The vulgarity of politics and the censoriousness of the left give PJ O’Rourke plenty to laugh about, by Bill Leak, interviewing US humorist P.J. O’Rourke. Here are some random quotes from PJ.
On Hillary Clinton:
Men, in particular, have a terrible problem voting for Hillary. The last time I was in Australia I was explaining why Hillary lost to this utterly unknown person, Barack Hussein Obama, with a name like somebody who’d tried to set off an underpants bomb. I mean, where did he come from? It’s not because she’s a woman, it’s because she’s the particular woman who taught the grade school class that we all wished we were dead in. She is Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. She is America’s first wife.
A fellow goes into a voting booth, sees Hillary’s name on the ballot paper and it all just comes back to him. The whole first marriage: that time he came home a little late, it wasn’t even midnight, he’d only had four beers, and she threw his bowling ball down the sewer. Hillary is contrary to the idea of personality trumping politics, she is an example of policy trumping personality. But the policy is not public policy, it’s political policy, a manipulation of the system. She has spent all her time, basically since the last time she was defeated, gathering the threads of political power back behind the scenes, grabbing hold of the ropes and the pulleys on the scenery so that, when the curtain rises, we’ll see Hillary there.
On Donald Trump:
First, there is the appeal of sympathy that Trump has. You wouldn’t think so, and yet Trump obviously understands the American economy. America’s average household debt is $US250,000 — eerily, almost exactly the same as Australia’s. Now Trump has restructured $US3.5 billion of his business debt and $US900 million of his personal debt, “restructured” being the Trump way of saying that he didn’t pay it. And we Americans know a leader when we see one!
Plus, of course, there is the whole aspect of the “f..k you”. Trump is the f..k you vote. And it’s not just a f..k you to Washington, it’s a f..k you to the world. The voters think, Trump foreign policy? Well, here’s a guy who’s under the illusion that he’s about 10 times richer than he actually is; who believes Obama was born in Karjakistan to the Queen of Sheba and raised by KGB-agent wolves in the remote forests of Harvard Law School. And people think, well, Russia, China, Iran, ISIS (Islamic State), the Taliban and Hamas will be paralysed by fear. Who knows what this lunatic is going to do?
Politicians have lost some of the old-fashioned political skills that came from when politics was more of a person-on-person thing. When the core of politics was going around talking to people person-to-person, you had to have a little bit of a light touch. The Jack Kennedys, the Ronald Reagans, they had that touch. They really knew how to work a room, but as politics gets more and more remote, and more mediated by the media, people are losing those skills.
Reagan was very good at using humour. Not to soften the ideas but to keep people’s attention on what otherwise might be a dull subject. They certainly have an utterly humourless campaign going on in the US now. And from what I could see from yours over here, that wasn’t a lot of laughs either.
On language taboos:
The contents of the taboos shift quite often but the number remains the same. So you go from a world where you’re sitting around the dinner table with aunts and uncles and, right in front of the kids, they’re freely saying “nigger”. But god forbid that some uncle, however drunken, were to say “shit” or even “hell” in front of the children. All the aunts and grandmothers would have thrown a turkey leg or something at him. You move ahead a few years and it’s inconceivable that anybody would say the N-word but the 10-year old is saying, “Can you pass that broccoli shit?”