Star Trek TNG: Conservatively Liberal

The point is, The Next Generation depicts a strict military hierarchy acting with great moral clarity in the name of civilization, all anti-postmodern, "conservative" stuff — but the values they're so conservatively clear about are ideals like peace and open-mindedness and squishy concern for the perspectives of different cultures. "Liberal" ideals, in other words. You could say, roughly, that the Enterprise crew is conservative as a matter of method and liberal as a matter of goal. They sail through the universe with colonialist confidence sticking up for postcolonial ideals.

Brian Phillips explains Star Trek: The Next Generation's paradoxical cultural appeal in his insightful 25th anniversary essay Computer Love over at Grantland. He also does Harry Potter in a fly-by.