Do the Amish care about politics?

With the races for the presidential nominations heating up, seems you can’t turn around without hearing what so-and-so said about you-know-who, who’s waffling, flip-flopping or what-not.  Just 12 more months of it to go.

So what do the Amish think about the political process?

Well I can’t speak for all of them, but it seems to me that there are some closet political junkies among the Amish out there.  I’ve been listening to interviews with Amish business owners I did in September for an upcoming book, and on more than one occasion our conversational digressions led into the political sphere.
If the Amish were more politically active, it’s probably fair to say that most would lean Republican, despite the current administration’s stance on war.  Bush famously went after ‘the Amish vote’ in 2004 in both Ohio and Pennsylvania, with a number of Amish responding enthusiastically.  Generally, Amish do not vote, and if they do, it’s usually for local office.  It would be extremely rare for them to hold any sort of political office themselves.

Social issues such as abortion and religion factor into the conservative lean.

Some Amish get their fix of politics through right-wing radio.  One of my acquaintances listens to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck when he’s on the road, though he says he finds Sean Hannity a bit too liberal for his tastes.

One thing’s for certain, there won’t be many Clinton votes among the few that may be cast by the Amish in ’08.  In the words of one Ohio Amishman, currently pulling for Romney:  ‘Old Hillary…I just can’t find myself clapping for anything Hillary does.’

More on the Amish and voting.

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    1. It’s extremely unseemly for the Amish to ingage in partisan politics. I wonder if your motivation for sharing that quote about Hillary, wasn’t more about your vanity, than it reflects what the Amish want. The current political climate seems to align the Amish with the Republicans, but if the Amish hitch their wagons to politics, they betray their core values. Is that what you want?

    2. Mike

      Oh my yes. Both of my Amish grandfathers have voted Republican for years even though voting is a bit controversial. Bill and Hillary jokes were quite popular at family gatherings during the Clinton years. And yes I agree with the previous commenter that in so doing the Amish betray what are supposed to be their core values.

    3. I agree with both of you on the core values issue. But I guess the Amish are human too and some find interest in politics.

      Easy, lighten up, my friend.

    4. Well, indeed they are human and politics can be interesting if not down right amusing! But I can see where their values and beliefs would limit them there.

    5. Les M

      No doubt about it. Voting DOES betray their core values. So now the question: why aren’t they realizing this themselves… or DO they debate this issue within their communities?

    6. Cleone

      some Amish do not use their core values at all

    7. Val

      Why are you guys living in America in the first place? I am now learning about the Amish culture. My roots are from the East. and we do have similiar values…but don’t we have a duty and right to vote as Americans..Our Bible says to obey the laws of our country. Sometimes it’s better to choose the better of the two evils. I once happened to meet nd fall deeply in love with a Mennonite wonderful man. He said he was married and was separated from his wife and he was preparing to get a divorce…I realized he was serious with me… and we both felt, (he)we were soul mates.. We were both praying for our lifepartner..He catered to me and I to him..
      I left my place and job to join him on the road, travelling with his contracted job throughout the country..What a beautiful experience! In the meantime his children with met us (teen agers)and I were so confident of our love.He was also a Pastor, and said it’s the first time he has ever been in love..never wants us to be separated ..low and behold and decided to remain back at my place to catch up .. bills, painted the entire place by myself and was ready to meet up with the love of my life..We kept in touch by phone for the entire month.. then .. no a young girl answering his phone to another mature voice answering his phone..My entire world turned upsided down..I trusted him with my eyes closed..three months after that I understand that he had gotten entangled with a drug addict at one of the hotels he stayed at.. the younger voice was the woman’s daughter who was sleeping with his seveenteen year old nephew.
      I felt betrayed and deceived by him and was wondering if culture has something to do with his actions? I still love him.. and when he comes back I will receive him with open arms..he has since lost the contract and is doing construction.. I am still living a nightmare because of this..I have gone all over in researching as to why? Can anyone comment?He is living with the drug addict .. how / what can I do to help

    8. mog

      Your story is personal rather than about the Amish and politics. I understand that you want help, that your heart is broken, but putting your heart out on a page about politics will only open you up to more hurt.

      I have counseled people on marriage, but people decide for themselves, even prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The man you knew was in the process of changing, and in doing so, may have changed into someone you wouldn’t want. Unless he decides to change again, and comes looking for you, the person you knew is only a memory.

      To help? People who think they are okay, no matter how wrong they are, don’t want help, are certain they don’t need it. If he wanted your help, he would have asked for it.

    9. Nora

      Sean Hannity…liberal. HAHAHAHA

    10. Pingback: Amish, voting, and photo IDs
    11. Greg Miller

      Amish and voting

      It surprises me that the Amish would vote.

      It doesn’t surprise me at all that some would discuss politics because that is really human nature.

      I would also guess that the discussion would be more in the realm of what they did as opposed to political maneuvering, much like, for instance, when we discuss current events. When the Madoff scandal broke, our discussions took on more of the nature of outrage rather than what regulations the politicians might use to contain it.

      Also, when something happens in politics we are also attracted to the amusement of the situation. Recreation in the form of comedy and/or chuckles rather than political strategy.

      People bring up those situations because they are interested in knowing if their neighbor thought something was as horrible, funny, comical or odd–as they do.

      I’d like to read some opinions about what the Amish thought about 9/11. I thought I remember there was an article about it here. If someone could let me know where or how to find it, I’d be appreciative. I was there so I find stories fascinating about how people reacted, especially where they were at the time. Also, people who are from the area are amazed and mystified at the thousands who come down to the financial district to see the construction and the memorial. I work a block from Ground Zero and the crowds make everyday commuting difficult.

      If the Amish are apolitical, they are probably just horrified that anyone would do such a thing [9/11]. I am horrified too, but I understand why it was done. [that doesn’t make it any less horrible, I must say.]

      1. Good observations Greg. Amish I’ve spoken with about 9/11 remember the day as a terrible one, like most Americans.

        Some Amish have definite political opinions, but yes there is also the usual “what are these politicians going to try next” general vibe about politics in general. As you’d expect, others are less vocal/opinionated.