It's clear before you get to the last line of this must-read piece at Politico—and you're gonnawanna read it straight through to the very, very bitter end—that attempts to reach out to or reason with hardcore Trump supporters are a waste of time, political energy, and scarce resources. Michael Kruse revisits a dying Pennsylvania coal town and gently points out to various Trump voters that the man they put into office not only hasn't kept his promises to them, he hasn't made a serious effort to do so. Again and again they tell Kruse that they don't care, that Trump's failures aren't Trump's fault, that Trump is still their guy and always will be their guy:

One afternoon last week I stopped to talk to a small group of people who had gathered on the sidewalk across the street from the Johnstown Planned Parenthood office. One woman had set up a bucket of body parts of toy babies. Gale Bala sat on a low rock wall and held a sign that said ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN. She voted for Obama in 2008. She voted for Romney in 2012. Her parents were Democrats, her steelworker husband was a Democrat, and she was a Democrat until two years ago. She voted for Trump last fall, and she’ll “definitely” vote for him in 2020, too.

“He’s kind of the last best hope, in my opinion,” said Bala, 65, a retired high school Spanish and reading teacher. “I haven’t run into anybody who’s said they’d never vote for him again.”

Next to Bala was a gray-haired man who told me he voted for Trump and was happy so far because “he’s kept his promises.” I asked which ones. “Border security.” But there’s no wall yet. “No fault of his,” the man said. What else? “Getting rid of Obamacare.” But he hasn’t. “Well, he’s tried to.” What else? “Defunding Planned Parenthood.” But he didn’t. “Not his fault again,” the man said. I asked for his name. “Bill K.,” he said. He wouldn’t give me his last name. “I don’t trust you,” he said.

Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is a dying town full of dying people whose support for Trump can best be understood as a collective death wish—not for themselves, since they're already dying, but for the country that has abandoned them and an economic system that has failed them. That death wish may not be why they supported Trump initially, but it's why they're standing by Trump now. It doesn't matter that Trump has shown no interest in delivering on the many promises he made them. It doesn't matter that he lied to them and betrayed them. (He was the only Republican candidate who wouldn't cut entitlements earned benefits, he said, he wasn't going to give tax breaks to the wealthy, he wasn't going to forget about working (white) people.) On some level the subjects of Kruse's piece know nothing can be done to help them—coal isn't coming back, their town will never be what it was, their kids have to choose between leaving Johnstown or dying there—and they want Trump to burn it all down:

His supporters here, it turns out, are energized by his bombast and his animus more than any actual accomplishments. For them, it’s evidently not what he’s doing so much as it is the people he’s fighting. Trump is simply and unceasingly angry on their behalf, battling the people who vex them the worst—“obstructionist” Democrats, uncooperative establishment Republicans, the media, Black Lives Matter protesters and NFL players (boy oh boy do they hate kneeling NFL players) whom they see as ungrateful, disrespectful millionaires. And they love him for this.

Be sure to read through to the last line. It's all we need to know about Trump's base. There's no reasoning with them, there's no helping them, and there's really no point in trying.