Election night delivered a shock wave through the nation when the first-ever ‘outsider’ presidential candidate won the highest seat in the land. Anti-Trump protests have emerged in a handful of major cities across America and just about every talking head on television is visibly disturbed and inconsolable that a showman like Trump could win more votes than the woman with the most traditional political experience, Hillary Clinton.
“The same people that voted marijuana in, voted him in. They come hand in hand,” explained Tommy Chong.
Tommy Chong is in Denver for the Colorado launch of his cannabis brand, Chong’s Choice. The director, writer, actor, and comedian is best known as part of the funny stoner duo Cheech and Chong. The longtime cannabis advocate is thrilled that every marijuana state ballot initiative was passed (with the exception of Arizona) – he’s also thrilled with a Trump presidency, and here’s why:
“I realized Trump is what he is. He didn’t conform to make anyone else feel good,” said Chong. “The way he combs his hair to me, the orange looks on his face, and even the fact that he would grab chicks’ by the genitals.”
Now, before any Democratic, #ImWithHer, anti-Trump readers comment in haste – read on.
“It’s real, it’s real man,” said Chong, in a reassuring and wise tone of voice only the most well-read hippies can pull off. “’Trump’ becomes an adjective just like ‘Cheech and Chong’ because we are who we are. People who don’t even know who Cheech and Chong are – they know the connotations associated with saying something is ‘like a Cheech and Chong movie’.”
The change of heart and mind didn’t come easily for the Hillary supporter. He thought he was going to see the first woman elected to the U.S. presidency last week.
“Two nights in a row I had nightmares because my gut told me Trump was going to be elected,” Chong recalled with a tense look on his face.
“I hate to tell you this but I’m a big, big Trump supporter now. I know it goes contrary to the norm, in fact, it goes contrary to what I thought a day ago. I was anti-Trump, in fact, I felt sick. But last night I smoked some really good Colorado bud and I had this epiphany…”
Chong went on to explain his controversial political opinion as the room of his Chong’s Choice business people eagerly leaned in to listen to the interview. Their jaws were on the floor.
“All the rhetoric, all the BS, was only to get him elected. He knew what he had to say in order to get the majority of the people in this country to vote for him.”
Regarding the racist and xenophobic remarks, it was all a ruse to get elected, explained Chong. He compared his charted course to how he chose the winner of his reality show, The Apprentice. “He picked the right person – it wasn’t apparent in the beginning, we thought maybe Gary Busey would be the guy but Trump cuts through the bull.” As for his anti-EPA stance, Chong chalks it up to Trump’s strategy to get elected.
Chong knows a thing or two about showmanship; he’s been on screen most of his life and lives in Los Angeles. “He’ll do what he did on The Apprentice, if he were a racist or homophobic you wouldn’t have had Arsenio Hall on the show with him or any of those people on the show, you just wouldn’t,” he reaffirmed.
For Chong, not repudiating extreme right-wingers was all part of his charted course. “He wanted Hells Angels and the bikers, David Duke on his side. We didn’t elect an idiot.” Chong looked overcome with a sense of relaxation which could be felt through his blissful expressions.
“Despite all the negativity that went on, he came through and why he came through was what he is and what he did has resonated.”
The strategy was brilliant, according to Chong, after trying his hand at running many times before, he learned and adjusted his approach. He tried a few times and he had to step back and look at his plan, chart his course.
“The country was ready for him. It was his time,” admitted Chong, “especially going against Hillary.” Initially, Chong thought Trump was the perfect opponent to get Hillary elected. “I was like everyone else thinking he’s such a pig, how could they not want this beautiful thing (Hillary), the only thing she’s ever done was use the wrong email server.” In the end, the people saw Trump as a leader and Chong’s epiphany puts him at ease with the majority of Americans’ decision.
For Chong, Trump is both establishment and anti-establishment at the same time and he sees similarities between himself and the president-elect. “The fact that he’s a loose cannon makes the rest of the world sit up and take notice.” He goes against the odds.
“He went up against all odds, like me,” Chong explained. “When it came to making movies we hired directors, writers and they weren’t doing anything except doing their own stuff so we fired them and then realized I know more about writing and directing a Cheech and Chong movie than these guys – and they have track records, they’ve been in it forever! But I’m the only guy who knows how to do a Cheech and Chong movie; which comes from the heart, which comes from the brain, and out of the ether.”
It’s why he can now say he feels really good about Trump. “Because he never planned anything, he just let it happen and the whole universe said ‘ok guys, you may not agree with this but this is the direction – this is who you are going to need to take you into the future’ now.”
No matter how you feel about the presidential election results, the fact that Trump and pot could both be approved in 2016 shows you that democracy works. “At least we got pot to get us through the next 4 years,” said Chong. Chong and his team at Chong’s Choice are very passionate about the plant.
Already operating in California and now Colorado, Chong assured other states going green his top-quality bud is on the way. “If you legalize it, we will come,” said Chong.