Why Jason Aldean Suddenly Started Talking About Politics
Jason Aldean admits he tried to stay away from politics for most of his career, but things shifted in a big way in 2020 and 2021. That shift corresponds with changes at home.
The 44-year-old says he's always identified as a conservative, but his politics didn't bubble to the top until the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and the events that followed. After the first election, he explained to Rolling Stone why he and people who grew up like him admire and respect Donald Trump. After the second election, his words and actions became more pointed.
Wife Brittany Aldean's reposting of an image alleging two men involved in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attacks were Antifa (an image later deemed baseless) really turned the spotlight on the couple, and in the months that followed, they expressed their ideology with separate posts critical of vaccine mandates and images of Brittany and the couple's two kids in anti-Biden t-shirts. Then, on New Year's Eve, Aldean attended Trump's party. The two men also played golf together.
So, why now?
"When you got kids and you're kind of seeing the future for them, like what it looks like, it's pretty scary," Aldean tells Taste of Country. His son Memphis was born in 2017, and daughter Navy Rome arrived two years later. Additionally, he has two teenage daughters born to his first wife.
"So I think for me, just seeing that, and you know, just how everything has been the last couple of years has been pretty wild," the "Trouble With a Heartbreak" singer adds. "A lot of things that I don't agree with, and sometimes it's kind of hard for me to sit back and not say anything."
Celebrities who speak out on political or social issues often face immediate backlash that becomes amplified with every tweet and Facebook comment. The fear of being "canceled" is one reason why so few country music singers express their opinions on a public stage. Maren Morris contrasts Aldean with her more liberal-leaning takes, but she's not alone. Kelsea Ballerini recently admitted that the backlash over her criticism of Morgan Wallen's use of a racist word convinced her to never use social media as a soapbox again. Aldean indicates he is at a point in his career where he can afford any damage caused by his point of view.
"To me there's a bigger picture there," he says. "If somebody doesn't listen to my music because of the way I think politically, that's to me is kind of crazy, but whatever. To me, the bigger issue is we got kids and future generations that, we gotta get this stuff straightened out. It's kind of like the wild west out there right now. It's just been kind of crazy. It's hard to not have an opinion."