Sunday, August 14, 2016

Newspaper Popular Among Amish Will Run No More Trump Ads

photo courtesy of the Budget home page
The national edition of a weekly newspaper called the Budget, published in the little village of Sugarcreek, Ohio, recently ran a Trump ad aimed at potential Amish voters.

The Budget, a paper read faithfully by thousands of Amish and conservative Mennonites all over the nation, consists largely of newsy letters from hundreds of unpaid "scribes" in scattered communities across the US.

The political ad published in the July 13, 2016, edition begins with, "Did you know the 2016 presidential election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016?" then offers a list of "what you need to know about him (Trump)". Among these are that he "never held public office" and that he "owns a family-run business". It also states that Trump doesn't use alcohol and that he will "appoint pro-life judges who protect religious liberty".

There is no mention, of course, that many of Trump's family-run businesses are luxury hotels, expansive golf courses and large gambling casinos, all anathema to the Amish. Nor does it state that Trump has frequently filed for bankruptcy, has often forced contractors to accept less than what was owed them and threatened them with law suits alleging unsatisfactory work, all business practices the Amish would never approve.

Associate publisher Milo Miller, not an Amish, told me in a phone conversation that the ad got responses from a lot his readers, many of them unfavorable, and that the paper decided not to publish future ads of this kind. He also said he's not sure many of his Amish readers would be persuaded by such ads anyway, especially since the Amish generally do not vote or take part in local or national politics.

Perhaps Miller is following the lead of former Budget associate editor A. A. Middaugh, who over a century ago wrote a piece in the February 5, 1913, edition, called "Some Reasons Why the Budget is Safe Literature for Christian Homes". In it he says, "Many ads are rejected because of conscientious scruples, involving quite a loss to the Budget Company." (1)

Sounds like a wise policy.

(1) from "The Budget of Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1890-1920", senior history thesis by Harvey Yoder published in the June 1966 issue of the Mennonite Quarterly Review.


Here's a link to an article in the Mennonite World Review about the Trump ad.
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