P. J. O’Rourke, RIP

I do not have much to say about the news that P. J. O’Rourke has died. All I know about him is that he was a libertarian of sorts, and that he was a very funny writer, and on occasion — the phrase “on occasion” in this context being not a belittlement but a high compliment — an insightfully funny one. For a quick introduction to, or pleasant review of, his thought and wit, I recommend the collection of O’Rourke quotes at goodreads.com

Here, to whet your appetite (if that is necessary), are a few representative gems:

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.

The whole idea of government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.

When are voters in both political parties going to realize that politics is a two-way street? The politician creates a powerful, huge, heavy, and unstoppable Monster Truck of a government. Then supporters of that politician become shocked and weepy when another politician, whom they detest, gets behind the wheel, turns the truck around, and runs them over.

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.

Thanks for the thoughtful smiles, P. J. O’Rourke.

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