Dolly Parton Explains Why She’s Apolitical
Throughout her long and prosperous career, Dolly Parton has notably maintained a stance of political neutrality. She declined the Presidential Medal of Freedom (not once, but twice) in order to steer clear of political involvement.
Her choice to remain impartial can be attributed to her broad appeal among individuals from various political backgrounds and is also influenced by her personal perspective on the realm of politics.
In her words from a 2020 USA Today interview, Parton explained her stance: “Well, it is a choice, because I don’t like to get involved in politics because first of all, I have as many Republican fans as I do Democrats. I don’t want to offend anybody, I have a right to myself. Like God gave us free will, America gave us free speech, but you’ve got to be responsible for anything you say and do.”
Parton’s desire to avoid alienating any of her fans is coupled with her independent political views that transcend partisan lines. She emphasizes her focus on individuals and the core message rather than being bound by the constraints of a particular political party.
“Because you’re going to lose half your audience.”
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the Queen of Country once again affirmed her apolitical stance, even citing that the divisive nature of politics has affected her own family.
“Because you’re going to lose half your audience,” Parton shared. “Even within my own family, especially the last few years since Trump and Biden, all that, it’s like we can’t even go to a family dinner anymore.”
The alarmed “9 to 5” hitmaker insisted that she did not want to insult her fans who are all part of the political spectrum “because I care about all of them.”
And it’s not hypocritical, despite what her naysayers said.
“I see both sides of everything.”
Parton believed that there are two sides to everything and that anybody can always change their stance once they see a different version of the truth.
“It’s just that I see both sides of everything. I think people can change their views on a lot of things if they would open their eyes wide enough, or be willing to accept, ‘Well, maybe I’m wrong’,” the country icon added.
Although he assured The Guardian that she still has views on everything, Parton has always tried to “steer away from the things that I know I don’t need to be talking about”.
“I’m a singer, I’m an entertainer… I try to just be a decent human being, try to use love as my great tool and weapon,” the singer said.
They aren’t “trying hard enough”
But being apolitical will not stop the queen from saying her piece against politicians through the platform she’s best known for: her own music. Months before her Guardian interview, in May 2023, Parton slammed legislators on both sides of the aisle through her new song “World on Fire”.
The song from her 49th album, Rockstar, signaled her departure from the country sound and finally embraced her rock and roll persona. Parton sings in “World on Fire”: “Don’t get me started on politics / Now how are we to live in a world like this/ Greedy politicians present and past / They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ‘em in the ass.”
In response to a question about which politicians she was referring to, Parton responded unequivocally, saying, “All of ’em. Any of ‘em.”
She further explained her perspective during an interview on Today, expressing her belief that none of the politicians are putting in sufficient effort. She opined, “I’m certain we’re all making attempts, but I genuinely feel that, more often than not, they prioritize their political parties over the welfare of the people.”
Dolly became a Rockstar
Dolly singing about politics is as amazing as her becoming a rockstar at the age of 77. And rock music has always been a relentless suitor that pursued the queen.
She has turned down even the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But rock has had enough; In 2022, the Hall of Fame turned down her rejection. Dolly is a rockstar whether she liked it or not.
That’s why when Parton finally decided to rock, it was one hell of an affair. The queen commanded a lineup classic rock can never dream of assembling.
Dolly’s Rockstar boasts the talents of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Frampton, Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Elton John, Sting, John Fogerty, and even current popstars Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, and P!nk.
Ever imagined a lineup of Parton, McCartney, Starr, Fleetwood, and Frampton singing “Let It Be”? It’s a mythical combination only a queen can call on.
The highly anticipated album will drop on November 17, 2023