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Republicans are on mission to turn the Amish into Trump voters — there’s just one big problem

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There are over 75,000 members of the Amish community in Pennsylvania, but very few of them vote. According to The Washington Post, Republicans are on mission to turn them into Trump voters.

That mission first began in 2016, when two GOP operatives created “Amish PAC” in an effort to help Trump win the coveted state. The Amish are likeminded with conservatives when it comes to issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, but as the Washington Post’s Julie Zauzmer points out, turning Amish concerns into votes for Trump is not an easy task, given their shunning of technology and continued self-imposed isolation from Western society. But according to Amish PAC co-founder Ben Walters, that’s changing.

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“Their votes would be so important, and there’s a lot of them,” he said. “Since 2016, every single year, it gets a little bit easier. We’re seeing more and more signs of progress. I think behaviors are finally changing.”

The first Republicans to make a push into Pennsylvania’s Amish community were George H.W. Bush, and his son, George W., whose talk of Christian values resonated with the Amish who listened. Now, Amish PAC is hoping Trump will have the same effect.

The PAC, which spent nearly $140,000 in 2016 and has raised $32,000 so far for 2020, according to campaign finance records, mostly focuses on advertising in heavily Amish areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In 2016, their “VOTE TRUMP” billboards showed a picture of an Amish buggy with the words, “Hard Working, Pro-Life, Family Dedicated . . . Just Like YOU.”

The group is already paying for newspaper advertisements to encourage prospective 2020 voters to register now, and will put the billboards back up in 2020.

Walters says that he’s confident that the Amish who do vote, will vote for Trump.

“They can relate to a businessman who runs a family business with his kids. I think they appreciate the fact that he abstains from alcohol and drugs,” he said. “The Amish care about religious liberty, business regulation, abortion and judges. Those are four things that the Amish overwhelmingly support President Trump over whoever the Democratic candidate is. We talk a lot more about issues than we do about candidates.”

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It also helps that when Amish people do register to vote, 90 percent of the time they register as Republicans.

But Steven Nolt, who is an expert on Amish culture, says Amish PAC has their work cut out for them.

“For a group like the Amish PAC, the key is — to what extent could a group like Amish PAC take that civic identity that’s here, and leverage that into registering to vote and actually voting?” he said. “There’s not a prohibition, [but] there would be a fairly strong, strong religious and cultural bias against [voting.]”

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Featured image via Shutterstock

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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Shep Smith blasts autocrats in first public remarks since leaving Fox News — and donates $500,000 to protect journalists

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On Thursday, for the first time since exiting Fox News, reporter Shepard Smith gave public comments at the International Press Freedom Awards — and used the occasion to blast autocratic leaders who use their power to suppress journalism.

"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” said Smith. "Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that."

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