What if knowledge of Star Trek, including the original series and at least one spinoff, was a requirement for voting?

Yes, of course I’m serious. What if a deep working knowledge of Star Trek, including the original series and at least one of the spinoffs, was a requirement for voting?

This might seem like a far-fetched idea, but bear with me. Voting is a serious matter. It’s the essence of participatory democracy. We should hold the act of voting to a very high standard, and we should hold voters to that same standard. Imagine if, in order to vote in any election, you had to demonstrate a basic knowledge of Star Trek. This would include being able to answer questions about the original series, as well as at least one of the spinoffs.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – this would be unfair to those who don’t happen to be fans of Star Trek. But think about it for a moment. Would you trust someone to make decisions about your country’s future if they couldn’t even be bothered to learn about one of the most influential sci-fi franchises of all time?

There’s more to it than that, though. The original Star Trek series was groundbreaking in its portrayal of a future where humanity had overcome its differences and was working together for the common good. It showed us that anything is possible if we set our minds to it. Being versed in Star Trek and having an appreciation for its message would dramatically change our world.

But how?

Several possibilities come to mind. In no particular order, let’s consider some of these. For those who are already politically active, there would be a sudden surge in popularity for Star Trek-related media. The original series would be watched more than ever, and new fan fiction would be written about the characters. Some people would even start dressing up as the characters for conventions.

Oh, wait… that already happens. Moving on…

It might be a slow start, especially for some of the more conservative among the current voting population, but eventually people would come to feel that things were moving in the right direction. They would be happy that values were on the rise, and they would look forward to a brighter future.

Another possibility, and one I’m only now thinking about, is that a black market for Star Trek knowledge would emerge. It’s not hard to imagine people being willing to pay top dollar for information about the future, from a Star Trek perspective, of course. Knowledge is power, and people would want to be in a position to make the most of the opportunities that the future would bring.

Looking into my future history VR goggles, I can see a time in which people are divided into two groups: those who have access to knowledge about the future, and those who don’t. The first group would have a distinct advantage over the second, and would no doubt use it to push their utopian agenda forward, angering those who liked things the way they were. The struggle for equality, for wisdom, and for the very future of our species would have to continue and perhaps even intensify.

Goggles off…

What else? Oh, the voting age would be raised to 21 in order to give everyone a chance to watch the original series. The government would also create a crash course on Star Trek to ensure that everyone was up to date on the franchise before voting.

I’m sure that the vote to raise the voting age to 21 would be unanimous. Everyone would want a chance to watch the original Star Trek series. After all, the future of all nations would depend on it. Some would oppose the idea, of course. They’d say that people should be able to vote at 18, that they are old enough to make decisions about the future of their particular country. But those people are wrong.

The truth is, people aren’t ready to vote at 18. They’re still kids. Young adults. They haven’t worked a real job. They haven’t had the chance to develop the wisdom and experience that comes with those extra three years. They don’t know about good television, and how trashy reality shows are just an illusion of real life. They don’t know about Star Trek.

Looking in to my future history VR goggles, I see that I was right; the vote was unanimous, and we all watched the original Star Trek series. And it was good.

We watched an episode a night, and we learned from it. We got to see Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the crew come together and form a team. We got to see them debate morality, ethics, and philosophy on the bridge of the Enterprise. We got to see them explore strange new worlds. We got to see them encounter new and exciting life forms. We got to see them boldly go where no man had gone before.

It was beautiful, really.

Googles off…

What else could we expect? Perhaps the best outcome is that people would take the voting process a lot more seriously.

Voters would want to make sure that they were well-informed about the candidates and the issues before they went to the polls. In addition, they would want to be sure that they understood all of the arguments for and against each candidate before making their final decision. They would demand the truth, not slogans and “alternate facts” shouted by candidates who shouldn’t be allowed to use power tools, never mind run for office.

Logic and reason would rule the day. Our species would walk, hand in hand, toward a bright and optimistic future, prepared early for First Contact and without the bloodshed that happens on the show with the third world war and that whole Eugenics War thing. Knowledge of Star Trek as a prerequisite to voting could, and likely would, save us all.

I’m sure I may have missed a few things as we boldly go to explore that shining future, but I believe I’ve made a compelling argument for establishing knowledge of Star Trek as a prerequisite for voting. I can already sense that many of you are with me on this, so now it’s your turn. Add your voice.

Live long and prosper!

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