Toby Keith on a Country Divided

He Explains Why He Hates Politics

When Toby Keith was on CNN Tonight With Don Lemon on Wednesday night (April 26), he talked first about what inspired him to write “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” back in 2001.

“My dad was a soldier. And he’d just passed away about six months before 9/11. We were raised in a soldier’s house, and being raised there, you were around the veterans and the pride that they take in their views of the flag and the country and what things stand for,” Keith said.

“I was just like, ‘Man, what would my dad do today if he was alive and watching this happen?'” he said.

Then the conversation turned to bigger picture politics and Keith’s reluctance to take sides.

Keith has been a USO supporter and performer for 15 years, and he said he’s played for all the presidents who have been in office since he had his first recording contract. And he explained why he does what he does, including his performance at one of Donald Trump’s inauguration events.

“I’ve never turned it down,” he said of the invitations from the presidents. “It’s more of a duty to me, and a true honor to perform for your country. Whether I agree or disagree — we’ve never had a leader in this country that I agreed with across the board on everything they do — because I hate politics,” he said.

His reason?

“Everybody wants their side to get what they want,” he said. “It seems like we get divided more and more all the time.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.