Here in what may be the reddest city in the reddest of states, where Democrats sometimes gather like lost souls at the one Starbucks, most people are standing by President Bush.

When he gives a speech that angers voters or brings ridicule from other parts of the country, people here pick up different messages. They might break with Mr. Bush on the war in Iraq or on illegal immigration, but not with the man himself.

“When I watch him, I see a man with his heart in the right place,” said Delia Randall, a 22-year-old mother from Provo, the hub of a county that gave Senator John Kerry just 11 percent of the presidential vote in 2004. “I like George Bush because he is God fearing, and that’s how a lot of people in this area feel.”

There are few days that go by that I’m not thankful I don’t live in Utah. That quote makes my head hurt; I can’t imagine being surrounded by such people all the time. And the quotes the article offers only get worse:

“I’m against the war in Iraq — and what happened with Hurricane Katrina, well, it was a failure by everybody,” said Ron Craft, a sales manager in Provo who said he was a devout Mormon and a strong conservative who considered himself independent politically. “I tend to judge a person by their character. And President Bush reminds me of President Reagan. He’s a man of principle.”

I agree, if by “principle” he means “incompetent, lying sack of shit”.

“He’s strong, and he doesn’t waver,” said Jaren Olsen, 18, a freshman at Brigham Young, the nation’s largest religiously affiliated private university, who is from Albany. “I like that he is for the family, that marriage should only be between a man and woman. And the war, we need to finish what we started.”

Doesn’t waver, except for when he does.

“I’m not sure of anything he’s done, but I like that he’s religious — that’s really important,” Ms. Pulsipher said.

People like this are enough to make me lost faith in democracy, wonder if it’s all a pipe dream doomed to failure by its very nature.

What’s interesting is that this confirms a suspecion I’ve long held about the Republican’s (and Bush’s) hardcore base. These aren’t people that vote on the issues; they don’t even think about them. They don’t vote with their heads, they vote what they feel. They’re the very embodiment of truthiness.

And they’re damn scary.

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