On my recent plane ride to Spring Training in Florida, I finally had time to read George Franklin’s book, “Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World”.  It’s a long title, but a really quick and entertaining read.  And for the Program Director/Brand Manager for a News/Talk station for 25 years, it’s required reading.  It should be for all of us.

I ask myself questions all the time about our political landscape and our system of government.  Has it always been this screwed up?   Is it a lot different than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago?   Was it always rampant with corruption?

George Franklin is a lawyer and former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for Kellogg Company. He has held numerous positions in and out of government, and probably can honestly and accurately describe our government and how it works as well as anybody I can think of.

His book details what it was like for a student-gopher working for a powerful long-time New Jersey congressman, to taking on the FTC as they attacked the very core of our free market system.   The lobbyist before George Franklin at the Kellogg Company ended up in witness protection!  Franklin talks about fighting the “food police” and taking on racist thugs in South Africa.

The book is sprinkled with some great quotes from people in the political arena, and some really great stories about some of the characters he’s encountered over the years.

 

Aside from being entertained and amused, I took away some pretty important things from the book:

  1. Even though there have always been stark political differences in America, there used to be more cooperation and compromise.  That’s how our system was designed to work.
  2. Differences we have today about the “Left” and the “Right” were not as black and white in the 70’s and 80’s.   There were extremists on both sides of the aisle, but it was a lot more common to find Democrats who supported free markets and lower taxes.
  3. Our schools need to expand their Political Science curriculum to focus more on consensus building, and less on ideology.
  4. Yep.  Government's always been corrupt.  It just used to work better.

Click here to get to the publisher’s website.

The book is also available on major bookseller websites.