Ross Benes

Ross Benes is writing a book about how the cultural changes he experienced growing up in small-town Nebraska became reflected across American politics. He is the author of Sex Weird-o-Pedia and Turned On: A Mind-Blowing Investigation Into How Sex Has Shaped Our World, which won a 2018 Nebraska Book Award in nonfiction. Benes has written for many publications including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Nation, andThe Wall Street Journal. You can follow him on Twitter @RossBenes and reach him at

Recent Articles

Nebraska’s Hidden Progressivism

Despite GOP dominance in the heartland, a unique legislature, grassroots activism, and some forward-looking ballot measures have made for more nuanced politics in this red state.

It’s no surprise that the blue wave never touched Nebraska . The Republicans’ dominance of Nebraska’s statewide elections gives the impression that the Cornhusker State is more conservative than any place in the United States. However, even though the state proclaims that it’s “ honestly, not for everyone ,” Nebraska is not a monolith. Nebraska’s unique state legislature, long tradition of local grassroots activism, and a willingness to take level-headed approaches to initiatives at the polls show that although Democratic candidates routinely get crushed in statewide races, progressive issue-oriented campaigns are not always lost causes. People who are willing to work to advance certain issues minus the unrelenting rancor of contemporary partisan politics can get the job done. Nebraskans have long-embraced measures that belie their conservative tendancies. It settles more refugees per capita than most states; is the only state whose electric...