On October 7, 2018, Taylor Swift, who has been notoriously silent about her political stance, spoke up on Instagram, urging fellow Tennesseans to vote Democrat in the November 2018 midterm election. While Swift has never before endorsed a political candidate - even during the controversial 2016 presidential election - her 2018 post admitted she changed her mind about whether she should voice her political views. She wrote, "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."
Swift urged voters to reject Marsha Blackburn, the Republican running for Senate on the premise of her "appalling" voting record against women's rights. She applauded the Democratic candidates running for both Tennessee House and Senate. "Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state," Swift wrote. "Vote based on who most closely represents your values."
A number of Swift's celebrity pals - including Blake Lively, Katy Perry, and Chrissy Teigen - quickly "liked" the political post, and the rest of the internet erupted in reactions ranging from clever to comical. Tweets copping Swift's own lyrics and other notorious Swift-related trivia both applauded and decried her decision to speak.
News outlets were quick to question whether Swift's statement would alienate her Republican fans, and political pundits wondered if Swift's public influence will hold any tangible sway over the election. Their was almost instantaneous: by Tuesday morning, October 9, just two days after Swift's rallying cry, Vote.org reported it had received an influx of 65,000 newly registered voters between the ages of 18 to 29 in approximately 24 hours, superseding the combined total of every other age group within that time.
Whether or not you agree with Swift's endorsements, the pop star is using her platform to encourage citizens to exercise their rights to vote and speak out. American politics of 2018, look what you made her do.
Taylor 1, Ye 0
Taylor Swift cares more about black people than Kanye West and now I need to lay down because I got a headache just from tweeting that.— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) October 8, 2018
The Times They Are a-Changin'
Someone should probably start a support group for those of us who originally picked the wrong side of the Kanye/Taylor Swift debate.— Kashana (@kashanacauley) October 8, 2018
Taylor Swift just took the mic from Kanye.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) October 8, 2018
The Twilight Zone Continues
If you had told me two years ago Kanye would be running around in a MAGA hat while Taylor Swift was endorsing democratic candidates, I would have smacked you to the ground and stolen your wallet for wasting my time.— KB (@KaraRBrown) October 8, 2018