(Inside California Politics) — It’s been a little more than four years since former Governor Jerry Brown left office and Sacramento altogether.
Since leaving the governor’s mansion, the 84-year-old Brown spends his days on his ranch in rural Colusa County, on land that’s been in his family for generations.
But just because California’s longest-serving governor is living off the grid and out of the political spotlight doesn’t mean he’s not engaged or short of opinions.
In early March, Inside California Politics co-host Nikki Laurenzo made the trip to Brown’s ranch for a lengthy conversation on several topics, including the former governor’s thoughts on global politics, specifically on relations with China and the war in Ukraine.
“Yes, we have got some problems here in California, but the big international problems are not being addressed in a way that is maximizing our chance of avoiding disaster,” Brown said when asked about rising tension with China.
“I think we are flirting with danger, and I’m afraid there is a lot of people asleep at the switch,” he continued.
The discussion also included Brown’s thoughts on the potential financial problems that may lie ahead for the state.
“The reason why cuts are hard is the government is doing a lot of good stuff. When it comes time to cut, you are cutting good stuff, not bad stuff. It’s not an easy job.”
Former Governor Brown also discussed how he thinks things have changed since he left office.
“Things have gotten tougher. The Republicans and Democrats get along less. (There is) more polarization, people identify more strongly with their belief. Whether it’s Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Liberal, they all hold on.”
Laurenzo and former Governor Brown also discussed the topic of term limits and how they’ve affected the dynamic in the legislature over the years.
“Tight term limits of eight years or 10 years, that doesn’t make sense. If you want people to be in all the time, they think they own the place, and you get arrogance. If you want to keep changing…then you get ignorance.”