P. J. O'Rourke

P. J.
O'Rourke
1947

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author

Author Quotes

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.

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.

The two most frightening words in Washington are 'bipartisan consensus.' Bipartisan consensus is when my doctor and my lawyer agree with my wife that I need help.

There are no kinder or better people in the world than those who listen to you when you are 18.

There?s only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.

Tom DeLay may or may not have broken campaign finance laws, but he did his best to look like he was breaking them.

We all know how 'modern democracies take loaves from the wealthy.' It's the slipups in the 'pass them out to the poor' department that inspire a study of Economics.

Well the planet I've got a chance to visit is Earth, and Earth's principal features are chaos and war. I think I'd be a fool to spend years here and never have a look.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
P. J.
Last Name
O'Rourke
Birth Date
1947
Bio

American Political Satirist, Journalist, Writer and Author