Trump PAC reaches out to Amish voters

May 31, 2016 by and

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Will the bearded, the bonneted, the barn-building Amish vote for the clean-shaven, combed-over, casino-building Donald Trump?

A new political action committee is betting $41,000 they will.

A young Amish woman rakes hay along Bridge Road near Leola, Pa., on May 20. After almost three weeks of cloudy weather in Lancaster County, the sun broke through, and many Amish were working in their fields — plowing, discing, planting, cutting hay, raking hay and bailing hay. — Dale D. Gehman

A young Amish woman rakes hay along Bridge Road near Leola, Pa., on May 20. After almost three weeks of cloudy weather in Lancaster County, the sun broke through, and many Amish were working in their fields — plowing, discing, planting, cutting hay, raking hay and bailing hay. — Dale D. Gehman

Called Amish PAC, the new organization will target Amish voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Vice News reported earlier this month. The PAC is not affiliated with a single candidate but has Republican roots.

“The purpose of Amish PAC’s Plain Voter Project is to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by turning out a deeply conservative and often forgotten block of voters concentrated in two key swing states — the Amish,” its mission statement reads.

Amish PAC co-founder Ben Walters said Amish and Mennonites are among the nation’s most conservative blocs of potential votes, but Republicans have done a poor job of reaching them.

“A lot of people in the Amish community have never voted before,” Walters said. “That’s something that motivates conservative activists across the country.”

Since the Amish eschew many forms of technology, the PAC will reach them mainly through newspaper ads and billboards, spending about $20,000 on each.

Donald Kraybill, a professor of sociology and religious studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and the author of several books on plain folk, told Lancaster Online he has never heard of any top-of-the-ticket candidate aiming for the Amish before.

He questioned whether conservative Anabaptists can be convinced to vote in a presidential election, citing low turnout after similar efforts in 2004.

The new PAC is the work of two longtime Republican activists. Walters worked on Ben Carson’s campaign, and Taylor Swindle is a former aide for Newt Gingrich and a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Both men live in Washington, D.C. — where Amish are rare — but have hired former Amishman Ben King of Lancaster, Pa., a local who owns a barn-building business, as director of outreach.

The PAC is betting the conservative Amish — who number about 60,000 in Pennsylvania as well as in Ohio — will vote Republican as they did in 2012.

But Kraybill said that goal may be a long shot with Trump heading the ticket.

“I think on the one hand they respect business leaders and they view him as a successful business leader,” Kraybill told Lancaster Online. “On the other hand, his personal style and his sense of hubris and vanity are completely antithetical to Amish values of humility, and so on.”


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  • Robert Erck

    Let the poor candidate speak for himself:
    “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
    “The point is, you can never be too greedy.”
    “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am”
    “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my
    money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
    “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”
    “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”
    “Oftentimes when I was sleeping with one of the top women in the world I would say to myself, thinking about me as a boy from Queens, ‘Can you believe what I am getting?’”
    Women: “You have to treat ’em like shit.”
    “Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser.”
    “Fighting for the last penny is a very good philosophy to have.”
    Robert Erck

  • Bruce Leichty

    Trump fits right in with Amish two-kingdom theology, though. You don’t expect government to be Christian, you just hope it protects Christians. But then again — historically you don’t vote, either.

  • Jeremy Martin

    Is “Vice News” a reputable source? (Although the name fits with Donald Trump)

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