‘It’s never too late to learn from experience’

The GOP Master of Ceremonies has written about his latest attempt at cogitation, and in some instances words form themselves into sentences.

Lately I’ve been thinking about experience.

A lie. David Brooks doesn’t think. Besides, how does one “think about” experience?

Donald Trump lacks political experience, and the ineptitude caused by his inexperience is evident every day.

Throat clearing — the equivalent of reading, “My summer in Rome was definitely a great time” in the student narratives I assign.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is nothing if not experienced. Her ship is running smoothly, and yet as her reaction to the email scandal shows once again, there’s often a whiff of inhumanity about her campaign that inspires distrust.

The ship runs smoothly despite that whiff. Before modern times sailors couldn’t use precious fresh water on baths, hence the whiff.

So I’ve been thinking that it’s not enough to be experienced. The people in public life we really admire turn experience into graciousness.

The graciousness of Dick Cheney, the sweetness of Tom DeLay, the magnanimity of Newt Gingrich.

What follows is the usual Brooksian list of names he may have read somewhere, maybe heard about them while being driven to the NPR studios (Lincoln, MLK, Jr., Mandela, the usual). He even squeezes in a Keats quote.

Such people have a gentle strength. They are aggressive and kind, free of sharp elbows, comfortable revealing and being abashed by their transgressions.

Martin Luther King lacked for sharp elbows? Did you call LBJ for comment, David?

But back to Hillary:

Hillary Clinton has experience, but does not seem to have been transformed by it. Amid the email scandal she is repeating the same mistakes she made during the Rose Law Firm scandal two decades ago. Her posture is still brittle, stonewalling and dissembling. Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s an act of unseemly but not felonious behavior, then the futile drawn-out withholding of information, and forever after the unwillingness to ever come clean.

Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s a rush to publication of stories whose leads are buried, then the futile drawn-out presentation of both-sides-do-it and worrying about the Appearance of Illegality.

If you treat the world as a friendly and hopeful place, as a web of relationships, you’ll look for the good news in people and not the bad.

A University of Chicago graduate wrote this sentence in a motley of letters for New York Times publication.

It’s tough to surrender control, but like the rest of us, Hillary Clinton gets to decide what sort of leader she wants to be. America is desperate for a little uplift, for a leader who shows that she trusts her fellow citizens. It’s never too late to learn from experience.

So facile a thinker is Brooks that he can’t figure out how Hillary’s meticulous preparation, leaden delivery, and administrative venality make her human. But it’s never too late to read your own columns.

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