It would be hard to find anyone more universally liked than Dolly Parton. You don’t have to be a fan of country music to be a fan and she seems to have plenty of them among Tennessee’s lawmakers.
There was a bill set to move forward that suggested they erect a statue of her on state capitol grounds, but the country legend politely requested they kill the bill before voting on it, “given all that is going on in the world.”
Parton is a native of the Great Smoky Mountains, and Tennessee lawmakers are tasked with removing and replacing a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest that currently stands. He was a supporter of the Confederacy and one of the first leaders of the Ku Klux Klan.
The bill was filed by State Rep. John Windle, who asked “at this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is a kind, decent, passionate human being?”
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He didn’t speak with her about it first, though, admitting that the “only connection that Dolly Parton and I have is that we’re both hillbillies.”
Parton was grateful for the acknowledgment, and says that if lawmakers still feel she deserves the honor at some point in the future, “I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean,” and in the meantime will continue her philanthropic efforts “to make this great state proud.”
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) February 18, 2021
This move is perhaps not surprising, given that Parton declines often to be seen as involved with politics. She turned down not one, but two invitations by President Trump to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has already declined the same offer from President Biden because she doesn’t want it to look like she’s “doing politics.”