I understand how America’s Republican teens will be feeling this morning, which is to say very hurt indeed. Taylor Swift has revealed herself to be a Democrat and the news will take some getting over. For years the singer had been the slam dunk winner in any argument about the impossibility of being both culturally relevant and right-leaning in modern America. Yes, the Dems have pretty much every star of stage and screen behind their cause, but the right had Swift, the biggest star on the planet, the ace in the pack, on theirs. Take that, libs!
Why did the right think Swift was on their side? Well, because back in the mists of time (2008), on a website called MySpace, 18-year old Swift wrote ‘Republicans do it better’. In what context she wrote these words, no one any longer knows or seems to care – she might have been discussing auto-erotic asphyxiation or the practice of tar and feathering black people. But since that post, the singer has maintained a dignified (and it now appears, completely misleading) silence on the subject of her politics. And because all Democrat-minded celebrities, by means of furious virtue signalling, have ensured their political sympathies are visible from outer space, Republicans took Swift’s silence to mean one thing and one thing only: she was one of them.
But now this. Over the weekend, out of nowhere, Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers that in the coming midterm elections: ‘I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for the Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives’. Bredesen and Cooper are Democrats. The news, it hardly needs be stated, is a hammer-blow for Republican Swift fans the length and breadth of America.
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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! 🗳😃🌈
I say I understand the pain these people will now be feeling because Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke, four seconds after meeting me, once told me with real feeling to go and fuck myself. Until that point he was a man I admired tremendously and upon whom I’d been very much hoping to make a good impression. As a result of his outburst – and despite repeatedly trying to – I haven’t since really been able to enjoy his music. I can’t hear it without feeling again a little of the hurt and surprise I felt at the time. This, I am sure, will be how Republican Swift fans will now feel every time Shake It Off is played. They’ll experience the same sense of betrayal. The same bewilderment and the same sadness.
But it could be, of course, that Swift’s nailing of her Democrat colours to the mast has nothing whatsoever to do with Washington politics but is instead the latest chapter of her vicious conflict with the hated West-Kardashians, who combine through marriage to form her nemesis. As the rapper Kanye West daringly (or insanely, depending on the charity of your disposition) flirts ever more heavily with Trump’s base – he’s taken to performing in MAGA caps – Swift may well feel she has spied an opportunity to do the old switcheroo on him. By suddenly claiming to be a Democrat, she leaves West out on a limb, exposed, especially if he believed – on the basis of her enduring popularity – the right could be lucrative soil for an entertainer.
If this is the case, then her weekend Instagram post can be read as a kind of very high level ‘you can’t sit with me’ moment by America’s prom queen in chief to West. As a result of it, the liberal media can now get properly stuck into him as an artistic sell out/fascist without the difficulty of having in the same articles to reconcile Swift’s mega-stardom. At a stroke she is no longer perceived to be on the same side of the political spectrum. ‘I can make all the tables turn’, she once sang memorably. On this evidence, you’d better believe it.
If this is what she’s done, then clearly she’s an excellent political operator. Swift for President? It wouldn’t be an article about politics and celebrity if I didn’t at least suggest it. Maybe, just maybe, we’ve finally found the Democrat to take on Trump.
This article originally appeared on Spectator USA