This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Trump in Holmes County

Levi Miller and Daniel Miller note “considerable positive interest” in the candidacy of Donald Trump for president among some Amish and Mennonites in their region of Ohio (“On Not Being Anti-Trump,” June 20). They suggest what Trump policies might offer their people.

Let’s turn the question a bit and ask what Amish and Mennonites of Holmes County might offer Trump. Candidates go to considerable lengths to research and understand folks they hope will vote for them. Ohio is a battleground state with many rural communities. Trump could learn much from a visit to Daniel and Levi’s people.

Let’s envision the Trump private jet landing in Cleveland. Then a car ride in Levi’s modest automobile to Walnut Creek, Ohio. The last mile of the trip could be in an Amish buggy. Since Levi notes a lack of humility in the candidate, a buggy ride could help to evoke a more humble spirit. Holmes County excels in the hospitality industry. Trump reportedly only gets about four hours sleep a night. Offer this harried person a good night of sleep and plead with him to not send out Twitter messages that night.

The next day, one could have a free “Trump Institute,” only the pupil would be Trump. He is most at home in New York. He needs to better understand and appreciate rural life. It is in his interest to appeal to a wider range of voters. Have local Amish author David Kline speak on caring for the earth. Have his friend Wendell Berry speak on restoring the land and present a book of his poetry.

One evangelical leader has referred to Trump as a baby Christian. Such people need to feed on the Bible. Amish and Mennonite ministers could spend some time reading and discussing such passages as Deut. 24:17, “You shall not pervert the justice due an alien,” or the warning in Ezek. 22:29, “The people of the land have . . . oppressed the sojourner without justice.” Then one could go on to Eph. 2:14, which refers to Christ, who has “destroyed the dividing wall of hostility.” Revelation 7 describes a multitude of godly, white-robed people from “every nation, tribe, people and language.” Invite Trump to share his favorite passages from the Bible, which in his opinion is the only book superior to his own work, The Art of the Deal.

Cartoonists have mocked Trump’s unruly, orange hair. It is time for a new hairdo. Pictures of Trump with an Amish bowl cut would dominate the next news cycle.

Wonderful fruits and vegetables are just coming to market. Refresh Trump’s sense of how community, land and food connect. Present him with a cornucopia of local honey, muffins, pies and other goodies. Provide some local folk wisdom and humor. Give him a mug inscribed with “kissin’ don’t last, good cookin’ do.” And be sure to sing, “God be with you till we meet again.”

Victor Stoltzfus
Goshen, Ind.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!