SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan has spoken out against "cancel culture," calling it "really destructive" and saying "it always backfires on the people that are instituting it."
Cancel culture is the idea that someone, usually a celebrity or a public figure, whose ideas or comments are considered offensive should be boycotted. These people are ostracized and shunned by former friends, followers and supporters alike, leading to declines in any careers and fanbase the individual may have at any given time.
Speaking to the "Uncle Dad Talks" podcast, Dolmayan said (hear audio below): "I've gotta tell you, I'm really disappointed in a lot of people, a lot of liberals — 'cause I have a lot of liberal friends. Most of my friends are liberal. I'm a conservative, as some people may or may not know. But at the end of the day, I change my opinion on things based on information. So if I get new information, I re-evaluate, I look at things, and I make a decision based on that.
"What's happening right now with this cancel-culture bullshit is really destructive, and it always backfires on the people that are instituting it," he continued. "And we have to be really careful because in the '50s, we had something called McCarthyism where people that were hyper-liberal and a lot of people that were considered communists, basically they lost their entire lives — that whole generation of great artists and writers that were just ostracized. And we have to be careful because if we allow that to happen in any way, it could always come back to the other side.
"I will tell you, this generation is very liberal, but the next one might be more conservative and so on and so forth. It does tend to turn around. And especially now with social media and all this bullshit, people go back and they check things, and they're, like, 'Oh, really? This is how you felt?' And you're judged on that for the rest of your life.
"I'm a conservative," John repeated. "I want what's best for everyone, but I want everybody to have the freedom to do these things. I don't like big government. I don't like the agenda of a lot of the Democratic platforms these days. I think A.O.C. [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district] is a moron. I just have to put that out there; I like to say that in every conversation.
"Look, at the end of the day, I just want everybody to have equal opportunity to be successful in whatever that success is. And I want people to be motivated by doing the right thing in life, not rewarded for doing the wrong thing. So that's my philosophy."
In the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Dolmayan repeatedly defended Donald Trump, saying that the opponents of America's 45th president "perpetuated and instigated a total shutdown of the economy" in the hopes that it would crash and that he would be blamed. Dolmayan also praised Trump and accused Democrats of "demonizing" the former president and "blaming him for everything under the sun." In addition, John called Democrats "the true bigots" who "fought to maintain slavery" and were "directly responsible for 70 plus million abortions, a large majority of whom were black." Dolmayan also supported Trump's claim that his administration had done more for the African-American community "than any president since Abraham Lincoln."
Last October, SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian told Forbes that it was "frustrating" for him to see John so publicly supportive of Trump, especially considering Dolmayan is Armenian as well. "But that's having to do with American politics," Serj explained. "When it comes to Armenian issues, we're on the same exact page. We know what injustice is happening, we work together. We're doing different auction activities and working together on many fronts. The Armenian nation is united, whether you voted for Republican, Democrat or neither."