Why do so many Republicans support someone like Donald Trump?

I get asked that question a lot, most recently by a couple of reporters who work here in North Dakota. They don’t understand why someone like President Donald Trump – a serial philanderer with only a rhetorical adherence to the mores of social conservative, an erratic administrator with little regard for the prudent budgeting preferred by fiscal conservatives – could be so strongly supported by Republicans.

Part of it is the culture war. A very large faction of Trump’s base feels forgotten, and why wouldn’t they? They’re ridiculed in popular culture. Democrats eschew their support for more urban, coastal populations and most Republican politicians have been taking them for granted for a long, long time. Even news media journalists tend to treat their reporting assignments into rural, “fly over” America as safaris into some Conradian heart of darkness.

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