Dee Snider says that he is "hugely disappointed" in Alice Cooper after coming across a years-old quote from the legendary rocker about musicians speaking out on political issues.
In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, Cooper said that he keeps his political opinions to himself. "I don't like to mix politics and rock 'n' roll," he said. "I don't look at Bono, Sting and Bruce Springsteen as political. I look at them as being humanitarian. I'll contribute to anything humanitarian. Helping people who can't help themselves. But when musicians are telling people who to vote for, I think that's an abuse of power. You're telling your fans not to think for themselves, just to think like you. Rock 'n' roll is about freedom — and that's not freedom."
On Thursday (September 24) — two days after this year's National Voter Registration Day — RATT singer Stephen Pearcy shared a meme of Cooper's quote, and he added the following message: "Well said Coop @alicecooper. Now let's get back to music. Making people feel good".
Within a couple of hours, Snider — who was famously called to testify before the U.S. Senate against the proposition to have warning labels be placed on albums deemed "offensive" to listeners — weighed in, writing: "Fair enough, BUT @alicecooper told me he wouldn't have testified at the senate hearings on censorship either. I did and I got a lot of heat for it at the time. It may not have been the best thing to do for my career... BUT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO TAKE A STAND!!!"
The following morning, the TWISTED SISTER frontman revisited Cooper words, writing in a separate tweet: "Reading this quote from @alicecooper again (assuming it's accurate) I'm hugely disappointed in his calling musicians speaking out an 'abuse of power'. Alice is a friend and a hero to me and I know a lot (too much) about the man."
He added: "Many of his heroes and inspirations are people who spoke out against political positions and his own legacy challenged us to question the accepted norm. I ask you @alicecooper Is it okay to challenge art but not philosophy? Doesn't it all come down to questioning beliefs?"
Another musician who seemingly agreed with Pearcy and Cooper is STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet, who also responded to Stephen's tweet. Sweet wrote: "I couldn't agree more Stephen. What many 'stars' don't seem to understand is regardless of what they rant on and on about, people are going to do what they want to do. Vote for who they want to vote for. Free will, free choice. @alicecooper is 100% correct".
Dee, who got to know Trump personally after appearing more than once on "The Celebrity Apprentice", has been an outspoken critic of America's 45th president, tweeting incessantly against Trump's administration and blasting Trump as "a commie-loving traitor" who is prostituting our democracy. He has also engaged in heated Twitter fights with Trump followers, some of whom have taken issue with his colorful delivery and unapologetic tone.
Four years ago, Cooper said that rock stars offering their political opinions is "the worst idea ever." "First of all, why do people think rock stars know more than they do?" he said. "That is the biggest fallacy in the world — if anything, we're dumber. We're not smarter than anybody else. I mean, why do you think we're rock stars?
"Trust me, we don't read magazines you don't read. Nobody calls us up and gives us as inside information on politics. We know less than you do. If I watch TV, it's 'Family Guy'.
"Rock 'n' roll was built to go as far away from politics as you could get. When my mom and dad talked about who to vote for, I'd go in the other room and put on THE BEATLES or ROLLING STONES — and I'm still like that."
Cooper, who considers himself a humanitarian, said that he had no problem with artists using their platform to highlight global issues if it benefited others.
He said: "I think what Bono does and what [Bruce] Springsteen does, Sting and all the people that raise money for others — that's humanitarian, and I'm all for that. But I don't think that's political."
In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Cooper stated about then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: "He's an interesting character. It seems like he shoots himself in the foot every single day and gets more popular by doing it. It's the weirdest. It's like [Kurt] Vonnegut: Everything that shouldn't happen is happening."
Cooper previously said that he would even go so far as to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing just to make a point. During the 2004 election season, he said: "When I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."
He also mused about sitting between such political rocker icons as John Lennon and Harry Nilsson while they argued politics and thinking, "I don't care."
Back in November 2016, Sweet drew criticism from some STRYPER fans for posting a picture of Trump and congratulating the real estate mogul for "working his ass off for the presidency of the United States of America."
In early March, Sweet praised Trump's actions that served to ramp up the federal government's response to the COVID-19 epidemic — even after Trump was criticized by some parts of the media for downplaying fears about COVID-19 or actively spreading misinformation about its repercussions.
This past May, Sweet said that he would like to see his band represented by Trump's fourth White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.