November 22, 2019 1:35PM

Dolly’s Doing Just Fine Without Politics

A profile in the New York Times finds it “odd” that almost everyone loves country entertainment legend Dolly Parton even though she “has remained reluctant to make the slightest hint of a political statement.” I think that should win some sort of prize for statements that are best at missing what is in plain sight.

Do most people really want politics to play that big a part in their lives or their choice of entertainment? I don’t know, but here are some of the reactions I’ve seen this morning on social media:

  • “She’s been an entertainer and a generous person. Why not leave it at that?”
  • “The general idea seems to be ‘if something doesn’t have a political statement in it, it’s not good enough’.”
  • “ ‘I don’t understand. ‘Be a good person’ is a perfectly legitimate political statement. And Miss Dolly is a heck of an exemplar.”
  • Donating a [hundred] million books is a political statement even if the New York Times doesn’t think it is.”

I could go on about how “Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene,” and “I Will Always Love You” have something permanent to say about poverty, about the thing between men and women, and about responding to bad treatment with forgiveness and magnanimity, and that the answers to those problems of life (when they even have answers) don’t necessarily lead through politics. But I’ll go back to quoting another social media reaction:

  • “Dolly Parton’s life is a political statement for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.”