P. J. O’Rourke quotes

Bill Clinton is not a hypocrite. If a man believes that it is just and moral to redistribute wealth, there is nothing hypocritical in his attempts to redistribute some of that wealth to himself.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The great majority of Baghdad is a slum – a lot of it’s new, but it’s still slum. It’s usually this concrete-block, one-room design with a door and a window, arranged one-up, one-down, often with a shop with nothing in it on the first floor, and then a one-room apartment above it. There’s street after street after street of that stuff.
-P. J. O’Rourke

If government were a product, selling it would be illegal.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Public schools helped create the idea of America and inculcate Americans with a few rudiments of knowledge. To judge by that very American item, the Internet, a few rudiments is all anyone cares to have.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Some day you will be wheeled in for a heart bypass operation, and a surgeon will be the person who is now behind the counter when you renew your car registration at the department of motor vehicles.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Liberals are always proposing perfectly insane ideas, laws that will make everybody happy, laws that will make everything right, make us live forever, and all be rich. Conservatives are never that stupid.
-P. J. O’Rourke

It could be that all awful dictators are frustrated artists – Mao with his poetry and Mussolini with his monuments. Stalin was once a journalistic hack, and I can personally testify to how frustrated they are. Pol Pot left a very edgy photo collection behind. And Osama seems quite interested in video.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The perpetuation of slavery, the exile and extermination of American Indians, and the passage of Jim Crow laws weren’t carried out at the bidding of a few malefactors of great wealth.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Israel is slightly smaller than New Jersey. Moses in effect led the tribes of Israel out of the District of Columbia, parted Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, and wandered for forty years in Delaware.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Kuwait City is not gorgeous, actually, but it’s got a kind of Epcot Center thing going for it. It’s not pretty. But it’s striking, I’ll give it that. It’s not as over-the-top as Abu Dhabi or Dubai. But nearly.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Everybody with a gun has a checkpoint in Lebanon. And in Lebanon, you’d be crazy not to have a gun. Though, I assure you, all the crazy people have guns, too.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Toledo is better than exciting, it’s happy. Because nothing is more conducive to unhappiness than taking yourself seriously, and taking yourself seriously is difficult when you’re baseball team is the Mud Hens.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights – the “right” to education, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle.
-P. J. O’Rourke

A lot of newspaper columns used to be written in a rat-a-tat-tat, fast-paced style – and they tended to be funny. They were a little relief from the grimmer, grayer parts of the newspaper, and one of the best people at doing this was Will Rogers.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Each child is biologically required to have a mother. Fatherhood is a well-regarded theory, but motherhood is a fact.
-P. J. O’Rourke

I rarely meet a politician that I don’t like personally. They are generally well endowed with charm. Therein lies the danger.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Barack Obama is more irritating than the other nuisances on the Left.
-P. J. O’Rourke

If we heard that somebody starved to death in Sweden or Switzerland, we would be shocked.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Writing on a computer makes saving what’s been written too easy. Pretentious lead sentences are kept, not tossed. Instead of sitting surrounded by crumpled paper, the computerized writer has his mistakes neatly stored in digital memory.
-P. J. O’Rourke

There is a simple rule here, a rule of legislation, a rule of business, a rule of life: beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud. You can apply that rule to left-wing social programs, but you can also apply that rule to credit derivatives, hedge funds, all the rest of it.
-P. J. O’Rourke

As I get older, all sorts of things become less funny. Once one has children, any cruelty involving children becomes far less amusing than when one was at the mercy of one’s friends’ and relatives’ children.
-P. J. O’Rourke

If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat – in other words, turn you into an adult.
-P. J. O’Rourke

I think it’s been hard for people to understand how Islam can be a good religion, and yet the Islamists are evil. Those of us who have had experience with Islam understand this, just as we understand the difference between snake handlers and people going to church on Sunday morning.
-P. J. O’Rourke

In Henry Adams, I discovered not only the prototype of the modern thinker but also someone who is more interesting: a viper-toothed, puling, supercilious crank, thwarted in ambition, aging gracelessly, mad at the cosmos, and ashamed of his own jejune ideals. He is nevertheless very dear to me.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
-P. J. O’Rourke

A friend of mine at the American Enterprise Institute says there are two parties: the silly party and the stupid party. I’m too old for the silly party, so I had to join the stupid party.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Political discourse has become so rotten that it’s no longer possible to tell the stench of one presidential candidate from the stink of another.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Arguing, in the sense of attempting to convince others, has gone out of fashion with conservatives.
-P. J. O’Rourke

We’ve come into the world of ‘1984,’ but it turns out to be ‘1984’-Lite.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Sheep farming is heavily subsidized in Great Britain. Without the subsidies, the green grazing in the valley of the River Exe would be gone. The handsome agricultural landscape of which the British are so proud, carefully husbanded since Boudicca’s day, would be replaced by natural growth. The most likely growth is real-estate developments.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Adam Smith pointed out that there were three things that make us more prosperous, in a general sort of way: freedom to pursue our own self-interest; specialization, which he called division of labor; and freedom of trade.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Infant mortality and life expectancy are reasonable indicators of general well-being in a society.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.
-P. J. O’Rourke

You’re not a baby boomer if you don’t have a visceral recollection of a Kennedy and a King assassination, a Beatles breakup, a U.S. defeat in Vietnam, and a Watergate.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Never be unfaithful to a lover, except with your wife.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Finland is a rich country. What have they got? They got Nokia phones and plywood. How’d they get so rich? Because they’re free.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

The problem, when comparing contemporary television to television in 1974, is that TV has become not just bad but sad.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

 

Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?
-P. J. O’Rourke

Being a humorist is not a voluntary thing. You can tell this because in a situation where saying a funny thing will cause a lot of trouble, a humorist will still say the funny thing. No matter how inappropriate.
-P. J. O’Rourke

Global warming is a fact. Now it’s up to liberals to make it a reality. Hence there is crucial importance in preventing powerful, greedy free market forces from getting in the way of worsening storms and rising sea levels. The Kyoto Accord is a good first step.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The inherent purpose of American government is let people seek their own goals and to encourage them to be responsible on the various adventures they have on their way to those goals, good, bad, and otherwise.
-P. J. O’Rourke

The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich.
-P. J. O’Rourke

In Israel, waves of anger and fear circulate all the time, but so do jokes and gossip and silky evening breezes. So, too, in America.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Not much was really invented during the Renaissance, if you don’t count modern civilization.
-P. J. O’Rourke

 

Of course, no one wants to ban the vote. Voting should remain available for sporting and recreational purposes. But certain types of votes clearly should be curtailed – ‘assault votes,’ for example, in which the only purpose of the vote is to harm others.
-P. J. O’Rourke

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