Do the Amish Vote for President?
The Amish live in isolation from modern society and its secular influences. They eschew the trappings of urban life, including the technology other citizens take for granted, and they aren’t known for getting involved in current affairs or politics. But what about major events like presidential elections?
Do the Amish vote for president? In this guide, we answer this question and so much more. We do a dive into the political stance of the Amish, and what that means for their day-to-day lives. And we discover what it’s like to live an isolated life in our ever more connected world.
What this article covers:
What Are the Amish's Views on Politics?
The Amish don’t get involved in politics unless absolutely necessary. This isn’t because they aren’t invested in what happens to the country. Naturally, whatever happens in the US affects them, too, but it’s to a much lesser degree than other cultural groups.
Hence, Amish voter turnout is always lower than the norm for a secular society, so not much is known about Amish political views, although their views lean towards the more conservative side.
However, if it’s in their interests as a community to get politically involved, they may choose to do so. Once again, this involvement would always be at a lesser level.
Why The Amish Distance Themselves from Politics
The Amish also don’t run for political office. Most Amish communities are employed in agriculture, animal husbandry, or woodwork crafts. Occasionally, Amish men may be bookkeepers or clerks at businesses outside the community, or have non-Amish business partners.
However, they never work for the government. Politics can be very divisive, pitting brother against brother, and putting neighbors at odds with each other. For this reason, the Amish avoid all political involvement, including debates and rallies.
Amish people live in the world, but aren’t worldly. They avoid all distractions that could cause them to stray from their path, or that would conflict with their faith.
Are the Amish Full American Citizens?
Yes, Amish people are American citizens, just like other cultural groups that are born in the US. Being Amish doesn’t confer a nationality. It’s an ethno-religious grouping, and it pertains to their culture and beliefs.
The Amish are so named because of their leader, Jakob Amman. A devout Swiss Anabaptist Christian in the reformation movement, his religious views led to dissension in the Anabaptist ranks. His followers banded with him to form a new protestant Christian community, and so the Amish came into being,
Upon arrival in the New World, the Amish then chose to settle in the American countryside. They saw this as an opportunity to live their lives free from persecution for their staunch religious beliefs. And this made them as much a part of the American melting pot of nations, as any other citizen.
That said, the Amish don’t concern themselves with matters like citizenship. Unless it becomes relevant to them, their citizenship is of no consequence. They are, first and foremost, citizens of God’s kingdom.
But they’re still US citizens, with the same rights as everyone else. So, do the Amish have social security numbers? Yes, they do. But because they live mostly off the land, they don’t use social security benefits, although the numbers are assigned to them at birth anyway.
This ties in with the Amish belief in self-reliance, which is very important to the community as a whole.
Do the Amish Pay Any Taxes?
Do the Amish pay taxes? There’s a common misconception that the Amish pay no taxes at all. This isn’t accurate. Like all citizens, the Amish are liable to pay income tax at a federal and state level. They’re also required to pay property taxes and sales tax on purchases, like everyone else.
The Amish respect all the laws of the land. They obey all the laws too, and abstain from crime, and as tax evasion is a crime, they pay the taxes that they’re legally required to pay. Where the distinction comes in, is when certain tax exemptions apply for religious reasons.
Also, because they don’t make use of social security benefits, they’re exempt from paying social security taxes. Instead of social security, Amish communities help out their fellow community members should any of them lack resources due to life events like sickness or death in the family.
Are the Amish Entitled to Vote?
Can Amish vote? The Amish generally don’t vote in presidential elections, but they aren’t prohibited from doing so. Should a voting issue affect their cultural identity, their use of the land, or their livelihood, they’re much more likely to vote.
Because these sorts of issues are more often pertinent to local or regional elections and debates, those are the more likely events that Amish will show an interest in. Even so, this is a rare occurrence.
The Amish/Trump Connection
Much has been made of the story that the Amish supported Trump. But is this true? Did the Amish endorse Trump?
Trump, as a conservative candidate, may have appealed to certain members of the Amish community more than his liberal counterparts. But although Amish people are ultra-conservative in their lifestyle choices, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were all Trump supporters
Irrespective of who’s in the running, less than 10% of the Amish in general vote in presidential elections.
Do the Amish Have ID?
The Amish generally have ID, just like any other US citizen would. There are many things that a person would need proof of identity for, and not having it would make life difficult. And thus Amish ID will take the same form as non-Amish citizens’ ID cards.
They aren’t often in situations where they need to produce ID, though. Amish people tend to keep to themselves, committed to the continuance of their culture and community spirit. One of the ways in which they do so, is through faithfully passing their time-honored traditions from one generation to the next.
