LACONIA, N.H. — There are many, many things Donald Trump would like you to know about how he would run the country. As he told a standing-room-only crowd here the other night, turning America around would be a lot like running the Trump National Doral golf club in Miami, which he bought when it was in bankruptcy in 2012. He is really smart. “I’m really smart,” he boasted in Phoenix last weekend before rattling off his résumé highlights. “Went to the Wharton School of Finance. Even then, a long time ago, like the hardest, or one of the hardest, schools to get into.”
Mr. Trump is not, as many Republicans have suggested, merely a renegade agitator who sneaked up on the party establishment and threatens to spoil its plans for a tidy, civil primary. Rather, he has become the new starring attraction for the restless, conservative-minded voters who think the political process is in need of disruption.
Some align themselves with the Tea Party movement. Others call themselves independents or Republicans who are just fed up. The praise they heap on Mr. Trump — “He speaks the truth,” “He’s fearless,” “He’s not politically correct” — echoes the words conservatives have used to describe others, like Sarah Palin and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who have stirred their passions before.
“I think he means what he says,” said Kristi Eglody, 63, a retired school counselor from Manchester. “He loves America, and he wants it to be better. And that’s what I love about him.”
Jerry DeLemus, 60, of Rochester, N.H., said he liked the idea of voting for a candidate who had not been in politics very long and found Mr. Trump’s swagger inspiring. “You won’t leave confused about where he stands,” he said. “And how fun would it be to watch him debate Hillary Clinton?”
We need the truth,” Mr. DeLemus went on. “We don’t have to like the truth. But we need it.”
Here’s the truth Mr. DeLemus: Donald Trump is a narcissistic con artist who has no business running for president.