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August 06, 2004

"Bush Fever" Sweeps the Amish

Bearded Barn-Raisers Boost Bush in Battlegrounds

Stories like this are what make blogging fun. Who knew?:

The Amish live without electricity, cars, telephones, and usually, without voting. But they are being sought out this year as Republicans try to sign up every possible supporter in presidential battleground states.

Amish almost always side with the Republican Party when they do vote - making them an attractive, if unlikely, voting bloc in the neck-and-neck campaign between President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. A majority of the nation's Amish live in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

"Pennsylvania and Ohio are just absolute battleground states, and to think that the Amish could weigh in to the tune of thousands of votes that are clearly going to be Republican - that could be very significant for Bush," said Chet Beiler, a former Amish who has been dropping off voter registration forms at Amish businesses and farms in hopes of signing up as many as 3,000 new voters.

As pacifists, most Amish avoid political activity that they believe would link them even indirectly with government-sponsored violence. But hot-button social issues, coupled with gentle prompting from people like Beiler, are galvanizing some Amish to register to vote.

"We hate that abortion issue," said Sam Stolztfus, 60, an Amish farmer and gazebo maker in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, where an estimated 27,000 Amish live. "We're totally against it. And as far as gay issues, that's completely contrary to the Bible."

The bearded Stolztfus proudly says the Amish are "sort of swept up with Bush fever."

"You could hold up a dead mouse with a sign 'I love Bush' and we'd still probably think twice about stomping that mouse underfoot."

Top Ten Reasons the Amish Support Bush Over Kerry

10. Feel that Kerry's brightly-colored ski-parkas are both "proud" and "English"

9. You gotta admit, George Bush looks a little like Harrison Ford in Witness

8. Although they are a deeply pacifist people, they have collectively decided that Al Qaeda "needs the mother-loving shit kicked out of them"

7. They just think Bush would be more fun to share a honeyed mead with

6. The Bush economy features booming growth in dynamic sectors of Amish industry, such as Cooperwrighting, Chandlery, and Corncob-Pipe Whittlin'

5. Impressed with George Bush's promise to "build a bridge to the eighteenth century"

4. Laura Bush looks like she really knows her way around a butter-churn

3. Bush offers a return to a more innocent time, before children were corrupted by square-dancing and hemmed pants

2. Kerry's politics remind them too much of the progressive, hypermodern agenda of Millard Fillmore

…and the Number One Reason the Amish Support Bush Over Kerry…

1. They think that Kerry seems a bit of a geffaedelicher, which roughly translates from Old German as "self-satisfied douche-tool"

Hat tip to Nick Sylvain.

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posted by Ace at 01:32 AM

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