October 15th, 2012
06:25 PM GMT
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Iowa (CNN) – The face was oh so familiar. The words, I recognized at once. The way they were delivered amplified their significance. This truly was Abraham Lincoln; or in this case, Lance Mack, a Lincoln impersonator addressing a Civil War re-enactment in Bloomfield, Iowa. How appropriate that Honest Abe, arguably America’s greatest president, should be on hand to offer his 19th century wisdom to a 21st century problem.

Amish life: America without sound bites 

Mack has an uncanny resemblance to his alter ego. It is more than just the beard. His face, long and languid; the mournful eyes; his stature, reaching way over six foot. All together, along with the top hat and long grey coat, and there, right there, was Abraham Lincoln. His audience, a group of school children, was spellbound. FULL POST

October 15th, 2012
11:30 AM GMT
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(CNN)– The plain modest clothes; the women in their white head scarves, the men with their braces and beards. They are quiet, polite and keep themselves to themselves. Riding an Amtrak train is a unique opportunity to see the Amish people up close - or at least as close as anyone from so far outside their close knit community is likely to get.

The Amish people reject modern machinery and the motor car, but train travel is acceptable for longer journeys. At a time when just about everyone in America is following the presidential election, this is one group who are letting the event pass them by. They can’t follow it on radio and television as both are forbidden. They don’t really talk about it in their communities. They won’t be voting on November 6.

Honest Abe's 19th century wisdom for 20th century problem

Far from feeling left out, one young Amish man in Bloomfield, Iowa told me not being involved “feels good.” Levi Miller (pictured above) smiled, “Oh yeah, it really does,” he said. “A lot of things you’d hear about on TV or radio we don’t find out about. So we don’t have that worry of what’s going to happen.” As barely interested observers, would they have any preference at all? “Naturally we would lean Republican. That’s more our thought process.”

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