What famous historical figure would you want to fight? What famous historical figure would you want to fight?  Why?  What does the person you pick say about your character?

10 Answers

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I typically don't like to fight or even to watch fighting.  However, I think I would like to "duke it out" with the person who created a welfare economy instead of setting up a system where people didn't just expect handouts and over time, create an overwhelming sense of entitlement in our society.  The greatest minds in history agree that those who don't work for their living or have something invested in it have no self-esteem and sense of self-worth.  Hundreds of thousands work the system for these handouts when they are capable of working, pushing those who truly need the aide out.  In addition, the system of welfare and social programs is not a system of a "temporary leg up" which it was supposed to be originally but has evolved into a way of life where generations of families wait for that government check.  This is the ruination of work ethic and pride in our country...ultimately "enslaving" those too ignorant to know any better.

Education makes governing a people easy but conquering a people impossible.  Too many of our welfare and social program recipients do not have an education, do not see the value in pursuing an education, and are therefore "enslaved" and "conquered" by their own lack of desire to improve.  Too often I have heard statements like, "I can make more on welfare and food stamps than if I work a real job," or "I have to have 'X' number of babies to never have to work a day in my life," or "Yes, I have that scholarship still even though I'm on probation...that gives me one more semester to party hearty on their free money until they kick me out."   The people who make it possible for these individuals to rely on this sort of permanent government assistance rather than teach these same individuals to stand proudly on their own two feet--pulling their own weight and taking pride in their educational, work, and daily family accomplishments--are the ones I'd like to punch in the face.

What does this say about me?  Well, I think it suggests that I'm tired of listening to excuses.  People who can work, should.  Welfare was designed for widows and orphans.  The truly disabled should be allowed aide, also.  Everyone else should help the rest of us pull the wagon.  Let's stop getting a handicapped tag to put in our car just because we don't want to mess up our hair in the rain.  Stop voting for someone just because you think he's going to pay your taxes or your mortgage.  Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country...expecting nothing in return but a better place to live, work, play, and rear a family.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

That's one of the stranger/more interesting questions I've seen on here...

In terms of who I'd hate enough to want to hurt with my own hands, the obvious people come to mind.  People like Hitler who were evil enough, in my opinion, to make me want to personally hurt them.

On the other hand, it might be more interesting to fight someone that I admire, just to see what sort of character they have (if fighting truly shows a person's character, that is).  So it might be interesting to fight Thomas Jefferson.  After all, there's a person who seems both very strong in character but also very weak in that he was weak enough to use his own slaves sexually.  Maybe fighting him would reveal something, though I'm a bit skeptical as to whether there truly is any connection between moral fiber and physical courage.

What does that say about me?  Not sure.  Maybe that I'm more analytical than emotional, at least at the moment.  I'm more interested in finding out what someone is like than in taking physical action against an evil person.


stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I'm another responder who has never really thought about fighting anyone, at any age, even when I was young enough to possibly be physically capable of doing so. However, this is a "what if" type of question, which means we are given permission to suspend reality while replying. On that basis, and echoing the thought process of #2, I'll volunteer to take on Benjamin Franklin. His enthusiasm for life and his intellectual curiosity would probably translate into his utilization of some completely unanticipated strategy that would have me defeated promptly! However, it would be fascinating to be able to talk with him over drinks after I had recovered. I think this shows that I'm more interested in learning from and about people than I am in physically confronting them.

booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

If I had the ability to fight anyone, it might be Jack the Ripper. But I would have to know that I would win—losing to this guy wouldn't be just a form of embarrassment: it would be a death sentence. With such a maniacal figure running about murdering women in London, regardless of their social standing, it amazes me that they were never able to catch him. I am not a violent person by nature, but I would love to think that to stop him, I might have learned hand-to-hand combat for some reason, and have developed amazing upper-body strength for a women. He was someone who needed to be stopped. There are, of course, others, but his is one I would like to have knocked out, hand-cuffed and delivered to Scotland Yard (or whoever would get him).

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I have to agree with the above posts: It is both an unusual question and one which, at my age, I would no longer attempt to fulfill. I never enjoyed fighting much when I was young, though I did love to wrestle with my brother, so the idea isn't very appealing. However, I would have loved to have a go with Saddam Hussein before his demise. From a literary point of view, I think it would have been wonderful to meet Ernest Hemingway, even if it was in the ring for a round or two. It would have been great to tell all my friends that I had been bloodied by Hemingway, although I would have preferred to go drinking with him instead.

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

My usual behavior is to step in the middle (literally ...) and break fights up. I have seen my fair share of villains and consistently turned my back and walked away from them for good. I can't imagine myself going in to fight someone instead. If a situation were to arise in which I fought someone, it would be in a situation of life-and-death where some culprit would be hurting or about to hurt some innocent person. That culprit I'd fight, but it would be an anonymous person, so I can't name them (practicing my non-gendered plural/singular pronoun usage). What does this say about me? That I'm a bit foolhardy ...!!

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Wonderful post--#9.  Let's unearth LBJ and beat him for his Great Society which put the seal on the Welfare State that furthered what Roosevelt began--some may want to read what such renowned economists as Walter Williams say about FDR [by the way Dr. Williams is African-American, in case some want to ship a label this way].  All these politicos who just want a vote by promising handouts and "dream laws" should line up, as well.

When more than 50% of the population pays no tax, something and some bodies need shaking up.--- This holds true, too, for European nations.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I like #4! I personally wouldn't really like to fight anyone, but just for this question, if I had to pick somebody, I could easily pick somebody who seriously does not believe in climate change and thinks it is all a conspiracy. Preferably somebody with a big gas guzzling car who votes Republican and also thinks that George Bush is the most intelligent individual on this planet. What does this reveal about me? That no matter how much I like to be thought of as being a "nice guy" I have my own set of prejudices just as much as the next person.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It's hard for me to imagine fighting anyone in my middle age, but if I had to pick, I'd lace up the gloves against Kim Jong il.  Might as well make it someone more than 20 years my senior, right?  And man if that guy hasn't so badly mistreated his own people not to mention his neighbors, so I suppose if someone deserves a number of punches to the midsection, it would be him.  I could also pick Hitler, because, even if I lost, I could at least tell him how ridiculous that mustache looks.

User Comments

beefheart's profile pic

beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) Honors

Posted on

I believe the 'text book' answer to this question is, "I'd fight Ghandi."

(The implication being that the speaker, Tyler Durdan, disapproved of Ghandi's passivity.)

For myself, I like the idea of being able to sock George Bush on the hooter. I would love to punch him for all his reckless financial mismangement and dangerously over-simplistic foriegn policies. He trashed America's reputation abroad, allowed the economy to develop a galactic-sized bubble and did frankly illegal things like the camp at Guantanamo. I would love to smack his head.

What does this say about me? That I'm a decent, educated ? person who despises over-confident fools.