POLITICS

A Donald Trump Supporter Explains His Appeal

She calls him a "knight in shining armor."

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Donald Trump's remarkable persistence atop the Republican presidential primary pack has fueled the media's growing fascination with his throng of supporters.

After all, Trump has offended wide swaths of the voting public during the course of his campaign -- from Hispanics, to Asians, to certain sects of Christians, to Iowans, to African-Americans, to women, to people with disabilities, to individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (er, "low energy" people), to veterans who were captured during war, to Muslims.

Considering all that, it's fair to ask: Who's left?

In recent days, a portrait has emerged (as they say in the biz). Trump's supporters are largely white, tend to be less educated, and are very much convinced that the government is stocked full of corrupt liars concerned only with political correctness.

They also have a slight case of hero worship when it comes to the real estate tycoon turned presidential candidate.

"I see Mr. Trump -- and you can quote me on this all you want -- I think he is the knight in shining armor," said Mary Donnelly of Concord, New Hampshire, who stood outside a Trump event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last night and said she volunteers for his campaign. 

In the video above, Donnelly describes Trump as “humble, loyal, truthful" -- odd labels for a man who boasts regularly about his prodigious wealth, has migrated from the Democratic Party to the GOP, and is proven wrong by fact-checkers more often than the average candidate.

But never mind all that. To his followers, Trump is the one truth-teller in an industry flooded with bullshit artists. It is his unapologetic bluntness -- no matter how dark or fact-free his statements may be -- that constitutes his allure.

Take Frank Maxwell Jr., who said the following when The Daily Beast asked him about Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States:

I think he’s correct on that. I don’t like ’em. I wish they’d go back to the mid-East and stay there—all of ’em. I would refuse to get in a taxi cab with a Muslim driving it with a headband on.

They’re anti-Christian. And Jesus Christ says we need to forgive, but I’m not like that… I think we need to kill all the Muslims we can kill.

Or Bettina Norden, 60, who said this to The New York Times:

He’ll keep a sharp eye on those Muslims. He’ll keep the Patriot Act together. He’ll watch immigration. Stop the Muslims from immigrating.

Or, best yet, Susan DeLemus, who participated in this recent Trump-related focus group.

We've got people in positions of power who I know for a fact are liars. Liars. I watch the TV, my -- my president comes on the TV and he lies to me! I know he's lying! He lies all the time. I don't believe any one of them. Not one. I believe Donald. He says what I'm thinking!

Samuel Wilkes contributed reporting.

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