Through a series of articles we call The State, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy and Political Affairs team is providing analysis related to “the state of” advocacy and political trends impacting farmers, ranchers and other rural Americans.

“All politics is local” is the famous statement of former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.  The principle is that a politician’s success is directly tied to their ability to understand and influence the issues of their constituents and to appeal to the everyday concerns of the voters who put them in office. In my opinion, that phrase has evolved to “All politics is personal.”

Never before have we, as Americans, had the tools to express ourselves, contact family and friends, and share our thoughts, opinions and requests with our members of Congress and other elected officials.  …

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