Space, the final frontier! To boldly go where no candidate has gone before! These are the voyages of the Republican party...
GUARDIAN: I am the Guardian of Forever! I protect all of eternity! Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, I have summoned you here because I sense a great disruption in the timestream.
KIRK: What sort of disruption -- did Dr. McCoy screw up World War II again?
GUARDIAN: It concerns the year 2012, on the planet you call Earth.
SPOCK: Ah, yes, as I recall that was a particularly volatile period in American history.
GUARDIAN: The timeline keeps diverging. In one stream, a lifeform called Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, then goes on to become President of the United States. In another, some other lifeform wins the nomination, but loses the general election to President Barack Obama. In his second term, Obama imposes sharia law on the United States, surrenders sovereignty to the United Nations, and reveals himself to be the anti-Christ.
KIRK: That would change history. Who is this other human?
GUARDIAN: I cannot say -- the timestream is too turbulent. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul -- it keeps changing. Even I, who knows everything, don't know who all these lifeforms were.
SPOCK: What do you wish us to do -- go back in time and ensure this Mitt Romney is elected?
GUARDIAN: It is not so simple. I sense the source of the disruption is Mitt Romney himself.
KIRK: How can Romney be the source of the disruption if he's suppose to win?
GUARDIAN: I do not understand human psychology. But there is something about this Mitt Romney that causes Republicans to yearn for the exact opposite.
SPOCK: An anti-Mitt Romney.
KIRK: Spock, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
SPOCK: Precisely. The anti-matter universe.
KIRK: Guardian, if we got the anti-Mitt Romney from the anti-matter universe and substituted him for the real Mitt Romney from this universe, would that correct the timestream?
GUARDIAN: It couldn't hurt.
The Guardian of Forever opens a gateway to the anti-matter universe in the year 2012. Kirk and Spock enter. Anti-matter Romney looks just like real Romney -- except he has a goatee.
ANTI-ROMNEY: Gentlemen, you must have come a long way. Please, make yourself comfortable. How can I help you?
KIRK: How would you like to be President of the United States?
ANTI-ROMNEY: I? I have no political aspirations.
SPOCK: Weren't you governor of the state you call Massachusetts?
ANTI-ROMNEY: That was a long time ago. Now I am a humble private citizen.
KIRK: But you did make a ton of money when you ran Bain Capital, didn't you?
ANTI-ROMNEY: I did, but it's nothing I'm proud of. It came at the expense of too many workers' jobs. Now I try to make amends by using my wealth to promote universal healthcare -- my greatest achievement while governor. I won't rest until every last American -- black, white, gay, straight, legal, illegal -- has affordable healthcare. After all, people are people, not corporations.
Spock and Kirk look at each other.
KIRK: He's not quite what I expected.
SPOCK: The Guardian did say we needed the anti-Mitt Romney.
Kirk shrugs. Spock gives anti-Romney the Vulcan nerve pinch. They cart him off to our universe.
GUARDIAN: Well done, gentlemen. With anti-Mitt Romney in place, the timestream is correcting itself. All is as it should be. The universe owes you a debt of gratitude.
KIRK: Well, I guess we'll be on our way, then. Scotty, beam us aboard.
Spock consults his tricorder.
SPOCK: One moment, captain. I'm picking up peculiar readings. Guardian, according to the Federation's Wikipedia, the Republicans wind up nominating someone named Rick Santorum, and Obama wins by a landslide. And he doesn't impose sharia law or surrender sovereignty to the United Nations or reveal himself as the anti-Christ. He learns from the mistakes from his first term, goes on to become the greatest President of the twenty-first century, and has his likeness carved into Mount Rushmore -- right next to Theodore Roosevelt.
GUARDIAN: Oh, yes, well...
KIRK (looking over Spock's shoulder): And do you have any idea what "santorum" means?
GUARDIAN: I'm afraid I've told you gentlemen a lie. You see, sometimes history needs a little nudge. If you hadn't replaced Romney with anti-Romney, then the Republicans would have, albeit reluctantly, nominated him and he would have gone on to win the general election. Then he would have imposed soulless corporate law on the United States, surrendered sovereignty to the 1%, and revealed himself to be an android manufactured in the Koch brothers' secret research and development facility.
KIRK: But that means you've changed history! I thought you weren't suppose to do that!
GUARDIAN: If Romney was elected, then the Federation would never be formed, and you would never be here. The Earth would have become uninhabitable by 2050, too early for your species to develop interstellar flight. Since you are here, that means I was always intended to change history. Q.E.D.
SPOCK: Your logic is irrefutable.
KIRK: It's giving me a headache. Let's go to the holodeck, get tweaked on dilithium crystal meth, and pick up some spacebabes. I'm in the mood for some tribble, if you know what I mean.
SPOCK: Fascinating suggestion.
Follow Robert Brenner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Robert Brenner