Focusing on the really important issues, I see!
Presidential candidate and believer in divine right Jeb Bush recently weighed in on a question that has plagued people with nothing better to think about for generations: Would you kill baby Hitler?
The question comes from a recent poll from the New York Times, revealing that a plurality of their readers would go back in time to kill Hitler while he was a baby. Jeb Bush got involved when the Huffington Post asked him the same question, because the Huffington Post is well known for being on the forefront of breaking news.
Jeb’s response? “Hell yeah, I would!” the former Florida governor told HuffPost. “You gotta step up, man.”
However, he also admitted that this act of time traveling boots on the ground could lead to unforeseen consequences… like the majority of U.S. actions in the Middle East. Still, also like U.S. actions in the Middle East, to hell with unforeseen consequences! Bush said that he would go back and kill baby Hitler anyway!
*Cracks knuckles* *fires up Google* *summons the pagan gods of nerdiness.* Alright, Jeb, now I’m ready to tell you exactly why killing baby Hitler wouldn’t work.
First, let’s just use suspension of disbelief and pretend that time travel exists. Jeb Bush steals the TARDIS from Dr. Who and wants to go back in time to kill baby Hitler. Unfortunately, even if he were to steal a time machine he would never be able to go back in time to kill Hitler! Why? Let me refer you to the Grandfather Paradox.
The Grandfather Paradox, according to a Wikipedia article on the subject, explains why traveling back in time to murder someone is impossible: The paradox is described as follows: the time traveller goes back in time and kills his grandfather before his grandfather meets his grandmother. As a result, the time traveller is never born. But, if he was never born, then he is unable to travel through time and kill his grandfather, which means the traveller would then be born after all, and so on.
But Hitler and the Bush family aren’t related! So what does this have to do with anything? Well, the article goes on to extrapolate with something called the “Hitler Paradox,” a closely related issue with time travel murder.
Simply put, if someone goes back in time to kill Hitler and succeeds, that means Hitler is dead. Therefore WWII never happened, and the reasons we all want to kill Hitler never happened. Thus, the time traveller would never go back in time to kill Hitler in the first place. Thus Hitler is never murdered, thus WWII happens, and it just continues to circle around itself.
Okay, well what if they murder baby Hitler and replace him with a baby that looks awfully similar to Hitler? Well, that baby will grow up under the exact same family, experiences, and situations that the original Hitler went through. This baby would become Hitler. Therefore, Jeb Bush + Time Machine = Literally Hitler.
There’s also some ethical questions. Sure, it’s Hitler, but it’s baby Hitler. Technically, he wouldn’t have done anything wrong yet. Killing baby Hitler would be punishing someone before any crime was committed. Also, would Jeb Bush support going even further back in time to make Mama Hitler have an abortion? If not, what’s the difference?
And what about Stalin? The Titanic? 9/11? Should we expect our time traveling presidents to stop every tragedy? Just ones that affect America? Or is this a one-time thing?
These are important questions that need to be answered before we start sending our potential leaders back in time to kill people. In fact, I believe there’s only one person qualified for the job, but he isn’t even American. Dr. Who 2016!