U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Biden will host a Star Trek-themed fundraising dinner, with appearances by franchise luminaries like George Takei and Patrick Stewart. It's the latest in a series of virtual events supporting the Biden campaign. Since part of Biden's platform is a more cautious approach to the covid-19 pandemic, traditional campaign events -- where the candidate stands in front of a crowd -- are harder for him to justify than they are for President Donald Trump, who has made downplaying the threat and impact of the virus part of his platform. Relying more heavily on virtual events means Democrats have to think somewhat differently about how to generate buzz and funds.
With much of the arts community staunchly behind the Democratic party, the use of entertainment and pop culture is an obvious strategy. Events like the recent reunion and live reading of The Princess Bride have created highly visible campaign "stops." They also have a secondary benefit that $1,000-per-plate fundraising dinners lack: they can be accessed anywhere, and by supporters who spend comparably little money, which gives them more "legs" than one-night-only live events that can only be attended by supporters in the city where the event is taking place.
The multicultural, globalist utopia of Star Trek's future has often resulted in the series appropriated by progressive activists and causes, and while many big media franchises might shy away from that kind of appropriation, the creatives behind Star Trek rarely have. For Takei -- who wrote a graphic novel about how Japanese internment impacted his family, and has railed against the current U.S. policy of housing people accused of immigration violations in similar camps -- it is little surprise that he has been particularly active in this election.
"Joe, Kamala [Harris], and I all believe that, as Americans, we are all part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are all on the same team, and that we are fighting for that same brighter future," former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wrote in an announcement to Biden supporters. "That’s exactly what this event is about — a bunch of folks coming together to unite in the fight to defeat Donald Trump (and maybe have fun with some Trekkie-themed trivia)."
Besides Takei, Stewart, and Buttigieg, the event will include political heavyweights like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Yang, and Cory Booker; and Star Trek veterans Kate Mulgrew, Alison Pill, Anthony Rapp, Brent Spiner, Evan Evagora, Gates McFadden, Isa Briones, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Sonequa Martin-Green, Wil Wheaton and Wilson Cruz.
The event, which is being called "Trek the Vote to Victory," can be accessed at a name-your-donation price with $25 suggested.