Right-wing lawmakers continue to misuse buzzwords like "socialist," "Marxist," and "communist" to strike fear—and action—among their base. All too often, these words are used with little or no attention to what they actually mean.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee employed this tactic yet again in a recent interview with white nationalist disinformation outlet Breitbart.
There, Blackburn warned against a "socialistic government" and how it would affect the entertainment industry.
Marsha Blackburn: Taylor Swift Would Be "First Victim" of "Marxism," "Socialistic Government"www.youtube.com
"When you talk about country music, and I know the left is all out now and trying to change country music and make it woke. When I'm talking to my friends who are musicians and entertainers, I say, 'If we have a socialistic government — if we have Marxism — you are going to be the first ones who will be cut off because the state would have to approve your music.'"
She then invoked pop music star Taylor Swift, who relocated to Blackburn's home state of Tennessee in 2004 to pursue country music. Swift famously described Blackburn as "Trump in a wig" in her 2020 documentary Miss Americana.
Blackburn said of the singer:
"Taylor Swift would be the first victim of that because when you look at Marxist socialistic societies, they do not allow women to dress or sing or be on stage or to entertain or the type music that she would have. They don't allow protection of private intellectual property rights."
As Rafi Schwartz of Mic notes, country singers—and singers across a vast array of genres—have been blacklisted already. Most notably, the career of country music band The Chicks was cut short in 2003 for speaking out against the Iraq War and then-President George W. Bush. It wasn't until recently that the band made a comeback.
The stupidity of Blackburn's argument was on full display.
They called out her hypocrisy on the issue as well.
Taylor Swift has yet to respond.