P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

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.

Rahm Emanuel is, we are almost certain, a vampire.

Sloths move at the speed of congressional debate but with greater deliberation and less noise.

Something is worth what somebody will pay for it. Nothing else, nothing more, nothing less.

The Affordable Health Care for Americans Act, passed by the House of Representatives on November 7, 2009, was 1,990 pages long. You could stand on it to paint the ceiling. The entire U.S. Constitution can be printed on eight pages. That's eight pages to run a whole country for 221 years versus four reams of government pig latin if you slam your thumb in a car door.

People are not ants or bees. We do not reason or love or live or die collectively.

Politicians will talk strategy and tactics and policies and programs until they're blue in the face, or you strangle them and they turn blue.

Raining on parades requires no skill or effort on the part of a politician.

Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin.

Something that confirms all fears and many conspiracy theories about government is finding out what our elected representatives would put into law if they could.

The Afghans themselves say that if you put two Afghans in a room, you get three factions.

People love to be told what they know already.

Politics are for foreigners with their endless wrongs and paltry rights. Politics are a lousy way to get things done. Politics are, like God's infinite mercy, a last resort.

Regulation creates a moral hazard.

Soccer matches should be something special, something people eagerly look forward to, something that brightens life.

Sometimes the right response to evil is an appeal to powerful and effective social organization - an appeal to civilization itself.

The American political system is like a gigantic Mexican Christmas fiesta. Each political party is a huge pi¤ata -- a Paper-Mache donkey, for example. The donkey is filled with full employment, low interest rates, affordable housing, comprehensive medical benefits, a balanced budget and other goodies. The American voter is blindfolded and given a stick. The voter then swings the stick wildly in every direction, trying to hit a political candidate on the head and knock some sense into the silly bastard.

People say free trade causes dislocation. In actual fact, it's the lowering of trade barriers that causes the dislocation.

Politics is - once in a while - a forum for serious debate about political philosophy.

Remember, FDA employees are serious about fear. We pay these people to panic about an iota of rodent hair in our chili, even when the recipe calls for it. FDA employees are first-class agonizers, world champions at losing sleep. When Meryl Streep got hysterical about Alar, they actually checked the apples instead of Meryl's head.

Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest that includes 100 percent of the population. Now we can vote ourselves rich.

Southern California is a nice place, if you could cut out the show-business cancer. It just keeps spreading.

The America's Cup is like driving your Lamborghini to the Grand Prix track to watch the charter buses race.

People say, 'Oh, politics is so polarized today,' and I'm thinking... '1861, that was polarized.'

Politics is a necessary evil, or a necessary annoyance, a necessary conundrum.

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American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author