During an appearance on The View this Tuesday, legendary country singer Willie Nelson addressed the backlash over his support for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, and he didn’t mince words.
When asked what he thought about the angry response, the 85-year-old musician simply responded: “I don’t care.”
“They’re entitled to their opinion, and I’m entitled to mine,” Nelson said.
Last Wednesday, Nelson posted a message to his Facebook page stating that he’ll be headlining a rally for O’Rourke this coming September 29. Immediately, the comment thread filled up with people angry over his decision.
“I haven’t been this disappointed since the day I used my ‘Dixie Chicks’ CD’s for target practice,” one commenter wrote. “Why couldn’t you just stay out of politics? As a lifelong fan that still has my original “Highwayman” Album – I am done.”
“You should stay out of politics,” wrote another. “I’m a lifelong fan this is not a smart move.”
Considering that he’s supported liberal causes his whole life, Nelson was a little surprised that some of his fans were taken aback by his support for O’Rourke. But he said that he doesn’t mind taking flak over the issue.
“I love flak,” he said. “We’re not happy ’til they’re not happy.”
As The Washington Post points out, Nelson’s political activism goes back decades with his support for causes such as the environment, same-sex marriage and, famously, marijuana legalization.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter invited him to perform at the White House. Nelson later said that during the visit he smoked what he called a “big fat Austin torpedo” on the roof of the White House. He has supported President Barack Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Hillary Clinton in recent years.
He even released a song last year inspired by President Trump, called “Delete and Fast-Forward.”
Nelson’s new album of Frank Sinatra tunes is now available. He’s performing this weekend at Farm-Aid, an annual benefit for farmers he started in 1985 with Neil Young and John Mellencamp.
Watch the segment from The View below:
Featured image via screen grab