If politics have disillusioned Langlois, the people of Lincoln have not. The townspeople who drive by “appreciate that there are others saying what they have believed for years. It’s a reflection on people my age. We get portrayed as lazy and not caring, but we do.” He told me donors have dropped off propane tanks, cereal, Ramen noodles, bottles of water, blankets. One person had just brought four snow shovels. A cardboard sign outside the command tent noted that hand warmers were wanted.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.