To guide us through the chaos and acrimony of the presidential clash, PJ O’Rourke, America’s leading political satirist, appeared on the Intelligence Squared stage just a month ahead of US election day, to cast his merciless eye over both candidates. He is known for taking no prisoners on either side of the political divide. He has already called Trump ‘a flying monkey’ and Clinton ‘Jimmy Carter in a pantsuit’.
As author of such bestsellers as Don’t Vote: It Only Encourages the Bastards, and with more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any other living writer, O’Rourke has been lambasting American politics for some 40 years. Such is his stature that even President Nixon conceded: ‘Whether you agree with him or not, PJ writes a helluva piece.’
O’Rourke delved into why, in his own words, ‘America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692’. As a sign of how the race for the White House is upending loyalties, O’Rourke, a lifelong Republican supporter, has shocked his allies by recently backing the Democrats, declaring: ‘I endorse Hillary Clinton for president. She is the second-worst thing that could happen to America.’