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.

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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.”

TV and radio is so hard to avoid in this country, so was he never tempted to explore it? Was it difficult to stay away? “We’ve got a nice life… most people treat us good,” he explained. “I’ve never really had that longing. There’s people that do, especially when they’re young. They see this and say, hey that looks good, and they try it. Some come back, some don’t.”

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For me, steeped in the election with its sound bites, accusations and politicians playing fast and loose with the facts, this individual Amish view was a very different way of looking at things. No worries, no concerns, and most of all, complete ease with their position on the sidelines. I can’t say that would work for me; I want to be a part of the process. But I can see its attraction for a community dedicated to a simpler way of life.

While you and I will watch the debates in the weeks ahead, Levi will have other things on his mind.



soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. joe dough

    No sound bites? ... so they can´t listen to Sepultura? ... bummer.

    October 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  2. traveldawgs

    All Amish are not so isolated. I am friends with a lot of Amish and they do keep up with politics (from newspapers) and they are very interested in it and they do vote in every election.

    October 16, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  3. b stone

    I sometimes envy the Amish and their simpler life, it is almost like a child not yet comprehending the big world out there living in their own little world doing the same thing every day without out a care except for living....

    October 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  4. predrag lukič-ti domaći

    haj evribary.???amiš-pontije pilat-milošević-mudžara-turške grlice-sawa-hitler-hag??hear-blind-death-hel story-kiler nafta-kuwajt-kiler faja nafta kuwajt-faja gea-hel blind sadam matović-šabac-big srbija-hel-end god forbiden devil end death speack-šejtan iglenu-satanski stihi-mister salman ruždi-end heel-death blind story-forbiden.???ćabski kamen-tap šrek–kiler robot sivi-srbska kircha maribor tržaška c.sawo kosojević kerub-angel-plitz hilfe menu-ćabskom kamenu-enemi buzdovan-topuz"??franc kramberger-jozo stepinac-numer kolt sawo kosojević-plitz hilfe end hilfe g.julijanu avsandže–aretejšen???police big srbija-šabac-navigator faus 1-faus 2-wtc-new york-???kileri-hel-tenks domaći

    October 29, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  5. chipo mudenda

    That is a more peaceful life isn't it. "Not getting involved feels good." "you don't hear it, you don't worry about it." they are in a stone age life. Though the world is full of confusion, i believe moving with time is just important itself, because it helps you to prepare for any event, whether positive or negative. To be caught un-aware all the time, it isn't good itself. well, i guess they are not worried about Doomsday because they don't about it.

    December 21, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  6. NYC fitness events

    The Amish people reject modern machinery and the motor car, but train travel is acceptable for longer journeys. Why? I just don't get it!

    February 21, 2014 at 3:35 am |

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