Ed Driscoll

Age And Guile

It’s probably over a decade old, but I just tripped over this quote from P.J. O’Rourke, and think that both the question and its response speaks volumes about contemporary American politics:

You seem to take a distinct relish in propagating the image of yourself as a son-of-a-bitch Republican. Yet much of your writing is distinctly humanitarian in places… “Well, both of those things are true. People on this side of the Atlantic get confused about political conservatism. It is not an excuse for selfishness. I don’t think that a person is left wing or right wing according to whether or not they are compassionate. A lot of people on the left, especially the more po-faced ones, have worked that angle. Lots of people are right wing because they’re selfish, there’s no doubt about that – I can’t defend that, I can only point out lots of people are left-wing because they’re selfish too. The Hilary Clinton world-view is bossing people around on the basis of a supposed virtuousness – “I care more than you care – therefore I’m going to boss you around.” If they couldn’t operate that system, then no other system would suit.”

The rest of the interview’s amusing as well, especially the punchline of O’Rourke’s story about the late Hunter S. Thompson.