105 Powerful Motivational Quotes of P. J. O’Rourke

” Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. “
” The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it. “
” In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character. “
” Wealth is not a pizza, where if I have too many slices you have to eat the Domino’s box. “
” Not much was really invented during the Renaissance, if you don’t count modern civilization. “
” We will win an election when all the seats in the House and Senate and the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office and the whole bench of the Supreme Court are filled with people who wish they weren’t there. “
” I’m too tough and sensitive to have to have some pubescent twerp with his mom’s earring in his tongue, who combs his hair with Redi-Whip and has an Ani DiFranco tattoo on his shin, come show me how a computer works. “
” Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely. “
” Some people have facts; these can be proven. Some people have theories; these can be disproven. But people with opinions are mindless and have their minds made up about it. “
” By the end of the 1950s, American cars were so reliable that their reliability went without saying even in car ads. Thousands of them bear testimony to this today, still running on the roads of Cuba though fueled with nationalized Venezuelan gasoline and maintained with spit and haywire. “
” By the end of the 1950s, American cars were so reliable that their reliability went without saying even in car ads. Thousands of them bear testimony to this today, still running on the roads of Cuba though fueled with nationalized Venezuelan gasoline and maintained with spit and haywire. “
” In its worse forms, conservatism is a matter of ‘I hate strangers and anything that’s different.’ “
” If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat – in other words, turn you into an adult. “
” Every vote should carry a serial number, so that responsibility for harmful or careless use of the vote can be traced. Concealed voting should be outlawed. “
” Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them. “
” Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants. “
” If we heard that somebody starved to death in Sweden or Switzerland, we would be shocked. “
” A U.S. dollar is an IOU from the Federal Reserve Bank. It’s a promissory note that doesn’t actually promise anything. It’s not backed by gold or silver. “
” When I was fifteen, I dreamed of living in the big city, as many a young person does if he is artistic and sensitive. By ‘artistic and sensitive’ I mean short, skinny, unkissed, bad at sports, and carrying a C average in high school. “
” Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. “
” The most brilliant satire of all time was ‘A Modest Proposal’ by Jonathan Swift. You’ll notice how everything got straightened out in Ireland within days of that coming out. “
” Supposedly, summer vacation happens because that’s when the kids are home from school, although having the kids home from school is no vacation. And supposedly the kids are home from school because of some vestigial throwback to our agricultural past. “
” The foundation of collectivism is simple: There should be no important economic differences among people. No one should be too rich. “
” The First Amendment only says ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.’ It can disrespect all it wants. “
” Liberals have invented whole college majors – psychology, sociology and women’s studies – to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. “
” Any terrorism is an attack on libertarian values. “
” There is no 20-year period in American history when stocks lost money. “
” Will Generation X and the Millennials do a better job running the world than the boomers have? Let’s hope so. “
” In Henry Adams, I discovered not only the prototype of the modern thinker but also someone who is more interesting: a viper-toothed, puling, supercilious crank, thwarted in ambition, aging gracelessly, mad at the cosmos, and ashamed of his own jejune ideals. He is nevertheless very dear to me. “
” There are a number of Americans who shouldn’t vote. The number is 57 percent, to judge by the combined total of Clinton and Perot ballots in the 1996 presidential election. “
” Until I carried my wife off to New Hampshire, she defined wilderness as the Bronx. “
” The inherent purpose of American government is let people seek their own goals and to encourage them to be responsible on the various adventures they have on their way to those goals, good, bad, and otherwise. “
” The Nobel Peace Prize has always been a joke – albeit a grim one. Alfred Bernhard Nobel famously invented dynamite and felt sorry about it. “
” Staying married may have long-term benefits. You can elicit much more sympathy from friends over a bad marriage than you ever can from a good divorce. “
” When you pay a hospital bill, you’re really paying two hospital bills – one bill for you because you have a job and/or insurance and can pay the hospital. and another bill, which is tacked onto your bill, to cover the medical expenses of someone who doesn’t have a job and/or insurance and can’t pay the hospital. “
