Taylor Swift Has Made Her First-Ever Political Endorsements

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Taylor Swift Has Made Her First-Ever Political Endorsements

Taylor Swift  made the biggest political statement of her career thus far over the weekend, endorsing Phil Bredesen, the Democratic candidate for Senate in her home 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,” she wrote in an Instagram post Sunday night, almost certainly in response to criticisms about her silence during the 2016 presidential election.

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!

A post shared by Taylor Swift; (@taylorswift) on

Friends and foes alike have weighed in on politics well before Swift’s endorsement in the 2018 midterms. Kanye West, who said he would have gone for Trump if he had voted in 2016, very publicly doubled down on his support of President Trump earlier this year on Twitter. Meanwhile, Katy Perry followed Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2016, and even Karlie Kloss, the now-fiancée of Jared Kushner’s brother Josh, captioned an Instagram post with #ImWithHer the day before the 2016 election.

Last year, Swift triumphed in a high-profile sexual assault case against a Colorado DJ whom she accused of groping her, but that victory was also marred by questions about why she hadn’t spoken out about the multiple allegations of sexual assault made against then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election. Swift capped off 2017 by appearing on Time’s Person of the Year cover as one of “The Silence Breakers” who had launched the ongoing conversation on sexual misconduct across industries, but her political silence once again became a point of controversy.

Earlier this year, Swift also made a rare political statement in support of gun control and the March For Our Lives movement, but this new post marks the first time she has ever endorsed a political candidate in her decade-long career.

“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,” Swift wrote of Blackburn, the Republican Congresswoman now running for Senate in Tennessee. “These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.”

Swift closes off her post with a reminder that Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote in Tennessee, and links to Vote.org, where you’ll find voter registration deadlines for all the state elections coming up in the forthcoming midterms.

A major part of Swift’s appeal as a pop star has been her intimate—if sometimes too insular—relationship with her fans, and so it makes sense that, unlike her superstar counterparts, she would make her first political endorsement in a state election, rather than a national one.

Bredesen took to Twitter to thank Swift for her support:

It’s worth noting, however, that Bredesen was one of the few Democrats to come out in support of confirming accused sexual assaulter Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying that the allegations “didn’t rise to the level” of disqualifying him for the seat. Swift never explicitly addresses Bredesen’s comments on Kavanaugh in her post, although she does leave fans with a note of advice.

“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,”

This might be a fairly risk-averse statement coming at a critical moment in American politics, but it’s good to know that there’s still a real, engaged person behind all the petty superstar squabbles.

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