By Ed Diokno
How in the world does one combine the Jedi Knights from Star Wars, the ongoing presidential campaign, combating apathy with an Asian American angle?
Thanks to Darren Criss, we can introduce the U.S. Rebel Alliance, which targets that demographic least likely to vote, but also the group with the most influence. Young adults voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 and some say, was key to his election.
Criss, a Filipino American actor with a role in the popular Glee TV show and numerous Broadway credits to his name, is a superfan of the Star Wars franchise. He joined in the video urging people to join the Rebel Alliance.
If you’re unfamiliar with Star Wars saga and this post doesn’t make any sense, well … please, move on to the next post.
If you are familiar with the Star Wars universe, which happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, if you have the Rebel Alliance, then you must have the counterpart, the Evil Empire. Who is the “Empire?” Who is Darth Vader? Who represents the forces of evil?
To Slack and Adler, the bad guys make up the Empire of Big Money, the special interests who have become the king-makers because of the large sums of money they put into the campaigns and who, in turn, have the power to influence polices that may, in the end, benefit the benefactors.
In more crass terms: They buy the elections and the politicians. Sad, but that is what our election process has devolved into.
From their website:
If there’s a message for our times from the Star Wars franchise, it is this — we need to strengthen democracy now in order to prevent an Empire later. If more people had supported the cause of democracy and not become inured to the Republic’s slow decline then the challenges that Feinstein and Bunch identify would never have become issues in the first place. No Empire, no Death Star.
This story of democracy undermined by the power of a few may sound all too familiar to Americans living in the era of Citizens United. Let’s hope that we can take the right inspiration from the Star Wars saga, and ensure our Republic is one where all voices count. And so, let’s not contain this discussion to a mere article! Let us use it as nerd-fueled inspiration to light up a Republic who so many have lived for, who so many have died for, and may the force be with US!
If politics is too boring for you, or if you feel that none of the candidates represent your views and you feel like the dark forces are too powerful and want to help preserve our Republic, consider joining the Jedi Order of the U.S. Rebel Alliance.
May the Force be with you.
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)