” If it were not for government regulation of big corporations, executives at companies like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, they could have cheated investors out of millions. “
” The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich. “
” There’s one more terrifying fact about old people: I’m going to be one soon. “
” It’s hard to be serious in life. “
” My working hypothesis is that stupidity in popular culture is a constant. Popular culture cannot get more stupid. “
” The Afghans themselves say that if you put two Afghans in a room, you get three factions. “
” Infant mortality and life expectancy are reasonable indicators of general well-being in a society. “
” Woodstock had a tremendous impact on American artistic life. “
” Finland is a rich country. What have they got? They got Nokia phones and plywood. How’d they get so rich? Because they’re free. “
” Detroit is beautiful – though you probably have to be a child of the industrial Midwest, like me, to see it. “
” The minute somebody joins a committee… they immediately suffer from committee brain. They become wildly over-enthusiastic, over-optimistic, over-pessimistic. Committees turn people into idiots, and politics is a committee. “
” The perpetuation of slavery, the exile and extermination of American Indians, and the passage of Jim Crow laws weren’t carried out at the bidding of a few malefactors of great wealth. “
” I have no idea if some societies, anthropologically speaking, aren’t really suited for democracy. I don’t think that’s true. “
” They are just really stupid people in Hollywood. You write them a script, and they say they love it, they absolutely love it. Then they say, ‘But doesn’t it need a small dog, and an Eskimo, and shouldn’t it be set in New Guinea?’ And you say, ‘But it is a sophisticated romantic comedy set in Paris.’ “
” As a nation, Kuwait has been, arguably, free of freedom itself. Claimed in turn by Constantinople, Riyadh, and Baghdad, Kuwait has survived by playing Turks off Persians, Arabs off one another, and the English off everyone. “
” Health care’s not about insurance! Health care’s about getting treatment. “
” Funding for the original manned Voyager Mars Program was scratched in 1968, before humans had gotten out of Low Earth Orbit. Mid-’60s plans for a Venus fly-by with astronauts actually flying by it met the same fate. “
” 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. “
” I understand Twitter has become popular among politicians. This technology allows them to stay in perpetual contact with their constituents. The electorate now has instant information about what politicians have been up to. “
” When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. “
” Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don’t understand, such as working for a living. “
” I am unboreable in the great outdoors. “
” The world is being run by irresponsible spoiled brats. “
” Of all the American educational system’s problems, none is more severe than the academic year beginning before Labor Day. “
” Globalization is simply opening the free marketplace to encompass the entire world. “
” Bill Clinton is not a hypocrite. If a man believes that it is just and moral to redistribute wealth, there is nothing hypocritical in his attempts to redistribute some of that wealth to himself. “
” Never fight an inanimate object. “
” I am a student of stupidity. I am a political reporter. “
” China is trying to become America without democracy while America is trying to become France without cheese calories. “
” The 20th century was a test bed for big ideas – fascism, communism, the atomic bomb. “
” The idea of a news broadcast once was to find someone with information and broadcast it. The idea now is to find someone with ignorance and spread it around. “
” Term limits aren’t enough. We need jail. “
” No humorist is under any obligation to provide answers and probably if you were to delve into the literary history of humour it’s probably all about not providing answers because the humorist essentially says: this is the way things are. “
” Gossip is what you say about the objects of flattery when they aren’t present. “
” There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as ‘caring’ and ‘sensitive’ because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try to do good with other people’s money. “
” Most people sort of enjoy going to work because of the socialisation, a chance to flirt with co-workers and so on, but actually hate the job they do. “
” The difference between American parties is actually simple. Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. “
” The Tea Party has definitely increased political involvement, not only among Tea Party members but among people who oppose the Tea Party members. It’s been a general stimulus. “
