R.I.P. P.J.

Nick Gillespie:

No one did more to mainstream libertarian ideas about peace, love, and understanding over the past half-century than P.J. O’Rourke, who has died at the age of 74. And like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Sid Vicious, P.J. did it his way: by taking a blowtorch to the sacred cows of both the left and right.

“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn,” he warned. “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”

Writing in popular outlets such as National LampoonRolling Stone, and The Atlantic, and appearing on NPR’s Wait…Wait Don’t Tell Me!, O’Rourke distilled the insights of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Friedrich Hayek with far more oomph.

“Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys,” wrote O’Rourke. “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

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