Country Roads

Scottsbluff, is 7 hours west of Lincoln, 3 hours from the nearest Dunkin Donuts, and is about the furthest thing from any town I’ve ever lived in. I grew up in Naperville, IL, which is consistently rated “one of the best places to raise a family” in all those magazines, then went to University in Lincoln, NE which boasts one of the highest qualities of living thanks to our wonderful (Democrat) Mayor!

I hadn’t stepped foot on a farm or driven on a dirt road until I was 20 years old, and joked with my friend that “I didn’t know that places like this were like… actually real”.

So– that being said– I may be the most overqualified person to talk about the preconceived notions that many people have about rural communities and the people that live in them.

Preconceived Notions

When I got west of Lincoln, I expected to see four “LETS GO BRANDON” signs per mile, stop signs with bullet holes in them, and people to give me funny looks because of my 5 inch inseam shorts. To be fair, only one of those things happened.

I honestly expected every interaction to be with someone who looked like the array of white dudes in sunglasses, as seen here, and told me that the election was rigged.

I couldn’t sleep one of the nights, so I was up at 4am and decided to go for a run from our hotel, 3 miles each way, to the Scottsbluff National Monument. As I ran along the highway, every single person said good morning, or asked how my day does, or gave me a wave and a smile in passing. Every. Single. Person.

Later that morning, almost 50 folks from the Nebraska Democratic Party and Scotts Bluff Democratic Party marched in tandem in their Oregon Trail Days Parade. We had giant donkeys, giant rainbow donkeys, and were more vocal than any other parade float that was near us. I would’ve thought our caravan was enough to give a MAGA voter an aneurism.

However, the people of Scottsbluff proved me wrong. Along the parade route, we were only heckled once by a guy (who did indeed look like the men pictured above) who yelled “TRUMP 2024!”. For the one guy who gave us a hard time, there were countless families who cheered in support of public schools, LGBTQ+ pride, and a million other unspoken reasons. Scottsbluff, Nebraska, a town that voted almost 70% for Trump in 2020, seemed to love the Democratic cause.

The Threads that Run Through

Despite my preconceptions, that really isn’t that much that is different between myself and these folks in rural communities. Even though I would NEVER voluntarily live in a town without a Dunkin Donuts.

People in small towns cannot be written off– they want the same fundamental things that the people of Lincoln and Omaha want! They want to send their kids to good public schools, have thriving businesses in their community, they want their children to be accepted by those around them, and they want to go to bed every night with the peace of mind that their community is safe.

We cannot write off these communities because of the people that they elect. If anything, we as Democrats need to spend more time in rural communities. Folks in rural communities understand the working class and family values that the Democratic Party represents. It is important to be present in their communities, knocking on doors and touting the things that our great elected officials do for their towns. Recently, Nebraska has seen huge injections of cash into its rural areas for the rural broadband program. And this is all thanks to….. drumroll please…. DEMOCRATS!!

So yes, while my experience as this sheltered suburban kid from Naperville, IL, is by no means indicative of all rural experiences, it truly was eye opening.

In order for Democrats to win in this state, we need to unite as Democrats. From Omaha to Scottsbluff, in towns with and without Dunkin Donuts, and across the state, the values that unite our party transcend the rural/urban divide. As we build into 2024, it’s more important than ever to get behind a common cause and get out the vote across Nebraska.


Happy Barbenheimer release week! Two blockbusters, Barbie, which is about the childrens toy, and Oppenheimer, a self-titled drama about the man who created the atomic bomb, are both set to release this week, with one of them caught in the headlines for its politics!

And somehow, it’s not the movie about the atomic bomb.

The GOP has denounced the upcoming Barbie movie due to its depiction of China’s territory in the South China Sea. Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher said that the “map seems to go out of its way to depict the PRC’s unlawful territorial claims and illustrates the pressure that Hollywood is under to please CCP censors.” For context… here’s the map that the Republicans are mad about– they truly are an unserious party.

It appears to be a common thread: whether it’s “voter fraud,” “wokeism,” “critical race theory,” or a map from the Barbie movie, Republicans are focused on fabricated issues, not real ones that impact everyday Americans.

Closing Remarks

If you are thinking about getting involved… do it! The Nebraska Democratic Party and our supporters will be walking in parades, waving rally signs, and showing support statewide.

Whether you want to voice your support, meet new Democrats in your community, or just get your steps in– we would LOVE to have you walk with us! If you’d be more inclined to support with your treasure as opposed to your time– become a donor here!

The NDP released a joint statement with the Stonewall Democratic Caucus this week regarding the proposed resolution to censure and withhold party resources from State Senator Mike McDonnell. The NDP will also be holding town halls with members of the LGBTQ+ and other communities in order to hear from the people who are affected by legislation that has been passed this year. If you would like to pledge to canvass 10 hours for pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ+ candidates across the state, please volunteer your time here.

Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out at

All the best,

Jack Schiewe





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