Trump supporters explain themselves in their own words

Last week, I asked Donald Trump supporters why they believe that the billionaire real-estate developer will treat them any better than the career politicians they mistrust.

The dozens of replies that I received from across the United States make up the largest collection I’ve encountered of Trump supporters setting forth their thinking in their own words. And having read through this non-representative sample, I understand the candidate’s rise better than I did before. Broadly speaking, the men and women who wrote fall into two categories: Those who earnestly believe that Trump is the best choice to lead America and those who are motivated by giddyness at the chaotic spectacle of his success. Of course, anyone polling at the top of a major party is going to have supporters with all sorts of backgrounds and world views, and while the correspondence below includes several recurring themes, many of the rationales are singular.

The table of contents has internal links for those who want to jump to a given entry, but don’t rely too heavily on the titles and short excerpts that I’ve chosen: Many of the responses contained so many rationales that summing them up proved impossible.