It's late afternoon on New Year’s Eve. Laura Soussan turned from her desk to share good news with her husband: a client called to request more services.
“Love it,” replied Ben Soussan.
Laura and Ben Soussan, who live in Hampton, New Hampshire, own a five-person IT services company. They have seen business disappear and competitors fail amid growing competition from overseas. They’ve stayed afloat by expanding their services and being available to clients around the clock.
“We have never worked as hard as we are working now,” explains Laura Soussan.
Their work schedules leave little time for much else. Yet –much to their own surprise – this presidential primary season the Soussans have become political activists. Their candidate: Donald Trump.
The Soussans are so dedicated to his campaign that they not only to show up at his rallies, but have become among Trump’s most reliable New Hampshire volunteers.
"I’m laughing at myself because I never thought in a million years I would do this—ever," says Laura Soussan during a break checking in VIP guests at Trump’s January 4 rally in Lowell.
Trump’s celebrity initially attracted the Soussans to his campaign. They were faithful viewers of his reality television show The Apprentice and even applied strategies contestants learned on TV to their own business. His success on television and, more notably, as a real estate tycoon—convince the Soussans that he’ll also succeed as President.
“Career politicians don’t know anything different, you take a person that’s never had to balance a budget. They’ve never had to get up early and make sure there’s money for payroll,” says Laura Soussan. “We need someone who knows how to dig us out of this 20 trillion dollar deficit and make us profitable and make us great again.”
“Make America Great Again” is Trump’s slogan and it resonates with the Soussan’s, who feel a squeeze familiar to many in a shrinking middle class.
“You have to work a lot harder for the same dollar,” says Laura Soussan. “The same dollar that buys less.”
The Soussans are well aware that Trump ignites as much passion among his critics as it does his supporters. They defend their candidate to friends, family—even complete strangers—saying his most controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants and Muslims are taken out of context.
“It seems that he’s toned back a lot of that because you cringe sometimes,” explains Laura Soussan. “The Muslim registry made me cringe, but we know that would never happen.”