P.J. O'Rourke at the Cato Institute

November 5th, 2010

P.J. O’Rourke at the Cato Institute
by Mark Lerner
November 5th, 2010 5:26 am ET

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My wife and I had the pleasure of hearing humorist P.J. O’Rourke over at the Cato Institute Wednesday evening discussing his new book Don’t Vote it just Encourages the Bastards. After his prepared remarks Mr. O’Rourke took questions from the audience. He proved to be insightful, thought provoking, and extremely funny.

One area he talked about after his speech was how hard it is to run for political office as a libertarian. The reason, according to the author, is that the candidate would never be so arrogant as to believe that the government could actually solve any of the problems brought up by the voters. Mr. O’Rourke then provided an example.

He imagined that if he were running for office and a parent asked him how he would fix the schools, he would have to admit that he was powerless to improve public education. Mr. O’Rourke would explain to the individual that the fact the schools are not working has nothing to do with the teachers’ unions or the quality of instructors. It is not impacted by class size or the level of funding. In addition, the curriculum is not the culprit. Actually, he would conclude, the main problem in our schools is your child.