means of unifying not just the people of Earth but also like-minded people and not-quite people across the galaxy.
Something a good friend and I both appreciate about "Trek" is how its characters have such well-rounded interests beyond "war fighting" and "dominance." Captain Picard is into archaeology. Commander Riker enjoys jazz and poker. Perhaps in TNG's most prescient storyline, Geordi LaForge
fooled around with a computer program. (In retrospect, maybe they could've let the brother have jazz and a real-live woman or man.) Donald Trump has no interests. All that defines him are his avarice and petty urges to dominate. Does anyone believe Trump wants to "seek out new life and new civilizations"? The only thing he can really tolerate is the white population of the United States, and that is shrinking. Space is vast and somewhat empty, like most of the states he won in 2016, but it's not Montana. Trump likely nodded along on Wednesday to Laura Ingraham's white anxiety panic attack. He's not going to roll out the White House red carpet for some antenna-having, three-legged aliens.
Trump represents an America that retreats inward, not one that strives to become part of something greater than itself. We've already alienated most of our existing allies, with whom in a better future we'd seek to explore the stars together. Instead, under this teeny-weendy, orange-polka-dot-bikini-brained president, space is just another arena for warfare.
The Space Force would not be created from scratch, but rather begin by re-organizing existing space programs and personnel. It would initially be led by a civilian who would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, Pence said.
According to the report, the new effort would include the Space Development Agency, which will focus on development; the Space Operations Force, which will include "space warfighters"; Services and Support, which will be comprised of leadership support; and the Space Command, which will be led by a four-star general.
The report added that it would create a legislative proposal for Congress for the 2020 budget cycle to merge each of those units to create the Space Force as a sixth branch.
No sensible nation would ever trust a Trump-supported push into space. It's bad enough he has access to nuclear codes. They'd need to match his aggression Death Star for Death Star. This isn't the start of a new chapter but a rewriting of the same blood-soaked ones from the past.
[Pence] added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead."
Trump is so excited:
Oh, is he already testing out theme songs for the Saturday morning cartoon tie-in?
Also he enlisted his
"super elite" supporters in a fundraising email from the Trump campaign -- which is probably against the law -- to help finalize marketing designs for "Space Force":
Trump would rather build up the mailing list for his re-election campaign than involve the whole country, even the liberals with their damn Vulcan logic, for what he calls "President Trump's Space Force." (Can someone please tell him that this won't actually be his own "Space Force"?) I'd talk about how awful the proposed logos are but White House staffers obviously had to draft their 9-year-old children to draw space pictures for the president, and those kids obviously worked very hard and it's not kind to make fun of children.
The point is, I don't think we're joining the Federation any time soon. But long live "Space Force," I guess!
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).