Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner, analyzed the election returns in Iowa and Michigan, two states with a significant Dutch-American population. In Iowa and Michigan, so-called “Dutch counties” voted overwhelmingly for Ted Cruz.
As we know, Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses and finished a distant second in the Michigan primary. If you look at Michigan, Trump dominated the east side of the state. Whereas, Cruz carried West Michigan.
Why do the Dutch favor Cruz over Trump? Barone posits this thesis: “My working hypothesis is that Dutch-Americans, perhaps like Dutch in the Netherlands, have a high degree of social connectedness, particularly through their various Reform [sic] churches.”
I’m not really sure what to make of the Barone “social connectedness” thesis, but the Dutch Reformed worldview is at least one explanation for why Trump ain’t much to the Dutch. The Dutch are famously frugal and modest, Trump is neither. The Reformed faith teaches that humans are corrupt by nature and are saved by the “sheer grace” of God so that no man can boast. Trump doesn’t apologize for his transgressions and consults his own brain for expert advice. The Dutch Reformed are socially conservative and have traditionally opposed gambling and excessive luxuries. Trump gambles and brags about his money.
Ironically, Donald Trump attends Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. It doesn’t get more Dutch-American than Marble Collegiate Church:
Marble Collegiate Church’s denominational affiliation is with the Reformed Church in America. It is the oldest place of worship of the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of the City of New York and the oldest Protestant organization in North America with continuous service. It was organized in 1628 under the Dutch West India Company during Peter Minuit’s Governorship of New Amsterdam. (http://www.marblechurch.org/welcome/who/)
Maybe Donald Trump would do better with the Dutch if he attended a membership class at his own church!