Is Taylor Swift Too Big to Fail?
Taylor Swift probably realized that leaving a blank space for her political beliefs wasn’t doing much for her reputation (we're not sorry).
Accompanied by a black-and-white polaroid of the singer, Swift took to Instagram this week to endorse a pair of Tennessee Democratic candidates, Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. She also urged her 112 million followers to register to vote in order to participate in the midterm elections.
That post has been liked more than 1.8 million times. It also already translated into some concrete action.
Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for Vote.org, told Buzzfeed that there was an surge in registrations, 65,000 alone in the 24 hours after Swift’s post. As a basis of comparison, Guthrie shared that 190,178 voters registered on the site in September and 56,669 in August.
While Guthrie caveated that there was a slight increase in registrations since deadlines in many states, including Tennessee, are rapidly approaching, she credited Swift in part for the spike.
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The last time Swift weighed in on fulfilling her civic duty, it was Election Day 2016 and she hadn’t endorsed a presidential candidate. She posted a photo of her in line at the polls, wearing an off-the-shoulder sweater -- which some thought might be a tenuous nod at best to Hillary Clinton’s 1993 inauguration dress -- and the caption “Today is the day. Go out and VOTE.”
Swift was more expansive this time around. In the lengthy post, she shared her beliefs, and in particular, her reasons for supporting Bredesen in his campaign against his Republican opponent, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, much as Swift said she would like to back female candidates for higher office.
“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. “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.”
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!