Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
Dying Old Lady here needs someone to come to her defense, because Not Yet Dying Old Man clearly has no (pop) concept of causality in time travel, or the butterfly effect for that matter. Still, what a fun question: if given the chance to travel back in time, do you kill Hitler or foil Oswald?
Conspiracy theory answer: Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy. Might as well kill Hitler since that actually happened. It’s kinda like watching Doc Brown punch in December 25, 0000 into the Delorean in the first Back to the Future, telling Marty that he could witness the birth of Christ. Big assumption there. At the very least, it’s pretty likely that Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas. I guess Brown was too busy worshiping some dude named Scott that he apparently finds pretty great (ow, that pun hurts!).
Pseudo-rational answer: Kill Hitler. If World War II hadn’t happened, or at least if it hadn’t happened in that way, there may have been no cold war. If there was no Cold War, the United States would have quite different during a Kennedy presidency. Of course, that assumes that Kennedy would still be elected in what would likely have been a very different political climate. According to the Internet, Kennedy once swam over a mile in the Pacific ocean while pulling an injured officer along. That’s pretty badass, and if there hadn’t been a WWII Kennedy might not have earned his baadassery stripes, and might never have gained the political clout to become President. This would mean that we might not have had a leader who championed the causes that Kennedy did. I think I’d rather prevent Hitler from genocide, but I do wonder what civil rights legislation in this country would look like if not for Kennedy.
The What About Love answer: When did Dying Old Lady and Not Yet Dying Old Man meet? If was after the assassination of Kennedy, then I wouldn’t go back in time at all, at least if I valued my own happiness against global/national happiness. Given Old Man’s attitude, I kind of assume this to be the case, as it seems he values global/national happiness over the happiness of two people. If it was after Hitler, but before Kennedy, and assuming you still wanted an existence with your “signif,” stop Oswald, because killing Hitler might create a butterfly effect where you two don’t meet, but by the time Kennedy’s shot, you’re relationship will have already been underway. If the two met before WWII, go ahead and kill Hitler. That bastard ruined a mustache style for the rest of history.