Taylor Swift Breaks Her Political Silence

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Taylor Swift is breaking her reputation for not being political — and doing it in a big way.
In a Sunday evening Instagram post, the pop superstar revealed that she's ready to talk politics and that she's voting for Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives in the upcoming US midterm elections.
"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 wrote. "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 colour is terrifying, sickening and prevalent."
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Swift, who has been sharply criticised in the past for not wading into social issues, went on to explain why she would not be voting for Tennessee Republican incumbent Rep. Marsha Blackburn, whose Congressional voting record "appalls and terrifies" her:
"She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorisation 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."
Sunday's post marks a major turning point for Swift. She has been chastised constantly for not denouncing President Donald Trump like her other openly liberal celebrity peers. “In the year since Donald Trump was elected, the entertainment world has been largely united in its disdain for his presidency,” the Guardian wrote of Swift in November of 2017. “But a notable voice has been missing from the chorus: that of Taylor Swift, the world’s biggest pop star. Her silence is striking, highlighting the parallels between the singer and the president: their adept use of social media to foster a diehard support base; their solipsism; their laser focus on the bottom line; their support among the ‘alt-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! 🗳😃🌈

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Swift, who started her career as a country darling, made the strategic choice early on to be apolitical. While some will argue this has allowed her to have massive success across all political demographics, it has also opened her up to baseless, vicious conspiracy theories, like one that claims she's sending alt-right and white supremacist messages in her music.
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Though her endorsement of Democratic candidates is her boldest statement yet, Swift has been dipping her toes in political waters ever so slightly over the past year. In March, she posted on Instagram about gun violence and that she had made a donation to March For Our Lives ahead of the rally in Washington D.C.
As for the effect this could possibly have on the Tennessee election? In the deep red state, Blackburn only leads Bredesen by five points, which reportedly has Republicans worried.
The world has been waiting for Swift to get political, and at long last she has done it. The question is now, are we ready for it?
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