BENT LIMB, ARKANSAS — 49-year-old Arkansas resident Clem O’Connor describes himself as a “rock-ribbed Republican” and he is an unabashed supporter of Donald J. Turmp’s candidacy for president.
Clem says that he “really is admirational” of Trump’s “say it like he thinks it is attitude” and “never give up until you’re in bankruptcy court” approach to business he finds most desirable. However, when Clem says he recently got word that Trump’s rivals, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) are attempting to thwart Trump by ceding state delegates to each other mutually in order to keep Trump from obtaining all 1237 pledged delegates he needs to avoid a contested convention in Cleveland, he says he was “beyond confused” and he doesn’t think either Kasich or Cruz are “racist or dumb enough” to earn his vote.
“Donald is not just racist,” Clem told us, “and he’s not just dumb. He’s dumb and he’s racist. That really speaks to me as a hardcore, Bible belt Republican.” Mr. O’Connell says that while he was “pleased” when Cruz suggested the United States monitor Muslim neighborhoods that it “didn’t go far enough.” He told us, “only Trump has been bold enough to say we need to stop bringing in Muslims, period.” Clem said that “knee-jerk anti-Islamic rhetoric” really “warmed the cockles” of his heart.
Mr. O’Connell says that while he “truly appreciates that both Kasich and Cruz want to punish rape victims by not letting them abort rape babies” that’s “just window dressing for Republican candidates these days” and to him, he needs to see “a lot more racism and abject stupidity” in a candidate before he votes for them.
“The stupid thing is really key,” Clem said, “because I ain’t votin’ for someone who is anti-Muslim but also believes in climate change. Believing in climate change being real is the smart thing to do, given the mountains of peer-reviewed evidence showing it’s very real and a very real cause for concern. But I also admire when candidates say dumb things like, ‘racism is a thing of the past,’ or , ‘taxation is theft.'”
Though he’s never considered it before, Clem told us he would “most definitionally” vote outside the Republican Party, should Trump decide to run independently. Mr. O’Connell said that he is still open to toeing the party one, but that ultimately he’s probably going to throw his lot in with Trump, “come hell or high water.”
“In my lifetime I’ve never gotten to support a strident, open racist, or someone so proud of their stupidity,” Clem told us, “although voting for Dubya twice did at least give me the chance to vote for stupid more than once. Still, if Kasich or Cruz can prove they’re willing to be out-racist and out-dumb Trump, I’d be willing to consider voting for them, too. I’m honestly torn between voting for the racist idiot I’ve always wanted to vote for, or keeping my beloved Republican Party alive long enough for them to disappoint me by not nominating a racist idiot for me to vote for.”