Though I can’t say that all the info it contains is factually correct, just read an entertaining article on the potential for Amish voting in the 2008 election from the Daily Beast.
Some may recall that George Bush made efforts to attract Amish voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2004. The writer in this piece is asking if McCain shouldn’t be making the same efforts this year, given the importance of those two states.
The best line, from an Ohio Amishman named Peter Mast: “We just pray to God that he puts the right man in office for our own good. We can only try to put up with His president.” I hear you, Pete.
My impression is that many Amish have a general interest in what is going on in the political world but are usually reluctant to dip their toes too far into it.
This summer, with Lancaster campaign stops made by both the Obama and McCain campaigns, the election was a hot topic around at least one Amish kitchen table I frequented.
A friend recalled the Bush campaign bus cruising through Honey Brook in 2004 and Amish residents greeting the president along the way. This year, in what I suppose you could call news, Amish were covered apparently attending a Palin event. I’ve sometimes wondered what the Amish would think of a female veep or even president, but have thus far failed to get a reading on that.
Amish children learn about the presidents in school, and the 14-year old brother of my friend Abe sort of had a general impression of what was going on in the election and could say that he didn’t really like Obama. What he was basing that upon, I’m not really sure.
But in general, the Amish, if they express an opinion at all, tend to lean towards supporting Republican candidates, likely because of the party’s historical association with promoting conservative and religious values.
But again, Amish tend to keep their noses far from the political sphere. In truth, most would probably take the ‘you guys pick him, we’ll pray for him’ approach like Mr. Mast does here.