Who would win an actual fistfight between Obama and Romney?

Every other animal species on the planet uses physical violence to determine leaders, so why not humans?

DOTHAN, AL, October 18, 2012 — Governor Romney and President Obama mixed it up pretty good in their second debate. Despite the town hall format that usually dampens aggressive behavior, they got into each other’s space like a couple of angry bulls.

The reaction from most men I know was positive. We are crude and primitive and we understand using physical force. I am referring to old-fashioned alpha males, not the newer variety of apologist, gender confused beta males. Based on his “everything needs to be fair” approach to politics I wrongly assumed Obama to be a “kinder, gentler” beta male like the ones who often got pushed into lockers at my old high school.

If both candidates wanted to appeal to women during the debate, they probably failed. Women in general are not very interested in watching the opposite gender fight for dominance, and please note that I am speaking in generalities just to make a point. Even back in caveman times, Oona had better things to do than sit around while Og and Zurg fought over a rabbit pelt.

But men, again in general terms, love watching a good fight. I thought the debate was great. At last, both men acted like real men, testosterone levels were over the top, tempers flared and a few times it even seemed as if one or the other would throw a punch and start a brawl.

This of course raises the question of who would actually win a fistfight, Romney or Obama? Ladies, you can sit this next section out if you want since it basically abandons all reason and common sense. A September 2012 poll, done by Langer Research Associates for Esquire magazine and Yahoo! News, asked respondents which presidential candidate they thought would win in an actual fistfight. 58% opted for Obama, 22% for Romney and 20% (probably women) had no opinion.

Considering age and physical ability I would have to go with Obama too, but Romney is bigger and might get in some lucky blows. A more balanced approach would be a tag team event. Adding Ryan and Biden would definitely even the playing field and please President Obama by making the matchup “fair for everyone.”

Every other animal species on the planet uses physical violence to determine leaders so why not humans? Lions have a very effective system where the young guys beat up the old guys and take over. Dogs will always defer to the strongest one in a pack. Monkey’s are very hierarchical based on which is the biggest and strongest. Why then, does man go against nature by injecting logic and reason and verbal debate into the equation? It just complicates things. Even our founding fathers acknowledged the value of a good duel to settle things now and then.

The first major damper on physical force in American politics came when Thomas Jefferson, then Vice President, implemented the Manual of Parliamentary Practice. This rulebook set guidelines to promote decorum in Congressional proceedings and specifically forbade hissing, coughing, spitting, talking and other rude or disruptive behavior during speeches. I applaud Vice President Joe Biden for ignoring all of that repressive parliamentary nonsense and being a true alpha male during his recent debate with Congressman Paul Ryan. Go Joe!

Interestingly, despite their ardent political correctness and supposedly enlightened nature, Democrats historically have a slight edge in using laws of the jungle to settle hotly debated topics. A proud moment for alpha maleness came in 1856 with the caning of Senator Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery Massachusetts Republican who ran into the metal-tipped end of a cane wielded by South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, a Democrat.

Another proud moment for real men in Congress was in 1902, when Democratic Senator Ben Tillman smacked another Democratic Senator, John McLaurin, in the jaw for calling him a liar. Tillman’s alleged crime was acting too much like a Republican. Democrats have always shown a passionate and fiery nature lacking in Republicans, and it’s sad they are confined to sarcasm and mockery when they could so easily rule based on physicality.

Joking and satire aside, who really did win the second presidential debate? The American public did.  Voters are finally getting to see more than the carefully groomed and polished public personas of the candidates. While the aggressiveness of both candidates may be a turn off to some, I want to know that my leader will fight for me and protect me with all the passion and ferocity of a momma bear defending her cubs. 

I also want to know that my leader is not just there for personal gain and won’t lead me into danger based on unproven theories and radical ideologies. I don’t want to be part of a social, political or economic experiment, and when problems and failures happen I want my leader to stand up, be honest and take responsibility for the consequences. This past week we saw a “real man” do just that.

Lucky for both candidates Hillary is not running for president right now.


“Don’t look at me brother, your fighting a girl…”

Clip from Spy Kids: Islands of Lost Dreams (go to 1:50) 




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Rick Townley

Rick Townley was a bookseller before switching to electronic publishing with The New York Times, Reuters, Grolier and others. He is the author of a humor book, For Boomers Only – Exploring Life in the New Millennium, a supernatural novel, Stepping Out of Time, and numerous short stories. In addition to contributing to the Washington Times Communities, Rick is working on a fiction series called Stigma and resides in southern Alabama with his 7-year-old granddaughter, Chloe.


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