Taylor Swift, the once apolitical superstar, has continued using her voice by firing back at Trump after his absurd comments about the Black Lives Matter protests.
Swift’s political debut was in 2018, when she broke her silence with an Instagram post that endorsed two Democratic candidates and revealed “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for the dignity of ALL Americans, no matter the skin color, gender, or who they love.” She went on to explain that “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.” Trump retorted by saying “I like her music 25% less now” and Taylor commented in her documentary Miss Americana that she doesn’t “give a fuck.”
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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! ???
It is now 2020, and it seems that Swift’s career hasn’t taken a dent as a result of her political stances, she has increasingly spoken up about politics, even in her music. From You Need To Calm Down a pop-confection that anthemically proclaims “shade never made anybody less gay” to the masterpiece which gave this documentary its title Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince.
Set in a metaphorical high school with classic tropes like cheerleader chants “Go! Fight! Win!” the song details the disillusionment with romance, but most importantly politics. Lyrics like “American glory/faded before me,” “the whole school is rolling fake dice/you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” and “boys will be boys, then/Where are the wise men?” capitalise on the adolescent American dream.
Swift’s recent song Only The Young, is another political statement that cannot be ignored. The song possesses the unique storytelling that Swift has and the pop confectionary of her current genre. It is clearly aimed at teenagers, the generation that seems to care more about the state of the world than those in government. She explains that “only the young can run” and that “the big bad man and his big bad clan…aren’t going to help us (they are) too busy helping themselves” urging today’s youth that “it’s just a matter of time/Up there’s the finish line/So run.” It also touches on school shootings, how “the wrong ones think they’re right” but that the youth are the future and “only the young can run.”
This week, she continued to raise her voice when Donald Trump posted this abominable tweet:
“…Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Of course, Twitter users everywhere were gobsmacked and had no shortage of excellent responses. The clapback that no one saw coming though, was Taylor Swift’s. The fiery statement “we will vote you out in November” was quite possibly the best finishing line. This tweet is now the 14th most liked tweet ever and boasts over 2 million likes, whilst Trump’s original tweet has been removed for breaking Twitter’s regulations.
After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 29, 2020
She has since tweeted about how “racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments and changes MUST be made!” She also shared Barack Obama’s article which detailed the importance of protesting and voting, as well as urging everyone to vote.
Watching Taylor Swift continue to raise her political voice without shame has been a privilege to both the fans and even the once-upon-a-time haters. Hopefully she is right, and Trump is voted out in November.
In the meantime, give a listen to her most political song ever, Only The Young.
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