Taylor Swift has a reputation––no pun intended––for being notoriously apolitical, much to the chagrin of many fans and commentators over the years who have urged her to use her massive platform to effect positive change. She’s now broken her silence, and it’s to urge people to vote in the midterm elections, which are 28 days away.
“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, adding that she “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,” she continued. “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.”
Swift announced that she would be voting for Democrats in her home state of Tennessee, slamming Republican Marsha Blackburn in the process.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.”
Swift said the congresswoman “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.”
Swift concluded that Blackburn’s record has informed her decision to support Democrat Phil Bredesen for the Senate, and also for Representative Jim Cooper, a Democrat who’s running for re-election. She also reminded her followers that tomorrow, October 9, is the last day to register to vote in the state of Tennessee and encouraged the others to go to vote.org to find more info pertaining to their state.
Bredesen soon thanked Swift for her support.
“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,” he wrote.
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. https://t.co/6Xd6YyaJCG pic.twitter.com/CatUBkXPKe
— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) October 8, 2018
Blackburn has not responded to requests for comment. A recent Fox News Poll found Blackburn was ahead of Bredesen 48 percent-43 percent; this is inside the poll’s margin of error.
Swift has over 112,000,000 followers on Instagram alone, to say nothing of her other social media accounts––her endorsement is huge. She was quickly lauded for the move.
I’ll never forget the day Marsha Blackburn subpoenaed me to Congress to stop me from doing medical research to save the lives of babies with congenital heart and kidney diseases. I’m thankful that Taylor Swift opposes Blackburn and has endorsed Phil Bredesen for the U.S. Senate.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) October 8, 2018
Person: what’s your favorite Taylor Swift song?
— Logan Leavitt (@LoganLeavitt) October 8, 2018
I don’t have much of an opinion on Taylor Swift, but I know that even her very measured statement today will result in countless threats & attacks on her, and that she did it anyway, so even if it’s belated, I respect it. Every voice helps.
— Anil Dash 🥭 (@anildash) October 8, 2018
All jokes aside: What Taylor Swift just did is extremely important. Let's not forget: 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump. Having someone like Swift — who has a MASSIVE fanbase — come out against a Trump darling candidate like Marsha Blackburn is monumental in many ways.
— Ashley Alese Edwards (@AshleyAlese) October 8, 2018
Others spoke to her critics directly:
if your stance on taylor swift is "too little too late," ask yourself: is "mad about someone endorsing pro-LGBTQ candidates" REALLY the hill you want to die on?
— Ali Drucker (@ali_drucker) October 8, 2018