” The library, with its Daedalian labyrinth, mysterious hush, and faintly ominous aroma of knowledge, has been replaced by the computer’s cheap glow, pesky chirp, and data spillage. “
” Everybody with a gun has a checkpoint in Lebanon. And in Lebanon, you’d be crazy not to have a gun. Though, I assure you, all the crazy people have guns, too. “
” Like most sensible people, you probably lost interest in modern art about the time that Julian Schnabel was painting broken pieces of the crockery that his wife had thrown at him for painting broken pieces of crockery instead of painting the bathroom and hall. “
” Inside every Sancho Panza there’s a Don Quixote struggling to get out. “
” Even very young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective. “
” Political leaders are expert at saying nothing. “
” The idea of a stag hunt evokes chivalry – knights in jerkins and hose, ladies on sidesaddles with wimples and billowing dresses, a white stag symbolizing something-or-other, and Robin Hood getting in the way. An actual stag hunt is more like a horseback meeting of a county planning commission. “
” Kuwait City is not gorgeous, actually, but it’s got a kind of Epcot Center thing going for it. It’s not pretty. But it’s striking, I’ll give it that. It’s not as over-the-top as Abu Dhabi or Dubai. But nearly. “
” Each child is biologically required to have a mother. Fatherhood is a well-regarded theory, but motherhood is a fact. “
” Never wear anything that panics the cat. “
” Global warming is a fact. Now it’s up to liberals to make it a reality. Hence there is crucial importance in preventing powerful, greedy free market forces from getting in the way of worsening storms and rising sea levels. The Kyoto Accord is a good first step. “
” I live in New Hampshire. We’re in favor of global warming. Eleven hundred more feet of sea-level rises? I’ve got beachfront property. You tell us up there, ‘By the end of the century, New York City could be underwater,’ and we say, ‘Your point is?’ “
” Raining on parades requires no skill or effort on the part of a politician. “
” Hubris is one of the great renewable resources. “
” The average IQ in America is – and this can be proven mathematically – average. “
” Of course, no one wants to ban the vote. Voting should remain available for sporting and recreational purposes. But certain types of votes clearly should be curtailed – ‘assault votes,’ for example, in which the only purpose of the vote is to harm others. “
” Fascism is very much a mob movement. “
” Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government does it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy. “
” Simply because something is a populist movement doesn’t make it either good or bad. “
” The great majority of Baghdad is a slum – a lot of it’s new, but it’s still slum. It’s usually this concrete-block, one-room design with a door and a window, arranged one-up, one-down, often with a shop with nothing in it on the first floor, and then a one-room apartment above it. There’s street after street after street of that stuff. “
” If you talk to most businessmen, they’ll say that what they do is for the public good, but you know they’re just greedy, and consumers are just consuming for the sake of their own greed. “
” As a former writer for the ‘National Lampoon,’ I’ve probably contributed to the sea of sarcasm in which we live. “
” I spend my days kneeling in the muck of language, feeling around for gooey verbs, nouns, and modifiers that I can squash together to make a blob of a sentence that bears some likeness to reason and sense. “
” There’s something about Marxism that brings out warts; the only kind of growth this economic system encourages. “
” To mistrust science and deny the validity of scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You’d better go look for work as a plant or wild animal. “
” When I board an airplane these days, all the middle-aged men are dressed like me – when I was an 8-year-old. They’re in shorts and T-shirts. And it’s not just on airplanes. It’s in business offices, teachers’ lounges, and churches. “
” Adam Smith pointed out that there were three things that make us more prosperous, in a general sort of way: freedom to pursue our own self-interest; specialization, which he called division of labor; and freedom of trade. “
” Think what evil creeps liberals would be if their plans to enfeeble the individual, exhaust the economy, impede the rule of law, and cripple national defense were guided by a coherent ideology instead of smug ignorance. “
” The baby boomers’ politics have covered a wide band of silliness, from the Weather Underground to the Timothy McVeigh types. The great majority of us are well in the middle of that spectrum, but still, there’s been both leftie silliness and right-wing silliness. “
” In thirteen years, every aspect of the universe can change – ask a thirteen-year-old. “
” Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. “
” What Alexander Graham Bell thought up occupied less space than a flower vase. Now it’s so small that I have to search all my pockets to discover I’ve received a spam text. “