Former Lt Gov Of Texas Ben Barnes
Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas Ben Barnes is the author of Barn Burning, Barn Building, a political memoir with personal historical recollections and solutions for problems facing politicians today.
In the book Ben Barnes offers a cautionary tale by recounting how Texas Democrats, the once dominant party in Texas, lost the state’s political dominance. The Vietnam War, civil rights and racism, in-party fighting, and an unceasing assault from President Richard Nixon each contributed to the Democrats’ loss of power.
Barnes takes the reader through a chronological history of his participation in politics and his party’s struggle to maintain power. Beginning with a brief childhood history complete with character-building anecdotes and life lessons learned on racism, work ethic, government participation and more, Barnes paints the image of a healthy childhood supported by strong role models. His political insight is unparalleled as most of his political contemporaries have since passed away. Barnes was first elected to office at the tender age of 21 and he reached his peak by 34, an age when many political careers have yet to begin. His reflections retain enthusiasm 40 years after the fact and his observations maintain a fresh clarity.
The most impressive part of Barn Burning, Barn Building is Barnes’ advice to politicians today. Using his Democratic Party’s losses in Texas as an example, Barnes warns what will happen if politicians continue along the slippery slope of partisanship and personal attacks. Campaigns today have mutated into mudslinging competitions where candidates spend as much time and money bashing their opponents as they spend working for solutions to common problems.
As Ben Barnes commented in a recent interview with Michael Smerconish of the Philadelphia Daily News, “When I first went to Washington, the Democrats and the Republicans would fight like heck during the day, but at night, they had dinner together, they socialized, they went to sporting events, they were friends.”
Ben Barnes’ message in Barn Burning, Barn Building is summed up in his Prologue where he writes: “These days, there’s a lot more barn burning in politics than barn building, and that’s a trend I’d like to see reversed.”
About the Author: Pau is a Portland based author who enjoys writing about politics.