A Most Inefficient System

Explaining the 2016 U.S. elections to Commander Data

USS ENTERPRISE BRIDGE – STAR DATE 2938.73 – DARK

COMMANDER DATA stands next to the empty Captain’s chair observing stars whizzing by on the forward viewing screen. The bridge is alive with the usual Star Trek bustle. RUDYBLUES materializes, transporter style, on the other side of the Captain’s chair.

DATA

data2Hello, Mr. rudyblues. Thank you for responding to our request signal once again.

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, hey, no problem Commander Data. I saw the episode of you writing cat poetry again and I figured you needed to see me, so I zipped right over.

DATA

Thank you for using your WordPress time travel powers again to join me here to discuss the 2016 elections in the United States. We find your society’s system of governance most fascinating.

RUDYBLUES

You’re welcome, Commander Data. Man, I can never get over this. I’m on the bridge of the USS Enterprise! Woohoo! Imagine if they could see me now back at C2E2!

RUDYBLUES reaches for a multi-colored touchpad on the arm of the Captain’s chair.

RUDYBLUES

(Curiously)

Man, I can never get over all these gadgets. What’s this one do?

DATA

(Reaching to keep RUDYBLUES from the touchpad)

Please, Mr. rudyblues, I must ask you to remember to refrain from touching any of the gadgets, as you call them. Your curiosity is understandable, but it is also most inadvisable. That controls the forward weapons banks. I do not think you wish to launch a photon torpedo at this time.

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, I remember that from my last time here. Sorry, no photon torpedos for me. Maybe later we can do a phaser blast though if it’s alright with you. I can’t help myself. The future just seems so . . . futuristic! What more do you need to know about our elections, Commander Data?

DATA

We have updated our records concerning your society with the information you provided during our last conversation. However, the information also revealed incongruities within existing data about contemporaneous societies that we would like you to help clarify. Can you help us to correct these incongruities?

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, uh, sure Commander Data. Anything you need.

DATA

Thank you, Mr. rudyblues. Our records indicate that one of the societies that existed contemporaneously with yours was referred to as Russia. Is this correct, Mr. rudyblues?

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, that’s right, Russia, the Ruskies, it’s what they called the old Soviet Union after the collapse of the Communist government there. Man, they have really been off the reservation for the last couple of years.

DATA

I’m not sure I understand, Mr. rudyblues. Our records do not indicate that the Russian society was an American Indian . . .

RUDYBLUES 

(Interrupting DATA)

No, no, I just mean that they have really been misbehaving since about 2012, and even more so now that Trump got elected. That was the election I didn’t want you to tell me about last time. We’re still in the middle of cleaning that mess up, we may never know what really happened. Off the reservation means not behaving as you’re supposed to behave, not following the law.

DATA

I see. That is a part of the incongruities we are concerned with. Very well, I will update our records.

(DATA fixes a blank stare on nothing in particular)

DATA

There, our records now indicate that Russia has been misbehaving since 2012. How, exactly, has Russia been misbehaving, Mr. rudyblues?

RUDYBLUES

Well, it seems like the Ruskies had gotten themselves a whole bunch of really good hackers, and they holed them up in a roomful of computers. Then they started trying to hack into email servers and power grids and stuff like that to see if they could. When they figured out they could do it easily, they decided to screw with the U.S. elections. They broke into an email server and downloaded a bunch of Democratic campaign emails so they could stir up a bunch of trouble.

DATA

Our records indicate that an email server was a crude form of computing device that was connected to a communication medium called the Internet, dedicated to an intermediary role in transmitting binary streams of data from one crude computing device to another. Is that correct, Mr. rudyblues?

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, sure, if you say so.

DATA

Our records also indicate that these email servers employed a crude security measure called a password to ensure the privacy of the binary streams. However, our records further indicate that the most commonly used password in this system was the word password. Is that also correct, Mr. rudyblues?

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, well, that’s probably right, it’s easy to remember. Anyway, the Ruskies also started writing computer programs that masqueraded as social media users, and they started jamming up everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds with all these bogus stories right before the election so we would start fighting with one another. And then all hell broke loose a few weeks before the election when the Wikileaks gang started dumping a bunch of emails on the web that the Russian hackers had given them. And since the FBI didn’t want to look like they weren’t on top of things, they sent out a letter the week before the election about the emails and that’s how we got Trump.

DATA

That is highly fascinating, Mr. rudyblues. But it seems to be a highly inefficient method of impacting the election. Our records indicate that multiple billions of your dollars were spent trying to influence the election. Is it possible that the Russians could have impacted the election more efficiently had they spent dollars?

RUDYBLUES

Well, technically, it’s against U.S. laws for foreigners to spend money influencing our elections. But that’s not to say they didn’t spend rubles. They spent a ton of those!

DATA

This is indeed most fascinating, Mr. rudyblues. Our records also indicate that your society began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the election, something called a Special Counsel. Can you explain the Special Counsel to me?

RUDYBLUES

Oh, yeah, the Mueller investigation, that’s still going on. Well, as more and more of the shenanigans started coming to light all of our politicians started scrambling to see who could make the biggest news splash about investigating things. Since there weren’t many of them who were interested in more than a partisan sound bite, some of the really smart guys over at the Justice Department decided they better appoint a Special Counsel so that there was no appearance of political impropriety. We invented the Special Counsel position so that an administration couldn’t bring political pressure to bear when they were being investigated. Kind of helps the truth get out when you’re not investigating your boss.

DATA

I see. It sounds very similar to the Federation Tribunal. The Federation Tribunal is an impartial panel that investigates intergalactic disputes.

RUDYBLUES

Yeah, I guess it’s kind of like that, only on a smaller scale. Anyway, like I said, Mueller is still investigating, and we got porn stars and playmates and Russian oligarchs and spies and poisonings and all kinds of things happening right now. I’d kind of appreciate it if you didn’t let me know how it ends. I just bought a giant-sized bag of popcorn. This is gonna be a real show!

DATA

This is most fascinating, Mr. rudyblues. I will compile a complete report and submit it to Starfleet Command. Do you mind if I contact you if we discover more gaps in our records? I’m especially interested in the outcome of the Special Counsel. Our records indicate that . . .

RUDYBLUES

(Interrupting DATA)

No, no, please don’t spoil it for me! It’s better than anything they put on the TV these days. No, you just give me the signal. Just say you’re going to write your next poem for your cat and I’ll zip in! Now that the WordPress Daily Post people gave me this cool time-travel thing I’m going to use it all I can.

DATA

Thank you, Mr. rudyblues. I hope you have a pleasant journey back to the Julian calendar year 2018.

RUDYBLUES

Your welcome Commander Data. May the Force be with you! Ooh, sorry, wrong show.

RUDYBLUES disappears transporter style.

DATA

A most inefficient system.

Author: rudyblues57

A fellow traveler in our journey around the neighborhood thermonuclear explosion. Full of random thoughts and esoteric observations about the human condition, how we treat each other, and other detritus of life.

One thought on “A Most Inefficient System”

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