Do Not Vote, it Just Encourages the Bastards

Front Cover
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010 - Humor - 275 pages
44 Reviews
"The free market is a bathroom scale. We may not like what we see when we step on the bathroom scale, but we can't pass a law making ourselves weigh 165. Liberals and leftists think we can."

"Given the complete dominance of politics by Committee Brain, the wonder is that anything gets done, and the horror is that it does. What government accomplishes is what you'd expect from a committee. `A camel is a seeing-eye dog designed by a committee and available free with government grants to the halt and the lame."

"The most sensible request we make of government is not `Do Something!' but `Quit it!'"

"We have the cow of economic freedom. Do we take the cow to market and trade her for the magic beans of bailout and stimulus? When we climb that beanstalk we're going to find a giant government at the top. Are we going to be as lucky as Jack the giant killer was? I'm not sure Jack himself was that lucky with his giant killing. My guess is that Jack spent years being investigated by giant subcommittees and now Jack's paying a giant tax on his beanstalk bonus."

"I caught my six-year-old, Buster, playing `health care provider' with one of the little girls in his first-grade class. They were filling out toy forms fully clothed."

"We baby boomers are a pathetic bunch. And it didn't start with the Beatles, marijuana, and the pill. Recall the coonskin cap. I wore mine to school. Children of previous eras may have worn coonskin caps, but they had to eat the raccoons first."

"I believe in original sin, and politics may be its name."---P.J. O'Rourke

Red State. Blue State. Republicans. Democrats. Bailout. Stimulus. Health Care Reform. Blah blah blah. Has there ever been a moment where politics have sucked any more?

Don't Vote-It Just Encourages the Bastards is a brilliant, disturbing, hilarious, and ultimately sobering look at why politics and politicians are a necessary evil-but only just barely necessary. P.J. presents his Sex, Death, and Boredom Theory of Politics, which breaks the social contract down to power, freedom, and responsibility by using a party game, kill, F@#k, Marry, more typically found in late-night giggle sessions at all-girls boarding schools.

With this tripartite lens of politics, O'Rourke looks at the financial crisis ("The best investment I've made lately? I left a $20 bill in the pocket of my tweed jacket last spring, and I just found it"), the bailout, health care reform ("Something doesn't add up. Politicians are telling me that I can smoke, drink, gain two hundred pounds, then win an iron man triathlon at age ninety-five"), the stimulus package, climate change ("There's not a goddamn thing you can do about it...There are 1.3 billion people in China and they all want a Buick"), trade imbalance. the end of the American automobile industry, U.S. foreign policy and the Family of Nations ("Uncle Russia's out on parole, drunk, unemployed, and likely to kill some folks next door again soon"), campaign finance reform, gun control, No Child Left Behind ("What if they deserve to be left behind?"), and pretty much everything else under the sun.

His findings: Put the country's big, fat political ass on a diet. Lose that drooping deficit. Slim those spreading entitlement programs. Firm up that flabby pair of butt cheeks, which are the Senate and the House.

Read P.J. O'Rourke on the pathetic nature of politics and laugh through your tears or-what the hell-just laugh.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Don't Vote, it Just Encourages the Bastards

User Review  - Goodreads

I often don't agree with PJ O'Rouke (eg "when I'm faced with political-economy conundrums, I fall back on a few works filled with common sense: The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek") so I have to ... Read full review

Review: Don't Vote, it Just Encourages the Bastards

User Review  - Melissa McShane - Goodreads

I like his travel writing better, and a lot of this is recycled from other books. Most interesting to me was his account of his journey from one end of the political spectrum to another; I find stories of how people change their lives fascinating. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

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.

Bibliographic information