Politics in music can be:

  1. a political front, where political ideology writes the music before artistic expression is considered. An example would be a singer who writes songs specifically for a party (to gain acceptance by a political party or to affect swing states or something stupid). A sub-category might be songwriters writing Christian songs to cater to a certain audience regardless of their own beliefs. In both cases, people are cashing in on particular niches.
  2. real feelings that are used by a political group, so that the musician becomes a puppet for a campaign. I think Bob Dylan might fall under this (but I think he was able to avoid being cornered, he might be explaining this on his album, “Another Side”). Dylan clearly has opinions and has spoken clearly about social injustice. He has not, however, segregated himself from the public to hear what he has to say. He never said “Hey, I’m a Democrat. Because of this I am telling you to change.” Instead he speaks from the heart and lets his words stand for what they are. Also, he never attacks people personally based on politics. This would be a logical fallacy against the man.

Opinions that may be viewed as political are not necessarily political. Politics itself is a strategy to obtain power or take advantage of something. Nothing is political until used as such. I could say “All cats are grey” and it would have no political connotation. It would become political if I tried to coerce people to degrade any potential cats who were black, orange, or any other color except grey. I highly doubt anyone has used the title of this song by the Cure to be political, but this is just an example of how anything can be used for any means.

Of politics some people might say, “How about we keep those comments to ourselves.”

No! Broadcast them. But realize whether your opinions are (1) formed by your surroundings or (2) formed by you intrinsically. The problem is that some people don’t think for themselves. It’s the herd mentality criticized by Nietzsche the existentialist. Who thinks for them then? Parents, media, friends. Well it doesn’t really matter. People follow other people, and thats when politics abuses freedom of speech. But freedom of speech is an important part of music. The best songs and writers are those that don’t have bounds and restrictions put on them to proclaim the truth. It’s sad that there are bands that will use their musicianship to indoctrinate people or advertise a message instead of letting the music speak its volume. I strongly advocate freedom of speech just as much as I advocate contemplation of your true self.