Last week, Willie Nelson announced he is endorsing Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, who stands a chance to unseat Ted Cruz in November, and will headline a rally for O’Rourke on September 29th in Austin. “My wife Annie and I have met and spoken with Beto and we share his concern for the direction things are headed,” Nelson said in a statement. “Beto embodies what is special about Texas, an energy and an integrity that is completely genuine.”
Some conservative outlets thought Nelson’s endorsement was surprising, even though he has been aligning himself with Democrats since he got high on the roof of the White House during the Carter administration. Now, Willie’s son Lukas has backed up his father’s political statement up with a video of support: “There is a lot of misinformation about Beto O’Rourke: right wing news slandering him, Facebook groups publishing things that simply aren’t true, lies accusing the left of doing the same,” Lukas says in the message.
Lukas says he was inspired to record the video after stepping offstage with his dad: “I’m very proud of him: at 85, he just blew everyones minds here in Scranton, Pennsylvania playing guitar lines that are transcendent, Coltrane-like, just amazing.”
“My father has always led with his heart – in his life and his music, he’s put his energy toward building a heart-based family and community with music as a cultural glue,” Lukas says. “The issues that are important to him have less to do with himself and what’s good for him and more to do with what’s good for the community. Republican or Democrat, he’s always stood for the candidate that best represented his values which include love for thy neighbor no matter what color or nationality, responsibility with firearms – including some regulation to prevent unnecessary violence – and health care that isn’t owned by private companies who put your health below their profit.”
“I don’t like the news….I believe in knowing someone by meeting them face to face, observing the philosophies they live by and watching what they do. I have met and watched Beto and I support my father’s decision to back him. All I ask is if you disagree is you respect a fellow American for having a different opinion than yourself.”
Nelson goes on to stress the importance of an open mind when it comes to learning about a new candidate. “The common enemy is our division. Together, if we discuss things in civil ways, we can start to realize ourselves not as patriots of a country or state or political party but as patriots of a world community that, whether we like it or not, is getting smaller and smaller. We all have to live with each other now – the old times have come and gone.”
Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real just released an EP, Forget About Georgia, and are currently on the Outlaw Music Festival tour with Willie. That tour hits Mansfield, Massachusetts this Friday with Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Particle Kid and more. Lukas and Promise of the Real play Farm Aid the following day in Hartford, Connecticut, backing up Neil Young (they will also team up for a pair of shows at New York’s Capitol Theatre Sept. 26 and 27th.)