P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

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.

You can?t get rid of poverty by giving people money.

You can't destroy America by destroying our elite. Think about America's elite. Think about it down through history. Destroy our elite, and about half the time, you're doing us a favor.

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.

You can't shame or humiliate modern celebrities. What used to be called shame and humiliation is now called publicity. And forget traditional character assassination; if you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.

You don't despair about something like the Middle East, you just do the best you can.

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal.

You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.

You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well, I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby.

You'll note that politicians no longer spend money, they invest it. Don't worry about paying more to the [IRS]. You aren't being taxed; you're taking a plunge on a fly-by-night stock issue.

You're never going to read 'The Wealth of Nations,' and you shouldn't, really. It's 900 pages.

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.

'You're stupid,' is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama.

You can keep the dining room clean by eating in the kitchen.

You've got to understand, people are motivated by fun. And they should be.

You can learn all about the human condition from covering the crime beat in a big city - you don't need to go to Beirut for that - but a foreign correspondent begins to understand poverty from a different perspective.

Zero-sum thinking is an obsession of mine, but mostly in economics.

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.

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

There's no telling what might have happened to our defense budget if Saddam Hussein hadn't invaded Kuwait that August and set everyone gearing up for World War II. Can we count on Saddam Hussein to come along every year and resolve our defense-policy debates? Given the history of the Middle East, it's possible.

Until I carried my wife off to New Hampshire, she defined wilderness as the Bronx.

We got over feminism, too. At least women did, as soon as they were hired for those high-prestige jobs that only men used to have. It turns out that work sucks.

What I believed in the Sixties: Everything. You name it.

When someone detonates a suicide bomb, that person does not have career prospects.

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American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author