"As everybody knows, Chekov was Canadian…" (Image by: Getty Images)

When Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz wades into pop culture, it typically comes across as a discomfiting simulacrum of what a normal hu-man does with his leisure units. In a recent interview, however, The New York Times managed to tap into Cruz’s inner nerd and get him to detail an apparently sincere take on Star Trek. After also calling himself a “Han Solo [and] Spider-Man guy” and literally saying the words, “I have encouraged young people to become arsonists” (“spreading the fire of liberty,” he explains, rather like encouraging young people to become peeping toms, ogling the Constitution), Cruz explains that he vastly prefers Captain Kirk over Captain Picard because he believes Kirk is a Republican.

Cruz, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer who notes in the same interview that he spent “many years as a Supreme Court litigator,” says he likes Kirk because he’s working class, whereas Picard is an “aristocrat.” He continues to contrast the two, adding, “Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher.” To Cruz, this all somehow means that Kirk is a Republican and Picard, a Democrat.

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His comments naturally set off a multitude of sputtering think pieces (including two from The Washington Post), but they also caught the attention of someone who should know:

Damn, Ted Cruz! Guess you also encouraged William Shatner to become an arsonist, because he just burned you.

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