The complete title of this book is “Don’t Vote – It Just Encourages The Bastards”. The author is P.J. O’Rourke. It was published in 2010.
I have read a number of previous books by P.J. O’Rourke, and I’ve enjoyed them. So when I saw this one, picking it up off the “New Books” shelf was a “no brainer”.
Here is P.J.’s bio, from the inside back jacket cover: “P.J. O’Rourke is the author of thirteen books, including ‘Parliament of Whores’ and ‘Give War A Chance’, both of which were #1 New York Times best sellers. His most recent book is ‘Driving Like Crazy’.”
Mr. O’Rourke is a conservative with a sense of humor. I enjoy his writing and his sensibilities. Some of his references are very deep, very dry, very obscure, and very over my head. But overall, I enjoyed reading this book.
There is vulgar language in this book. The author apologizes, saying that politics is a vulgar subject.
Some of the topics the author delves into include: Happiness (and the pursuit thereof), Economic Freedom, Political Systems, More Freedom, Morality (in Politics), Taxes, The Bailout, Health Care Reform, Climate Change, The End of the Automobile Industry, The Trade Imbalance, Campaign Finance Reform, Terrorism, Foreign Policy, Piracy, and others. P. J. O’Rourke actually makes those topics interesting and fun.
I was very disappointed to read that P.J. O’Rourke was once one of those troublemakers who ride around in cars and bash mailboxes with baseball bats. He’s lucky to have survived.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
- “We don’t vote to elect great persons to office. They’re not that great. We vote to throw the bastards out.”
- “‘Fat Cat’ would be the wrong epithet for Trump. If someone other than paroled former Enron accountants were keeping his books, he’d probably be shown to have a net worth less than that of your twenty-pound tabby who just shredded the drapes.”
- “At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 America conducted an economic intervention that kept businesses that were staggering around, intoxicated by overtrading, and blinded by MBA moonshine from falling down the manhole of liquidation.”
- “It’s over. The social class known as assholes won.”
- “And when does life begin, legally? Right-to-life activists claim they know. But what if the soul is in the egg and we have to arrest every ovulating woman who failed to get laid? What if it’s in the sperm, and every adolescent boy has to be tried on a hundred million counts of manslaughter?”
- “Much of what happens in the American health care industry would – in any other business – be called shoplifting.”
- “’…a third of Medicare spending goes to patients with chronic illness in their last two years of life.’ Of course it does, that’s when they’re sick.”
- “Four things greater than all things are, –
Women and Horses and Power and War.”
- “A hundred years ago when foreign aid was unthought of (except as tribute or bribe) we were a respected and admired country. After a century of philanthropy everyone hates our guts.”
- “In a moment of childish innocence I once asked her what the difference was between Republicans and Democrats. She said, ‘Democrats rent’.”
- “And truthfully, all causes are boring.”
- “The aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War still makes me sick. Fine to save the fat, greedy Kuwaitis and the arrogant, grasping House of Saud, but to hell with the Shi’ites and Kurds of Iraq until they get some oil.”
I enjoyed reading “Don’t Vote, It Just Encourages The Bastards”, as I have enjoyed reading all of P.J.’s books. I recommend it, particularly to those who are willing to read about politics.