That’s the word used by the Associated Press’ Claire Galofaro to describe the faith of President Donald Trump’s base in a recent installment in AP’s “Trump Country” series.
The story focuses on the town of Sandy Hook, Kentucky, where the population is 622 souls, a third of which live in poverty. Just 9 percent of the town’s adults hold college degrees. The town lies in the Appalachian Mountains, where coal and tobacco industries once created prosperous jobs.
Sandy Hook is in Elliot County, which for its entire 147-year existence has voted for the Democrat in each presidential election.
“Until Donald Trump came along and promised to wind back the clock,” Galofaro reports.
In the Appalachian hills many blame global trade agreements and environmental regulations for the decline in coal. Galofaro reported that coal mining companies have added 1200 jobs across the U.S., 180 of which in Kentucky.
Some of the locals are hopeful the tax reform plan will help them and they believe the stock market surges and dip in unemployment rate are good signs.
— What Trump means to Sandy Hook: “It means God, guns, patriotism, saying “Merry Christmas” and not Happy Holidays. It means validation of their indignation about a changing nation: gay marriage and immigration and factories moving overseas. It means tearing down the political system that neglected them again and again in favor of the big cities that feel a world away,” reports Galaforo.
— BUT: Many in the town “depend on food stamps, disability coverage and health insurance through the Affordable Care Act — all of which could be upended.”
— The local perspective: “If Trump lies to us, it won’t be anything different than what the rest of them always did.”