This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
As Canadians watch the quadrennial shitshow that is the US presidential election play out, many are having a tough time wrapping their heads around the appeal of Donald Trump, a head of hair who has been caught lying to "pants on fire" proportions throughout his campaign, proposing both impractical and outright racist policies, and just generally acting like a clown.
While it's tempting to chalk the Republican candidate's popularity up to a brand of conservatism and staunch partisanship that wouldn't flourish here, that might not be entirely true.
Torontonian Jay White, 37, is part of a subset of Canadians who are rabid Trump fans. White started the Facebook group Canadians For Donald Trump in February, as an outlet for himself and likeminded people who "felt too intimidated to voice their opinion publicly."
"Trump supporters are generally branded as racist, and many people reluctantly keep quiet or respond with something to the idea of, 'Well it's the lesser of two evils' as a way to 'soft' favor a politician," White told VICE.
While the online community of 3,100 people isn't particularly mobilized—they mostly post angry memes about Hillary Clinton—their passion for a political figure who will have very little to do with them is oddly fascinating.
VICE asked White what it is about Trump he finds so appealing, and how he thinks a Trump presidency might benefit Canada.
VICE: Why do you support Trump?
Jay White: All my life I believe that I have been at the very least misled and probably lied to by politicians and media and told to think a certain way. This is the first time in my lifetime I can comfortably say that I agree with almost everything the candidate appears to stand for. The fact that most politicians and media outlets have banded together to voice their displeasure shows me that he is on the right track.
How do you think a Trump presidency would impact Canada?
Trump has two key issues that would impact Canadians. NAFTA, if he could abolish this, Canada would be far far better off. NAFTA destroyed the Canadian lumber trade, among other things. Our lumber industry used to be booming. I grew up in a resource-based area in Canada, and I remember communities in the 80s with six to ten paper mills. Now they are lucky if they have one mill running. NAFTA cost Canada a lot of jobs, and good paying jobs at that. It also ruined a lot of communities.