On October 7, Taylor Swift posted on social media about her stance on the midterm elections, which will take place on November 6. This is the first time that Taylor has ever taken a definite stance on where her political beliefs lie. In her post, Taylor stated:
"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!"
Taylor Swift actually had such a big impact on those that saw her message that she caused a spike in voter registration. Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for Vote.org reported that they were up to 65,000 registrations in a 24-hour period since Taylor's post.
Almost immediately, Taylor received backlash from members of the Republican Party. Donald Trump said, "Let's just say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now." He continued, stating, "Well, Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. I'm sure Taylor Swift doesn't know anything about her."
Mike Huckabee tweeted, "So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won't impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote."
So often when celebrities voice their political opinions, they are told that they are elite, that they don't understand how the real world works, that they are too out of touch. However, this seems to apply only to celebrities who are liberal. When Kanye West voiced his support of Donald Trump, he was applauded by the Republican Party for being a "free thinker". That's hypocrisy at its finest.
Many people claim that when a celebrity voices their political beliefs, they are risking their careers as citizens who disagree with them will stop seeing their movies, buying their albums, or reading their books. This is a threat to keep celebrities quiet.
Personally, I love when celebrities use their platform to voice their political opinions. It's their right as American citizens. Even when I don't agree with something a celebrity says, like what Kanye has said in support of Trump, I would never say that he shouldn't be allowed to speak about his political opinions. If someone has a platform, why shouldn't they be able to use it?
A note to the Republican Party: you voted a for the former reality star to become President of the United States. Don't tell me that celebrities shouldn't speak about politics. You're fine with it when it suits you.