What We Know About Dolly Parton's Political Views

Dolly Parton isn't backward at coming forward, regularly sharing her opinions and views. For instance, the singer is an outspoken and formidable LGBTQ+ champion and a feminist trailblazer. We even know how Parton feels about Taylor Swift (It's a big thumbs up, Swifties). However, there are still many things that people don't know about Parton, like her political beliefs.

Parton has swerved mixing performance with politics, unlike her fellow country stars, The Dixie Chicks-turned-The Chicks, whose outspoken views on President George W. Bush and the Iraq War created a firestorm. The Guardian reports that their political stance resulted in "Saddam's angels" receiving death threats, their CDs being burned in public, and radio stations banning their music. Even Ted Cruz jumped on the bandwagon. "Band trying to sell 'country' records tells the entire South to p*** off," the Republican posted on X.

In contrast, Parton's unwillingness to toe a party line has resulted in her being somebody to everybody. Tennesseans even petitioned lawmakers to replace toppled Civil War monuments with a pedestaled Parton. "Replace all Confederate statues in Tennessee with Dolly Parton," reads the petition, which has over 25,000 signatures on Change.org. "Aside from her beautiful music, which has touched the hearts and lives of millions of Americans, Dolly Parton's philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better," it continues. Parton's dedication to charity work and generous donations to various causes is well documented. But what about her political beliefs?

Must try harder

Dolly Parton's always tried to avoid politics creeping into her music. However, things change, as her song "World On Fire" demonstrates. The track from her 2023 album "Rockstar" includes the lyrics, "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 a**." She explained what inspired the song during an appearance on "The View."

Parton divulged she'd been making herself a coffee when the news suddenly crept into her head and pushed her to wonder, "What in the world are we doing to each other and to this world?" Ultimately, the questioning led to Parton taking pen to paper. "My heart was just heavy with all the stuff that I'm sure we're all heavy-hearted about these days," she said. "And I was just trying to throw a little light and try to make us think a little about what we're doing and seeing if we might step up and try to make a change."

The "9 to 5" star spilled more political tea in a "Today" interview. When Jacob Soboroff asked which politicians she was referring to in "World On Fire," Parton was uncharacteristically open — albeit firmly nonpartisan. "All of them! Any of them! I don't think any of them are trying hard enough," she declared. "I think that often they worry more about their party than they do about the people," Parton continued.

Shunning the labels

Dolly Parton's strength and independence have contributed to the singer being hailed as a feminist icon and trailblazer. However, she's reticent to embrace any label, and she's especially hedgy around the F word. Instead, Parton remains apolitical on the subject, ensuring she doesn't alienate anybody with her views and beliefs.

Parton's diplomatic skills were fully displayed when Time asked her if she was a feminist. She said it was a "tricky question," but she tried her best to answer it. "I suppose I am a feminist if I believe that women should be able to do anything they want to," she said. "And when I say a feminist, I just mean I don't have to, for myself, get out and carry signs ... I just really feel I can live my femininity and actually show that you can be a woman and you can still do whatever you want to do."

She insisted that she wasn't ashamed of the feminist label, though. She's just aware that her fans are divided on the issue, with some embracing it and others rejecting it, so she sits on the fence. "I'm all for all our gals," Parton insisted. "I think everybody has the right to be who they are." She continued to skirt the question while promoting her "9 to 5" musical. "I think that I just live my femininity," she told Sky News. "I mean, people say, 'Are you a feminist?' And I say I don't know what that means."