P. J. O'Rourke quotes

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

    #Inspirational #Funny #Money

  • At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Children #Philosophy #Useless

  • The Three Branches of Government: Money, Television, and Bullshit
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Bullshit #Three

  • Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Party #Government #Republican

  • There is only one basic human right: the right to do as you please, without causing others harm. With it comes our only basic human duty: the duty to accept the consequences of our actions.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Liberty #Our Actions #Accepting

  • Poverty can't be eliminated by punishing people who've escaped poverty.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #People #Poverty #Perdition

  • It remains to be seen which program will cause greater societal damage: China's one-child policy or America's one-parent policy.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Children #America #Parent

  • Most of the people who have grabbed hold of climate change and greenhouse gases, pollution, oil dependency - they have another motive, and their motive is to attain the appearance of virtue without having actually done anything virtuous.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Oil #People #Climate

  • I have a 10 year old at home, and she is always saying, 'That's not fair.' When she says that, I say, "Honey, you're cute; that's not fair. Your family is pretty well off; that's not fair. You were born in America; that's not fair. Honey, you had better pray to God that things don't start getting fair for you.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Cute #Home #America

  • We're told cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? Oil did a lot of good sitting in the ground for millions of years. We're told cars should be replaced with mass transportation. But it's hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald's from a speeding train. And we're told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Horse #Cancer #Mcdonalds

  • Lust, Pride, Sloth, and Gluttony, or, as we call them these days, "getting in touch with your sexuality," "raising your self-esteem," "relaxation therapy," and "being a recovered bulimic."
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Self Esteem #Pride #Lust

  • My Grandmother wouldn't even speak the word Democrat if there were children in the room, she'd say Bastards instead.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Children #Grandmother #Rooms

  • 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

    #Drinking #Ignorance #Stupid People

  • It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Effort #Sloth

  • It was Ronald Reagan who used to say that the 10 most frightening words in the English language are, "I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help."
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Helping #Language

  • You can't get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That's all you need to know about communism.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Chinese #Cuba #Needs

  • Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Race #Elements #Authority

  • Not being a liberal, I have very little grasp of things that I know nothing about.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Littles #Knows

  • People will tell you anything but what they do is always the truth.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #People

  • During the mid-1980s dairy farmers decided there was too much cheap milk at the supermarket. So the government bought and slaughtered 1.6 million dairy cows. How come the government never does anything like this with lawyers?
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Death #Government #Dying

  • I can understand why mankind hasn't given up war. During a war you get to drive tanks through the sides of buildings and shoot foreigners - two things that are usually frowned on during peacetime.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #War #Two #Tanks

  • Government conspiracy? They can't even deliver our mail and it's got our address on it and everything!
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Addresses #Mail

  • The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors--psychology, sociology, women's studies--to prove that nothing is anybody's fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you'd have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Christian #Baby #Hate

  • A politician who commends himself as 'caring' and 'sensitive' because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to do good with other peoples' money.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Caring #Government #Liberty

  • If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Inspirational #Humor #Thinking

  • Term limits aren't enough. We need jail.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Jail #Needs #Term Limits

  • There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Hands #Two #Mind Your Own Business

  • When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Witty #Funny Inspirational #Government

  • The poor of the world cannot be made rich by the redistribution of wealth. Poverty can't be eliminated by punishing people who've escaped poverty, taking their money and giving it as a reward to people who have failed to escape.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #People #Giving #World

  • The idea of a news broadcast once was to find someone with information and broadcast it. The idea now is to find someone with ignorance and spread it around.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Ignorance #Ideas #News

  • 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

    #Gun #Rights #People

  • In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Death #Failure #Character

  • Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Dog #Freedom #People

  • Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Family #Mom #Mother

  • The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Strong #War #Smart

  • In general, life is better than it has ever been, and if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word : Dentistry.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Past #Thinking #History

  • The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Ideas #People

  • Seriousness is stupidity sent to college.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Stupid #College #Stupidity

  • The collegiate idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Fun #College #Earth Day

  • Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #College #People #Smoking

  • Where self-interest is violently suppressed, it is replaced by a burdensome system of bureaucratic control which dries up the wellsprings of initiative and creativity.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Creativity #Self #Initiative

  • Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Joy #Faces #Journalism

  • The Democrats said, "We don't know what's wrong with America, but we can fix it." The Republicans said, "There's nothing wrong with America, and we can fix that."
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Funny #Humorous #Party

