"I was doing press with somebody in the mid-90s, and they made an argument that stayed with me: that I have influence, and that it's my job to call out whatever needs to be called out, because there are people who feel the same way but need someone to articulate it," Reznor said.
"And I think about that today, because it seemed like it was a lot easier to just keep your mouth shut and let it go back then," he added, then calling out Swift specifically. "You don't hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world, and top-tier, needle-moving cultural youth, because they are concerned about their brand, their demographic and their success and career and whatnot."
After being asked if he thinks "it feels different now," Reznor agreed that he does.
"I know how I feel, and I have let it get to me in ways I wish it hadn't. My worrying about it isn't helping anything," he continued. "But what Donald Trump is doing is concerning and infuriating — and it's not the conservative agenda, it's not a question of religious preference, it's not a question of should government be big or small."
"I don't have any problem with those topics. But the disregard for decency and truth and civility is what's really disheartening," Reznor went on to say. "It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch."
Reznor also spoke about how his current political outlook was shaped by the work he did scoring a Ken Burns-Lynn Novick Vietnam War documentary.
"I realized that I naïvely had faith that the government must know what they're doing," Reznor admitted. "There are conversations in the footage for the documentary where you realize they're winging it: 'Can't let the public know this, I'll never get re-elected.' And that call costs so many lives."
"It's worrying," he added. "And yet I would tend to think the people in charge then were significantly more enlightened or worthy of their positions than the crew we've got in there right now."
Reznor founded the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails in 1988. To date, the band has put out a number of releases, including nine full-length studio albums. The band's ninth album, Bad Witch, releases on Friday, June 22.