Pop icon Taylor Swift is making her political stance clear for the first time.
In the countdown to November's midterm elections, the singer broke her career-long silence on politics with a detailed Instagram post supporting two Democrats, Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. The 28 year-old is openly endorsing politicians for the first time after admitting, "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."
Swift prefaced her support of the two Democrats, particularly Bredesen, with a detailed criticism of Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican running for Senate. She wrote, "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."
Whenever celebrities voice their politics, they enter a publicity minefield. Until now, the singer's apolitical persona has fostered a fanbase from both sides of the aisle, with plenty of conservative fans relating to her southern roots and breakout country sound. However, the singer's distance from politics has also silently condoned a vehement alt-right fanbase that's lauded Swift as their Aryan ideal and the embodiment of their values. As Mitchell Sunderland penned for Broadly in his 2016 article, "How Taylor Swift Became a Nazi Idol": "Every demographic chooses a pop icon. Gay men worship Cher, black women love Beyoncé, and neo-Nazis worship Taylor Swift."
Now, of course Swift's latest post has some conservative fans feeling betrayed, with initial backlash flooding social media with comments labeling the singer a "traitor" who "should stay away from politics." Swift appears to have set those possible repercussions aside in order to use her public platform to voice her values and hopes for the government.
Phil Bredesen shared how pleased he is to have Swift in his corner, tweeting, "Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13. I'm honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We're ready for it. Last day to register to vote is October 9."
In New York, the last day to register (in person or online) is October 12. Find the registration deadlines for all states here.
Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.
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