Star Trek: Deep Space Nine highlights perfectly how hard it is to maintain personal freedoms

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine once tackled a highly pertinent issue with the two-part episode "Homefront' and "Paradise Lost"
Star Trek Mission: New York
Star Trek Mission: New York / Noam Galai/GettyImages

Star Trek has always been a very left-leaning show, much to the detriment of some. The concepts that they explore usually highlight and focus on more liberal ideologies, and often paint more conservative approaches as incorrect, wrong, or lacking. It's been that way for decades, starting with the fact that shortly after the end of segregation, they had the first-ever interracial kiss that was televised.

They are what they are. But that doesn't mean that they don't strive to challenge the narrative. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's two-parter, "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", they highlighted the futility of believing that individual rights surpass any other edict, regardless of when or where. The two-parter sees Ben Sisko having to help out on Earth due to the growing threat from the Changelings. He's forced to go along with some pretty invasive situations, like testing every member of a Starfleet officer's familiy to see if they're a Changeling.

The paranoia is strong in this episode, and it causes a rift between Benjamin and his father, Joseph. Joe believes that Starfleet is overstepping their bounds by taking DNA from people to confirm they're not Changelings. Ben, on the other hand, highlights that extreme circumstances require extreme solutions; something that Federation ally and Changeling Odo agree with. Even if it means making people uncomfortable at a time, it's preferred to a secret invasion that destroys all life as we know it.

At the end of "Homefront," the Changelings seemingly destroy the power relays on Earth, sending the whole planet into darkness.

Ben Sisko and his allies then have to sway the Federation President to declare Marshall Law on Eart until the power and thereby their planetary defenses are restored. Every bit of it is the right move and the proper response to the situation at hand. However, it's later revealed that one of Sisko's commanding officers is in fact behind the power outage in an attempt to scare the Federation into taking proper steps needed to defend themselves.

While the plot of the two-parter slid back into the very overused "Starfleet bad" troupe that has become far more prominent these days, the initial offering was still presented earnestly, revealing that when the unprecedented becomes the norm, things need to change to protect people.

Considering most of us all lived through very trying times that asked us all to change our day-to-day routine in order to protect one another, it's fair to say that sometimes we have to sacrifice our want to do whatever we want in order to uphold something far greater than ourselves. This was something Sisko believed in fully, even if he was deceived, he lived by the edict that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Something this show did great at examining through the years.