Look, I grew up on a 100 acre farm in western NY. The county voted about 67% Republican. My dad was a Democrat, and my mom was a George Wallace Democrat. She voted Democrat; she just hated all minorities.....probably still does.
I know the type of people who love Donald Trump. So let me defend/explain them a little here.
1) General hatred of minorities: Most older people in the sticks hate minorities. Let's not pretend that the North is appreciably better than the South. If you are a typical person who was born in the 1920s-40s, you hate minorities. You believe that white people work very hard and never get ahead and that minorities just decide to stay on welfare, have kids, and get the government to pay for them.
2) Feelings on illegal immigrants: Illegal immigrants around the 1960s and 1970s used to be thought of as slightly better than American minorities because they came to the U.S. to work (not go on welfare). You will see that in the North and the Southeast the hatred of illegal immigrants is probably less than the general hatred of minorities. The issue with illegal immigrants is that HUGE populations of crotchety old white people live in California, Texas and Arizona. The minorities that the old folks see every day are generally illegal immigrants. They often do not speak English, which is a huge pain in the ass, and they also have kids who go to school -- old crotchety white people hate paying for public school and they certainly hate paying MORE so that kids can learn English. So, illegal immigration pisses off people in some huge states, so that needs to be a big deal politically for the party of old crotchety white people.
3) The World Is Against/Taking-From Me: There is a general feeling of old white people, and many young middle to lower class white people, perhaps best epitomized for me by my mom, that the world is against them and that, but for some awful plot hatched specifically against them by someone, they would be successful. A corollary to that rule is that the person desperately wants to be a super-wealthy Mitt Romney type, and would be but for some SOB keeping him or her down. Therefore, the person keeping him or her down cannot be a Mitt Romney type. Well, it also cannot be the people "like me" who are white and working poor/middle class. So who is left? The minorities. They are taking all of the money and leaving me with none. Ask a person of this sort, "What % of the U.S. budget goes to social programs for the poor like welfare?" You will get answers like 40% or 75%. (It is like 5-12%). Why 40-75%? Because I work and work and work and my fucking taxes go to people who do jack shit. If I didn't have to pay taxes to these leeches, I would be wealthy like Mitt Romney....or Donald Trump.
4) Why Won't People Tell the Truth? This is probably the most valid reason that Trump voters have for supporting him. If I know L.A. gang members, none of whom are white, are killing people and crime is awful in inner city areas, can I say, "Black and Hispanic people are killing each other every day!" Answer - no. If I know a woman who is Asian and she doesn't have a job and has 12 kids, can I complain about that, saying, "I know this Asian woman....? Answer - no. Why? Because to do so is "racist." This is particularly hard to swallow. Recall that these Trump voters have a hard enough life -- they are generally poor to middle class. They think everyone hates them and is trying to screw them out of success. They hate almost everyone. So life sucks. Now they are told that they not only cannot tell racist jokes anymore (which used to be extremely popular) but they also cannot actually complain about things that are, in fact, happening.
One of the toughest pills to swallow is the claim that illegal immigrants are not, in fact, illegal immigrants, but merely "undocumented". These immigrants didn't legally come into the country with acceptable papers and then just somehow misplace their passport. They aren't waiting for their citizenship papers that are lost in the mail. They are here, knowingly, in violation of federal law. They are illegal immigrants, why make up a different term? I have a brother who functions at roughly a 4 year old level. He suffered damage to his brain at age 2. OK. For 52 years he has been "mentally retarded." Since 2012? He has an "intellectual disability." WTF is an intellectual disability? He cannot understand old William Buckley lectures very well? He only gets 45% of Dennis Miller's most obscure quips? Come on. He has mental retardation. He lost substantial use of his brain. I think no less of him for being mentally retarded, and I think no more of him for being intellectually disabled (wouldn't it be "differently abled" by the way?). Why try to make a nicer term. Just say mentally retarded, because in 10 years we will find intellectually disabled offensive and go somewhere else with the term.
Against this backdrop comes Trump. He is a rich white guy -- therefore, he is everything these voters worship. HE is not the one holding them down. In fact, he is what the voters would be, but for the constant plot of people against them. He is against minorities. He is particularly against illegal immigrants, and he understands that these "rapists" and "murderers" and general "criminals" and whatever else Trump has called them are destroying our once great country (where good hard-working people could get ahead, but for the constant forces conspiring against them). And, most importantly, Trump will say what he really means. No mealy-mouthed discussion or dog whistle terminology. "Minorities are bad, there are trillions of them, they are destroying us, and I am here to be the one person in the world who cares about you and who is not trying to screw you!"
Well, thank goodness. Someone finally understands my plight and will tell the truth. And maybe if he gets elected, we can all go back to telling the truth and telling racist jokes.
It makes sense. It really does.
Now, Trump has several problems with pulling off a win using this approach:
1) these people also believe a lot of things that they will want affirmed as well -- no gay marriage or other rights for gays, one God, prayer in school, right to discriminate against minorities, tougher drug laws for minorities, no abortion rights, "men's rights" (which is basically the right to do whatever you want even if women object). You cannot be soft or waiver on any of these issues. Remember, Trump lives in the Northeast. He may not defend Jim Crow laws (Rand Paul will). He may feel that certain private decisions (swearing, divorcing a million times) are perfectly fine. He may not toe the crazy person line. There is no room for that. You are 100% with us or 100% against us.
2) There are some people out there like my mom who value education. Most of her kids got an education and they advanced themselves. My mom likes to learn and she likes to know stuff. The current positioning of the GOP as the party of Sarah Palin really bugs the shit out of her. She would vote for a Republican who admitted that global warming is a problem and that we need to teach evolution and that there is a place for public education and smart people. But she called me in 2008 after she voted and said, "I hate to say it, but I voted for that [fill in word] Obama. I thought of your kids and I could just not stick your kids with that Goddamned woman. That just isn't right." She, of course, was talking about Palin. Trump's position, while popular, almost certainly appeals to the "know nothing" side of the party. There are still people out there who hate minorities but would prefer to be governed by someone who is at least their intellectual equal.
Maybe not many, but when you are in a 52-48% world. you cannot drop 2%.
3) The people with money love illegal immigrants. They do. They are cheap labor. They trim my grass and they feed my kids. I go to Home Depot and hire 12 from the parking lot. If I am worth $2,000,000 to $5 billion, I want illegal immigrants around. Same thing if I own a hotel or a fast food restaurant. Why do fast food restaurant owners fear ICE audits? BECAUSE THEY ARE HIRING PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE ILLEGALLY! I mean, come on. No matter how much money Trump has, it is awfully hard to win the election when you are fighting the powers that be in the party. As I have said repeatedly, Mike Huckabee was a rising star until he had the audacity to say that MAYBE it didn't need to be 85% of the GOP platform to insist on tax cuts for multi-millionaires. That was it. Done. SUGGESTING that tax cuts should not be the primary goal of the party? Nope. (Which is really remarkable, when you think about it -- a huge majority of GOP voters are broke ass folks who pay no taxes. Why these people are SO STUPID as to believe GOP "tax cuts" are for them still astounds me.).
But I digress. For those of you wondering why anyone would vote for Donald Trump -- there ya go.