In a recent interview with David Axelrod, Gov. Jerry Brown said that he learned a lot in his over 50 years of political experience.
When he was first Governor of California in the 1960s, he belonged to the crowd who ranted that they should not trust anyone over 30. He saw the old farts as a bunch of corrupted, backward looking conservatives. Of course, he saw himself as a young idealist, leading the world to heaven on earth.
He routinely denigrated his older enemies and accused them of being immoral and destructive. During this time, as a naive governor of California, one of his older enemies told him, “Jerry, why do you make enemies when you don’t have to? You can’t get anything done that way.”
It’s too bad that President Trump didn’t have the blessing of coming across such a wise politician. But probably wouldn’t have listened anyhow, just as Brown didn’t listen until years later.
In this interview, Gov. Brown stated that when he was younger he had no respect for experience. Now at over 70 years of age, he felt that experience was everything. He said he was doing a good job as Governor because “I know what I’m doing. And the people who work for me know what they’re doing.”
I recently recounted this anecdote to a young kid on a New York subway, as the teenager was treating his grandmother with disdain. As I told him that Gov. Brown now felt that “experience was everything,” he looked at me with the superiority of being bright, young, handsome, and in perfect health, and said to me with a denigrating tone, “I guess it takes one to know one.”