Taylor Swift Is Taking Sides

October 12, 2018

What’s the point of being famous if you can’t use it to do some good, right? Well, many artists do exactly that: They take a stand for what they believe in, like fighting for animal rights, supporting education, or protecting the environment. Few, however, publicly take a stand when it comes to politics. Why? Because taking sides in politics might offend parts of their fan base. Even so, sometimes an artist will throw caution to the wind and take a political stance because it’s that important. And that’s exactly what singer and songwriter Taylor Swift did a few weeks before the midterm elections. Through Instagram, she posted a message to her more than 112 million followers. She told them who she’d be voting for in her home state of Tennessee, and why. In addition to giving her endorsement (or what we’d like to call the “Taylor Swift bump!”) to democratic candidates Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, she did something else: She convinced a bunch of people to register to vote! Turns out, her fans—or Swifties, as they like to be called—really listen to her. According to vote.org, within twenty-four hours after she posted the message (which you can read in its entirety below), nearly 65,000 people ages eighteen to twenty-nine registered to vote. Two days after her post, more than 102,000 people registered, of which approximately seventy percent were under the age of twenty-five. That’s a lot of star power, if you ask us! But was it a smart move for Taylor Swift to share her political views? Perhaps not, but sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always the popular thing, and for Taylor Swift, she felt she had to do it. Now whether you agree or disagree with Taylor Swift’s political views, one thing’s for sure—she got out the vote.

Take a look at what Taylor Swift posted on her Instagram page:

“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! 🗳😃🌈” — @taylorswift

Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Yep, this is how Taylor Swift used her fame to influence others. If you were famous, how would you use your popularity to influence those around you?