P. J. O'Rourke Quotes

 

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P. J. O'Rourke Quotes 1-20 out of 31
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Government does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.
Politics doesn't work. Look at the parts of America where government has had the most power, where government has spent the most money. Look at the housing projects we've got the poor people in.
A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
The three branches of government number considerably more than three and are not, in any sense, 'branches' since that would imply that there is something they are all attached to besides self-aggrandizement and our pocketbooks. ... Government is not a machine with parts; it's an organism. When does an intestine quit being an intestine and start becoming an asshole?
Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.
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.
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are legislators.
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
There’s a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any over-large concentration of like-minded individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.
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.
You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
Bill [Clinton] hates them [refugees] and fears them, especially the Cubans. Bill knows the Cubans are crazy. Only crazy people would flee from a country with free medical care, guaranteed employment for life, and first-rate gun control. The president and his sanctimonious twit of a wife have worked for decades to build a society like this, and here people are taking their lives in their hands to get away from it. ... Let's face facts about our disgusting political opponents. We've been nice to the liberals for too long. They're thugs. The liberal dream is to control people, to oppress and exploit them for some "higher" goal. And how are the liberals ever going to be able to control people brave enough to sail to Florida in a rum carton? ... A civilized society should no more tolerate the presence of a liberal than the presence of a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Indeed, it may be argued that liberalism is worse than the KKK, insofar as Klansman only hate some people while liberals hate them all.
Government does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.
Whatever it is the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government do it to somebody else.
The term consumerism has been current since the middle 1960s, about the same length of time as the Department of Transportation itself. Literally interpreted, the word means 'an ideology based on the opposite of being productive.' This ideology has caused enormous changes in the American economy. At one time complaining was a cottage industry. The typical maker of complaints gave them to (or traded them with) friends and family members. Sometimes the complaints were sent to newspapers or included in prayers. Friends, family, the press and God then ignored the complaints. In the sixties, however, various consumer advocates began to help complainers find a market for their wares. There is only one organization that is required to take everyone -- and their complaints -- seriously. So the government became the foremost grumble customer. And it is, of course, the government's bureaucratic agencies who have to do the buying.
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 health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle. 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.
A nation with a goofy foreign policy needs a very serious policy of defense.
The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every  government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.
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