I’ve been thinking a lot about something I read a long time ago* about what a certain type of person would do in a world where, to paraphrase Picard, the acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in people’s lives. Ross Perot was the example used but the same idea applies to Donald Trump.
The economy of the United Federation of Planets is nebulously described in canon. Places like the Picard family vineyard and the Sisko restaurant produce goods and services though it’s not perfectly clear how (or if) they are compensated for their work. But it doesn’t seem like a Federation citizen can build and run a massive corporation or that there’s anything like an ultra-wealthy 1% of the population.
So where does someone like Ross Perot or Donald Trump direct their energies if not into building a business?
Yes, I know the glib answer is that Trump is Ferengi or one of the other aliens in the Star Trek universe. (There are also “Perot is Ferengi” jokes out there.) Get the cheap jokes out of your system then we can continue.
As you might guess from the choice of examples one field to go into is politics, something both Perot and Trump turned to. I don’t think Trump could get on the Federation Council (that would be as far fetched as becoming, say, President of the United States) but I can see him working up to be a planetary governor or the equivalent. Hopefully he wouldn’t end up killing half a world’s population** at some point.
Another idea that’s bounced around my head is someone like Trump enlisting in Starfleet. A starship captain is the ruler of their kingdom due to the nature of the job and that would be appealing for someone with an outsized ego. While Starfleet presumably screens for just that sort of narcissistic personality, the number of senior Starfleet officers who have turned out to be shady if not outright villainous suggests there are flaws in the process.
An Ensign Trump wouldn’t fare well on a ship like the Enterprise under Kirk or Picard. But not every assignment means working with Starfleet’s best and brightest. How far would someone like Trump rise in Starfleet? Keep in mind that this is someone who would screw over all his shipmates to get ahead, even if it put the ship at risk while doing so. Would Captain Trump end up starting a war because he’s not as diplomatic as Picard, Kirk or Janeway? (Does anyone doubt the answer is yes?) But his stream-of-consciousness log entries would be fascinating.
Anyway, this is something that’s been percolating through my mind. Thanks for reading.
*I can’t remember where I read that thought but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else around here has read the same piece. If it rings a bell and you can find it, please let me know.
**If you read through the linked entry you’ll find out that, yes, the Simpsons character is named after Kodos the Executioner and Kang named after a memorable Klingon from the Original Series (and DS9).