[This post is not an official Progarchy position on this topic. I speak only for myself, not for the writers of this great website – Bryan]
Musicians being vocal about their political leanings is nothing new, but it is still obnoxious. Rarely does much good come from a famous musician sharing their opinion about some political person, government, or law. Instead, it pisses people off. I don’t know why many continue to do it, because you are bound to anger or alienate somebody, especially when you have a lot of fans.
I’ve noticed that some of the worst in the prog world are British artists responding to American politics. The British people are great. I loved my time in England, and, honestly, if it weren’t for their politics, I would consider moving there permanently. However, as an American, I can truthfully say that I don’t want the musicians I listen to from other countries commenting on my country’s government, political system, elections, or traditions. We have guns here. Get over it. We aren’t socialist. Get over it. We might elect Donald Trump. GET OVER IT. And certainly don’t share on your social media about how stupid you think Americans are because of the way we do things. If you aren’t an American, then you likely have not made any effort to truly understand the reasoning behind our laws. All you’re doing by sharing your anti-American opinion is alienating some of your US fans. Maybe we will think twice before paying for your albums or buying a ticket to one of your shows.
Mike Portnoy understands the idea of keeping politics to yourself very well. I follow his social media fairly closely, and not once have I seen him moan about some political issue. He is a musician and an artist with a lot of fans, and he knows that whatever he says will likely upset some of them. By keeping his mouth shut altogether on those issues, everybody stays happy. Look at the flack Neil Peart got after that awful Rolling Stone interview. I know my opinion of the great drummer certainly went down (temporarily) after hearing him bash an ideology that I am favorable to. I’ve never had that happen with Mike Portnoy, because he keeps his political opinions private.
In summation, a word of advice to non-American prog musicians: many of your American fans are actually quite conservative and do not appreciate you bashing their beliefs or insulting them because they believe it. It is better to keep your mouth shut then it is to open it and tick people off. Prog already has a hard enough time gaining traction – please don’t make it worse. Thank you to all of the artists (a majority, likely) that follow this general rule. We love your music and your art. Thank you for not confusing it with divisive political garbage.