Willie Finally Gets Political: Supporting Beta O’Rourke and Welcoming Conservative ‘Flack’

By Amelia B.
Ask anyone you meet on the street what they know about Willie Nelson and they’re likely to tell you he is a country outlaw who has a pet guitar named Trigger and smokes a lot of pot. He is a man who loves everyone and is himself impossible not to love. He has been famous for riding both sides of the fence when it comes to values.

 A Man for all Values

On the left hand, he is accepting of all humans, has always been a vocal cannabis supporter, and is generally known for being a peace-loving hippie. Liberals seem to see him as a physical embodiment of their own ideologies.

The message written on his left appendage seems in direct conflict to the scribblings on that of its right counterpart; He likes his guns and is in favor of states rights. Conservative America sees him as a gun-slinging rebel embodiment of their own ideologies.

Thus far, Willie has let both sides of the political divide see what they want to see in him. He has never been outspoken in his support for particular politicians. Many on the left suspect his Conservative-minded fan base to be the culprit for his silence, especially in the face of the recent trend of celebrities coming out against the Trump Administration.

The Red-Headed Stranger Takes a Stand

All that changed early this week when Willie announced he will be headlining at a rally in Houston on the 29th for Ted Cruz’s political opponent: Beto O’Rourke. At the ripe old age of 85, with more than 50 of those years  spent in the limelight, this Texas native announced plans to hold his first ever public concert for a political candidate.

At the press release, Willie made history by finally speaking out, if somewhat indirectly, about the dangerous direction conservative America is headed, “My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed. Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”

Many of O’Rourke’s supporters are wondering if he will jam with Willie at the event, as he did at Willie’s annual picnic this summer.

Texas Republicans are Predictably Outraged.

Longtime conservative fans took to Twitter and Facebook with their grievances against the Red-headed Stranger.

Fellow Texan Dakota Boll wrote, “Someone buy my Willie Nelson ticket for Friday, November 16th. I am no longer willing to watch that hippie guitarist who supports that damn socialist running for Senate.”

 

Facebook has seen similar anti-Willie posts in the last few days.

“Goodbye, Willie. I don’t support socialist commies! You’re not going to advertise on my FB page either. Like we say in Texas, Now Git,” commented David R Williams via Facebook,  yet another conservative Willie-dissenter.

Willie’s reaction to conservatives sending his albums up in flames (literally) in the way of their suddenly offensive Keurigs and Nikes? For fans that know him well, his response came as no surprise.

Deadpan Willie likes to keep it simple:

“I don’t care.”

Willie took to The View on Tuesday morning to promote his new Frank Sinatra tribute album, My Way, where, to the surprise of no one, this outrage was the first topic to come up.

At the roundtable, when Jay Behar asked him why conservative America is shocked that he would support a Democrat, he responded, “ I don’t know! I’ve been supporting democrats all my life. I haven’t hidden it THAT much.” Jay Behar went on to ask, “Are you getting a lot of flack? How are you dealing with all that?”

Willie ruminated, flashing his signature twinkly-eyed grin, and quipped:

“I love flack! I’m not happy till they’re not happy.”

He went on to explain very plainly. “Everybody has a right to an opinion, and I think I have a right, too.”

Perhaps Wheeler Walker, Jr. said it best when he tweeted, “Not sure what went wrong in your life that would make you insult Willie Nelson. You can argue politics all you want but you cannot argue Willie.”

This knockdown, drag-out senate race that is currently neck and neck in the polls, has become a battleground watched around the country. If victorious, O’Rourke stands to be the first Democrat to win an office in the Lone Star State in more than twenty years. If two things stand to help anyone get a Texas win, they’re Weed and Willie Nelson.

Meet the Guy that Broke Willie’s Silence: U.S. House of Representatives Democrat Beto O’Rourke.  

 

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Beto been a pioneer in the de-scheduling, deregulation, decriminalization, and legalization of Cannabis since early 2014. He is currently running against Ted Cruz for a Senate seat, who opposes legalization. If O’Rourke manages to unseat this creepy, Nickelback-loving conservative, it would be a definite leg-up for cannabis supporters. Let’s take a look at his public statements regarding Cannabis through the years:

  • 2014:

-sent a letter to Barack Obama calling for rescheduling of Marijuana

-sent a letter to relevant legislative officials urging them to grant banking access to marijuana industry businesses

  • 2015:

 -voted for H.R. 2578 which passed legislation preventing the DoJ from interfering with States’ Medical Marijuana laws

-sent a letter to relevant legislative officials urging adoption of an amendment to redirect cannabis eradication funds

  • 2017:

 -sent a letter to relevant legislative officials urging respect for state marijuana laws

-sent a letter to relevant legislative officials calling for VA research into medical marijuana

  • 2018:

 -sent a letter to relevant legislative officials pushing for a marijuana “fix” regarding attempts to apply federal laws upon cannabis-related commerce

-sent a letter to relevant legislative officials to add a marijuana amendment to the 2019 federal budget preventing the allocation of funds for federal law enforcement in legalized states.

-supported Polis’s Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would effectively lift the federal prohibition on Marijuana.

If you are so lucky as to be able to attend Willie Nelson’s rally to support Beto O’Rourke, you will be glad to know it is free. Simply RSVP on Beto's page.

Citations

1.smokin Willie Nelson + Marijuana. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from https://smokingunapothecary.com/willie-nelson-marijuana/

2.Julia Gray Watch Senate Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Play Pro-Pot Songs With Willie Nelson And Margo Price. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from https://www.stereogum.com/2004582/watch-senate-hopeful-beto-orourke-play-pro-pot-songs-with-willie-nelson-and-margo-price/video/

3.Associated Press Sean Hannity fans smash their Keurig coffee makers after company pulls ads. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/13/sean-hannity-fans-smash-their-keurig-coffee-makers-after-company-pulls-ads

4. Willie Nelson on supporting Beto O'Rourke, his friendship with Frank Sinatra. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from https://abcnews.go.com/theview/video/willie-nelson-supporting-beto-orourke-friendship-frank-sinatra-57912338

5. Beto O'Rourke's Public Statements on Issue: Marijuana Legalization. Retrieved September 24, 2018 from https://votesmart.org/candidate/public-statements/78533/beto-orourke/101/marijuana-legalization#.W6OoEOhKgdX

About the author: Amelia B.

Amelia B is a wife, a preschool teacher, and a mother of two young children. She enjoys camping, hiking, cooking, reading, traveling, listening to live local music, refurbishing furniture, and creating works of art.