Transpartisan Politics on the Plains

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The Nation

Long before the Occupy movement swept the country—more than two years ago—a revolt began in one of the reddest states in America. Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska, many of them longtime conservatives, got angry about corporate influence on a single issue that has since captivated the entire state and upset national politics: the Keystone XL pipeline. …

It takes a lot to shake polite Midwesterners out of politics as usual. Many citizens of rural Nebraska are birthright Republicans—reticent people whose conservatism is a component of their identity. Many feel their concerns are left out of national politics and media. (When Obama mentioned Nebraska in a statement on Keystone XL, rancher Susan Luebbe said she was “pretty surprised that he actually knows we have a state out here.”) [Read more.]