In September, Taylor Swift used her vast social media reach to post information on how people should register to vote. Swift even chose the appropriate National Voter Registration Day to create the post for her legion of fans. USA Today reports that Swift is likely to have gotten more than 30,000 people to sign up, many of whom will be eligible to vote for the very first time this November.
This is exactly why the Republican Party and the right-wing media landscape seem to have lost their collective minds about Swift. They are terrified. The level of hysteria the conservative movement has reached regarding the pop star is the kind they usually reserve for women in political positions, like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
On Jan. 9, Fox News’ second-rate Tucker Carlson clone Jesse Watters implied that Swift’s decision to once again promote voting this past September was some kind psy-op campaign. “I wonder who got to her from the White House or from wherever,” he cryptically asked his guest, former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan. Kaplan explained that “Taylor Swift may not know she is being used in a covert manner” to sway swing voters.
Watters’ deranged broadcast led Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh to go off on the Fox News host, saying the conspiracy theory was so far afield they would not respond to it so much as “shake it off.”
“But that does highlight that we still need Congress to approve our supplemental budget request as Swift-ly as possible so we can be out of the woods with potential fiscal concerns,” Singh added, seizing the opportunity to slyly highlight a Swift song by telling Congress “I Wish You Would” grant the administration its supplemental budget request.
Since 2018the popstar singer-songwriter has chosen to promote voting, staying mostly agnostic about her political opinions on candidates. Almost 65,000 Americans between the ages of 18-29 registered to vote within 24 hours of Swift’s 2018 post, according to Vote.org, and over 100,000 total in the days that followed.
Swift has said she wants her fans to vote in support of their voices and ideas without her telling them who to vote for. The single exception is a statement she made in 2018 about why she would not be voting for Second Amendment fetishist Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.
In 2023, Swift’s Eras Tour broke global records and generated billions of dollarswhile her fan base showed no signs of diminishing. This led TIME Magazine to name her their “person of the year.” That led to conservatives getting strangely outraged. Far-right influencers began floating conspiracy theories connecting Swift and Republican boogeyman George Soros.
The fact of the matter is that most of the people Swift is inspiring to get involved in our political process are exactly the type of young Americans who conservatives loath. But if you are trying to get even a few of those younger voters, calling their favorite singers psychological operatives is probably going to have the same success as when conservatives’ parents and grandparents told them Elvis Presley’s hip-swinging would be the end of morality.
Here’s a song everybody can enjoy for different reasons.