  • It is easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as people that it is often hard to tell the people and the cats apart.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Dog #Fun #Mean

  • Fretting about overpopulation, is a perfect guilt-free - indeed, sanctimonious - way for "progressives" to be racists.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Perfect #Guilt #Racist

  • People are all exactly alike. There's no such thing as a race and barely such a thing as an ethnic group. If we were dogs, we'd be the same breed. George Bush and an Australian Aborigine have fewer differences than a Lhasa apso and a toy fox terrier. A Japanese raised in Riyadh would be an Arab. A Zulu raised in New Rochelle would be an orthodontist. People are all the same, though their circumstances differ terribly.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Dog #Race #Differences

  • Many reporters, when they go to work in the nation's capital, begin thinking of themselves as participants in the political process instead of glorified stenographers.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Thinking #Political #Process

  • Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about "character issues."
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Character #Divorce #Dope

  • Liberals have a quaint and touching faith that truth is on their side and an even quainter faith that journalists are on the side of truth.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Funny #Touching #Sides

  • If libertarianism were easy to explain, and it weren't easy to exaggerate the effects of libertarianism, I think it would have been done already. Many many very intelligent people have applied themselves to crafting an agenda that people could grab ahold of. But the problem of course is that libertarianism isn't political. It is kind of anti-political. It wants to take a lot of things out of the political arena.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Intelligent #Thinking #People

  • There are no kinder or better people in the world than those who listen to you when you are 18.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #People #World #Kinder

  • .......the poor of the world cannot be made rich by redistribution of wealth. Poverty can't be eliminated by punishing people who've escaped poverty, taking their money and giving it as a reward to people who have failed to escape. Economic leveling doesn't work. Whether we call it Marxism, Progressive Reform, or Clintonomics, the result is the same slide into the stygian pit. Communists worship Satan; socialists think perdition is a good system run by bad men; and liberals want us to go to hell because it's warm there in the winter.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Running #Winter #Men

  • No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Bed #Fantasy #Sexually

  • Think about last time you were broke ... now how well did it go with spending your way out of it? Did that work?
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Thinking #Way #Lasts

  • 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

    #Lying #Politician #Danger

  • The preamble to the Constitution states: "We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare..." It doesn't say "guarantee the general welfare." And it certainly doesn't say "give welfare benefits to all the people in the country who aren't doing so well even if the reason they aren't doing so well is because they're sitting on their butts in front of the TV".
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Country #Order #Perfect

  • We're told cars cause pollution. A hundred years ago city streets were ankle deep in horse excrement. What kind of pollution do you want? Would you rather die of cancer at eighty or typhoid fever at nine?
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Horse #Cancer #Years

  • When a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state ... this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Gun #Government #People

  • You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #People #Liberty

  • African famine is not a visitation of fate. It is largely man-made, and the men who made it are largely Africans.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Fate #Men #He Man

  • One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Inspirational #Believe #Responsibility

  • A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Life #Government #Political

  • America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don't think that way. We don't think much at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you've got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Funny #Humorous #Thinking

  • The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Drinking #Coffee #Glasses

  • Some women want the strong silent type, so they can tell him to shut up and rearrange the furniture.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Strong #Want #Furniture

  • Remember that all tax revenue is the result of holding a gun to somebody's head. Not paying taxes is against the law. If you don't pay your taxes, you'll be fined. If you don't pay the fine, you'll be jailed. If you try to escape from jail, you'll be shot. ... Therefore, every time the government spends money on anything, you have to ask yourself, 'Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for this?'
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Mother #Gun #Law

  • B students work for C students - A students teach.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Students #Teach

  • In comparative terms, there's no poverty in America by a long shot. Heritage Foundation political scientist Robert Rector has worked up figures showing that when the official U.S. measure of poverty was developed in 1963, a poor American family had an income twenty-nine times greater than the average per capita income in the rest of the world. An individual American could make more money than 93 percent of the other people on the planet and still be considered poor.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Average #America #Long

  • 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

    #Kids #Three #Looks

  • To grasp the true meaning of socialism, imagine a world where everything is designed by the post office, even the sleaze.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Office #World #Socialism

  • 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

    #Self #Division Of Labor #Three

  • If I give up drinking, smoking, and fatty foods, I can add ten years to my life. Trouble is, I'll add it to the wrong end.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Giving Up #Drinking #Years

  • Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Privilege #Merit #Possessing

  • Making fun of born-again Christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Christian #Atheist #Fun

