It Seems Politics are Always on Willie's Mind

It Seems Politics are Always on Willie's Mind
Posted by CN Staff on July 13, 2003 at 14:50:46 PT
By Jan Jarboe Russell
Source: San Antonio Express-News 
It's hard to say what Willie Nelson's endorsement of U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, for president will mean  not for the world of politics, but for the infinitely more important world of country music.At 70, Willie has earned the right to endorse anyone he darn well chooses, but Kucinich is, at the moment, such a long shot that not even Willie's popularity can be expected to move him to the top of the Democratic food chain.
However, Kucinich's life story reads a little like a country-and-western tune. He's a vegan from Ohio whose father was a truck driver and whose brother served in Vietnam. His nickname is Dennis the Menace. He's been married and divorced twice, which means he's no stranger to heartache.Somewhere along there, he had a mama and must have ridden in a truck or on a train. In fact, the only country-and-western theme Kucinich seems to have missed in his 56 years on this earth is that he's never spent time in prison. Given the fact that he's been in politics full time since he was 21, that in itself is pretty remarkable. Politically, Willie and Kucinich share some important common ground. Kucinich has supported efforts to legalize the medical use of marijuana. He wants to start a Department of Peace to help make nonviolence an "organizing principle within our society."One of the few other times Willie's gotten involved in politics was in 1991, when he and former Kentucky Gov. Gatewood Galbraith drove around in a 1980 Mercedes-Benz station wagon nicknamed the "Hemp Mobile" to campaign for the legalization of marijuana. As for world peace, Willie's for that, too. In his official statement of endorsement, Willie said he was supporting Kucinich because he thinks he will stand up for "heartland Americans" such as farmers and consumers. The question is not what this endorsement will do for Kucinich. It's what it will do to Willie, who is having the best year of his long career. His "Beer For My Horses," a duet with Toby Keith, has been No. 1 on the country album charts for weeks, as has "The Essential Willie Nelson," his best-selling retrospective. His gala at the Beacon Theatre in New York last April was a sold-out lovefest.So is Willie about to suffer the same fate as the Dixie Chicks, whose recordings were boycotted by irate fans after Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the war in Iraq? Will Willie join the Dixie Chicks on President Bush's and his father's evildoer list?My guess is that Willie is safe. He'll ride out the storm like tumbleweed. He's big enough to do anything he wants  even oppose Bush, a fellow Texan and country-and-western fan.Politically, things are getting pretty complicated in the world of country music. First there was the Dixie Chicks flap. Then Keith emerged as the anti-Dixie Chick. He criticized Natalie and supported Bush and the war with his song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." And now Willie's for Dennis the Menace.We should have seen all this coming when Willie sent bandanas and messages of encouragement to the Ardmore 51  the Democratic members of the Texas Legislature who high-tailed it to Oklahoma to break a quorum during the regular legislative session. It was clear then that Willie had a political burr in his saddle.My only regret is that Willie isn't running for president himself. I am open to the argument that Dennis the Menace has more to contribute to the country than Willie, but it will take a whole lot of convincing.Still, I foresee only good things will come from this endorsement. Dennis the Menace has a fine baritone voice. I heard him belt out "The Star-Spangled Banner" on TV and admired his spunk. If this presidential campaign doesn't work out for him, he can always go on the road with Willie. Complete Title: Jan Jarboe Russell: Lately, It Seems Politics are Always on Willie's Mind Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)Author: Jan Jarboe RussellPublished: July 10, 2003Copyright: 2003 San Antonio Express-NewsContact: letters express-news.netWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Kucinich 2004 Willie Nelson on Weed Candidate Backs Medical Marijuana Kucinich Endorses Medical Pot Use 
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on July 13, 2003 at 23:11:26 PT:
Willie, Ride Like a Tumbleweed!
"An herb is not a drug. It's good for stress. When you need some temporary help in getting through the day, cannabis is the best way. "
- Willie Nelson -"Ride Natty Ride" by Bob Marley SOUND CLIP*Dready got a job to do
*And he's got to fulfill that mission
*To see his hurt is their
*Greatest ambition
*But we will survive
*In this world of competition
*'Cause no matter what they do
*Natty keep on coming thru
*And no matter what they say
*Natty de deh every day*Natty dread rides again
*Thru the mystics of tomorrow
*Natty dread rides again
*Having no fear, having no sorrow
ego transcendence follows ego destruction, cool runnings,can you dig it, cool runnings, it's one more time we want it, cool runnings, cool runnings, spread out, spread out, spread out, spread out, spread out.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 13, 2003 at 19:19:11 PT
Thank you. I missed the program but I saw it before. It said a lot too! Now they have a documentary on about Aids. I don't know if I can watch this and yet it is so important for people to know how horrible Aids is that I'll try. Too close to home for me I think. World Link TV is very good. I hope you watch NWI ( Channel 366) sometimes. I watch it when I watch news. I can't handle our news much anymore. 
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on July 13, 2003 at 18:39:01 PT
world link TV Ch 375 Dir TV
show on Tulia TX on now.
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Comment #4 posted by Robbie on July 13, 2003 at 17:21:56 PT
GCW: pushing which?
they SHOULD be pushing a lot of things right now...lets see if they canDennis is the only Democrat I could possibly vote for so far...I just dont believe they represent me overall. Too much pandering!!! >:-(
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Comment #3 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 13, 2003 at 17:18:04 PT
Long shot?
This is the secong time today I've seen an article calling Kucinich a long shot. He took second place in the online primary with 24% of the vote! Dean got 48% and the rest was split up in small pieces. 24% is not a long shot! The drug war HAS to be the one issue the Democrats can use to side with the American people against the Bush administration. Everything else, even the WMD question, can seem like partisan bickering. With Durbin Conyers, and the other Democrats in congress this week criticizing some or all of the drug war, I have a small ray of hope that they realize this too. All they have to do is study the history of alcohol prohibition: the way it was ended by a Democrat taking a stand against a Republican incumbent on a very similar issue, and the Democrat winning by a landslide.
Kucinich's stance on the drug war
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on July 13, 2003 at 16:32:29 PT
Rev. Happy,
I want to know the same thing...So why are the Dems not pushing it?
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Comment #1 posted by RevHappy on July 13, 2003 at 15:01:22 PT:
When's Willie Gonna Run?
Id vote for him. Seriously, Dennis supports medical right? I bet he supports industrial too. I hope he gets ahold of this issue and rides it to the White House. This is one the Republicans know they would lose in debate, hands down.So why are the Dems not pushing it?Its because the dems dont im Green. 
Peace Not Greed, Legalize Weed!
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