Yesterday, musical megastar Taylor Swift took to Instagram to talk about something she has never publicly addressed before: her politics. In a lengthy post, Swift decried discrimination and anti-LGBTQ sentiment before calling on voters in Tennessee to support Democrat Phil Bredesen over Republican Marsha Blackburn in the upcoming Senate election.
Right-wing ideologues, who have long held Swift up as some kind of weird Aryan white woman paradigm, were outraged at what they see as a betrayal and what most Americans see as common decency on her part.
It took courage on her part because she received exactly the kind of backlash any reasonable person would expect in a political landscape as polarized as this one. While it’s safe to assume her career will do more than just survive, she will certainly lose some fans in the process of standing up for what is right.
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
Now, the Grand Bigot himself Donald Trump has addressed the growing Taylor Swift firestorm. Today, reporters asked the president what he thought about the country music singer “stepping into politics.” Trump asked what she had to say, and a reporter relayed that she is calling on Americans to vote for Democratic candidates. Trump wasn’t pleased.
“You know well, Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. She’s leading now substantially, which she should, she’s a tremendous woman. I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing or doesn’t know anything about her. And, uh, let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now,” Trump said.
Of course, Swift clearly demonstrated in her Instagram post that she knows more than enough about Blackburn to oppose her and even cited specific pieces of her voting record that show her to be unfit for public office. It’s laughable that Trump and other right-wing pundits will praise celebrities like Kanye West for wearing a MAGA hat, but claim that any celebrity who opposes Republicans should be ignored and mocked. The double-standard is staggering.
"Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25% less now," Pres. Trump jokes following Taylor Swift's endorsement of Democratic Tennessee senatorial candidate Phil Bredesen. https://t.co/D0fh71pQFl pic.twitter.com/4qeR6fCZcr
— ABC News (@ABC) October 8, 2018