  • America is the world's policeman, all right -- a big, dumb, mick flatfoot in the middle of the one thing cops dread most, a "domestic disturbance.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #America #Dumb #Middle East

  • Government does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Country #Government #Doe

  • Political systems must love poverty-they produce so much of it. Poor people make easier targets for a demagogue. No Mao or even Jiang Zemin is likely to arise on the New York Stock Exchange floor. And politicians in democracies benefit from destitution, too. The US has had a broad range of poverty programs for 30 years. Those programs have failed. Millions of people are still poor. And those people vote for politicians who favor keeping the poverty programs in place. There's a conspiracy theory in there somewhere.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #New York #Years #People

  • There are twenty-seven specific complaints against the British Crown set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To modern ears they still sound reasonable. They still sound reasonable, in large part, because so many of them can be leveled against the federal government of the United States.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Independence #Twenties

  • What would annoy the most people most often? That is the true left-wing test of government intervention.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Wings #People

  • Humor is a terrific tool for explaining things, especially when what you're explaining is frightening or dull and complicated.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Tools #Dull #Complicated

  • Asia is the continent rhythm forgot. At best Asian music is off-brand American pop, like Sonny Bono in a karaoke bar. At worst Asian music sounds as if a truck full of wind chimes collided with a stack of empty oil drums during a birdcall contest.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Wind #Oil #Sound

  • The great thing about starting golf in your forties is that you can start golf in your forties. You can start other things in your forties but generally your wife makes you stop them, as Bill Clinton found out.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Golf #Wife #Bills

  • Something is worth what somebody will pay for it. Nothing else, nothing more, nothing less.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Pay

  • When politics are used to allocate resources, the resources all end up being allocated to politics.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Political #Liberty #Libertarian

  • Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you've half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose and a teenage lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over while you're doing a hundred miles an hour in a suburban side street.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Teenage #Names #Feelings

  • Wealth is, for most people, the only honest and likely path to liberty. With money comes power over the world. Men are freed from drudgery, women from exploitation. Businesses can be started, homes built, communities formed, religions practiced, educations pursued. But liberals aren't very interested in such real and material freedoms. They have a more innocent - not to say toddlerlike - idea of freedom. Liberals want the freedom to put anything into their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Art #Real #Home

  • Summing it Up..."Where's a good place for dinner?" I asked. "There's the Brasserie Lipp on the Avenue St. Germaine," she said, "or La Coupole in Montmartre." "Not La Coupole," I said. "I've been there before. That's the place that's crowded and noisy and smells bad and everybody's rude as hell, isn't it?" "I think you just described France," she said.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Funny #Thinking #Smell

  • Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Believe #Thinking #Doe

  • When government does, occasionally, work, it works in an elitist fashion. That is, government is most easily manipulated by people who have money and power already. This is why government benefits usually go to people who don't need benefits from government. Government may make some environmental improvements, but these will be improvements for rich bird-watchers. And no one in government will remember that when poor people go bird-watching they do it at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Fashion #Government #Kentucky

  • There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money - if a gun is held to his head.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Pride #Caring #Gun

  • Any random group of thirty Vietnamese women will contain a dozen who make Julia Roberts look like Lyle Lovett.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Groups #Looks #Dozen

  • 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

    #Political #Politics #Pay

  • The free market is ugly and stupid, like going to the mall; the unfree market is just as ugly and just as stupid, except there is nothing in the mall and if you don't go there they shoot you.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Stupid #Ugly #Malls

  • The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to collectivists, to people who believe that wealth is best obtained by redistribution, and that message is clear and concise . . . Egalitarianism is sinful; it's also cowardly.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Believe #Egalitarianism #People

  • Let's reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools - and use it on the teachers.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Inspirational #Funny #Witty

  • Whenever government proposes to get involved in the regulation of trade, just be very, very careful about who's behind this proposal, what their motives are.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Government #Regulation #Proposal

  • The Constitution is an equally forthright piece of work and quite succinct ... giving the complete operating instructions for a nation of 250 million people. The manual for a Toyota Camry, which only seats five, is four times as long.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Long #People #Giving

  • There's nothing more oily and cynical in politics than telling the truth.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Cynical #Politics #Telling The Truth

  • One of the reporters must have flunked journalism school because he asked a question that went straight to the point.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Funny #School #Journalism

  • In the end we beat them with Levi's 501 jeans. Seventy-two years of communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system...has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes. Now they're lunch, and we're number one on the planet.
    -- P. J. O'Rourke

    #Years #Jeans #Shoes

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