Q of the Week: Who Should Represent Mars in Congress?

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

This week in our Politics & Policy Daily newsletter, we asked readers who should represent the Red Planet if President Obama’s goal is accomplished and humans are able to “remain there for an extended time.” We got some great responses via hello@. Michael Wood reminds us that Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic congressman and presidential contender, once saw a UFO and claimed he had “felt a connection in his heart and heard directions.” Wood said Kucinich is “clearly best positioned to continue his role as liaison.”

Props to reader Michael Zarrelli for recommending the late James Traficant, another Democratic congressman from Ohio, who used to end speeches with the phrase “Beam me up!” Zarrelli’s idea is echoed by regular question-answerer Howard Cohen: “Perhaps the ashes of former Rep. James ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ Traficant have already reached Mars and they already have a ‘congressman’”?

Another reader, Dirk Bloemendaal, suggested that California Governor “Moonbeam” Jerry Brown might make a good Mars representative:

He has always had a fascination with outer space and once proposed that California launch its own space satellite.  Of course, he’d have to run for Congress, on the “far out” plank, and his advanced age may slow him down a bit—but his California Dreamin’ Drive would see him through!

Lastly, Catherine Martin has some 2016 election snark: “I think we should send Donald Trump to ‘remain there for an extended time.’”