This applies not only to orthodox religious observances, or their modest dress code. It also includes pastimes such as the ancient art of basket weaving.
Amish Baskets - A Symbol of Cultural Identity For Generations
It’s this unwavering dedication to the preservation of their culture that is woven into every item here at Amish Baskets.
Need some wicker storage baskets for shelves in the pantry? How about a large wicker laundry basket or even a vintage picnic basket for the church’s annual picnic? You’ll find all these and more right here.
Amish hand-woven baskets have become a symbol of Amish community and culture, and they’re loved by Americans for their quality and workmanship.
Do the Amish Salute the American Flag?
Amish people love that the US is a beacon of hope for the disenfranchised and the helpless. This was what attracted them here all those years ago. The Amish left their European homelands to escape religious intolerance and persecution.
The Amish have a lot of respect for the flag and what it represents, in that it stands for freedom from tyranny and justice for all. However, Amish people don't stand for the anthem, recite the pledge of allegiance, salute the flag, or swear any oaths.
The Amish Aren’t Unique in This Regard
The reason that the Amish don’t do these things is simple; such activities may conflict with biblical principles, and they aren’t the only ones to take this stance.
Many non-Amish people also refuse to swear oaths, even when told in a court of law to do so. Jehovah’s Witnesses and a host of other religious groups also don’t salute the flag.
Are the Amish Communists?
Amish people believe in hard work and self-sufficiency. So, did the Amish receive stimulus checks? Yes, they received these benefits, but they didn’t accept them or use them. They avoid reliance on the government for their basic needs, as far as possible.
They also don’t associate themselves with any particular political system. Instead, they honor God’s Law above all else. Communism is a political ideology. One of the main tenets is that everything is by the public, with no private ownership of property. Wealth is divided according to need.
To the uninformed, the Amish communities may appear to be socialist in nature. Let’s consider why.
Are There Similarities between Amish Life And Socialism?
This is a common myth, and it’s easy to understand why it persists. The Amish are community-oriented, and believe in helping their brethren in need.
They are happy and willing to provide for those in their communities who have limited resources, and they’re known to pool their wealth to use as an alternative to insurance after an incident, should the need arise. However, that’s where the similarity ends.
Amish people may own property, and have their own businesses. They work, earn an income, and support their families just like millions of other citizens.
Do the Amish Serve in the Military?
No, they don’t. Amish people take their pacifism very seriously and strive to avoid all sources of conflict. Therefore, they don’t serve in the military.
In addition to the armed forces and combat duties, even desk positions in military organizations, or police services, are considered off-limits.
In fact, the Amish men take their anti-military stance so seriously, that they don’t even wear mustaches. Ever. They grow their beards out as soon as they’re married, and never cut them, but they don’t wear mustaches as a matter of principle.
What’s The Link Between Mustaches And The Military?
This goes back to the old custom of military officers sporting mustaches. Because of the association with the armed forces of the past and therefore with aggression, Amish men are forbidden to wear mustaches to this day. This lends them a distinctive appearance, which is easily recognizable to the outside world.
The Amish and the Law
Amish communities have their own sets of laws, governed by their code of conduct called the Ordnung. It contains rules for Amish life and disregarding these rules can lead to serious consequences, like shunning.
That’s what most outsiders know about the Amish, but what about Amish attitudes to the country’s laws? The fact is, Amish people are very peaceful and law-abiding. In an age when even good friends will sue each other over the slightest infraction, the Amish avoid such trivialities.
And they abhor violence in any form, so it’s virtually unheard of for Amish people to be arrested for violent crimes. It goes against everything they believe in, and it would be considered a severe contravention of the Amish way of life.
Crimes Against the Amish
Unfortunately, the Amish are sometimes the victims of crime, and when this happens, things can get a bit tricky. As much as the Amish uphold the law, they’re reluctant to report crimes and lay charges against people; even when they’ve been harmed.
This is a very difficult concept for many outsiders to grasp, but it’s at the core of Amish values. They believe in pacifism rather than self-defence or retribution. They practice forgiveness rather than punishment. And it’s this that stops them from seeking legal recourse for crimes against them.
However, when deemed appropriate and necessary to do so, Amish people will cooperate with police and legal authorities to solve crimes.
Do the Amish vote for president? The short answer is yes, but they generally don’t. While they’re respectful of the laws of the country, and pay the taxes that they’re legally obligated to pay, voting isn’t a priority for them.
Living in accordance with God’s Laws, respecting their neighbors, and upholding sound morals and values, are their top priorities. Some of their countrymen may not understand this, but it has served the Amish well for the four centuries of their existence. We hope that it will continue to serve them for many more.
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