Why I’m Stoked About Taylor Swift’s Political Announcement [Opinion]

The pop and country star came out in support of Democratic candidates that support LGBT rights, oppose gender and racial discrimination.

Taylor Swift performs on stage and holds her left hand up.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The pop and country star came out in support of Democratic candidates that support LGBT rights, oppose gender and racial discrimination.

I’m probably the last person you’d consider to be a “Swiftie” — I’m a 34-year-old guy who grew up on grunge music and punk rock, with a lot of other influences from my parents thrown in. But when Taylor Swift emerged on the music scene years ago, I was hooked from the get-go.

Her country music roots and song style reminded me of the “outlaw country” style brand of music that I listened to with my folks. The lyrics were vivid, creating a story in your head you could almost see. And the “feel” of her singing felt genuine — you could believe her struggles with trying to stand out against the captain of the cheer team while sitting on the bleachers.

As she progressed to pop music, I stuck with Swift’s music, primarily because I now had a child of my own who was listening to the genre. Although she shifted away from the country genre, her music was still catchy, and I remained a fan, though not necessarily admitting as much in social settings.

Through it all, Swift has kept her politics close to the vest. That’s somewhat admirable: rather than distancing herself from a large segment of her fan base, Swift decided to be more inclusive, choosing not to alienate some at the expense of placating others.

That being said, Swift’s decision to announce her support for Democratic candidates running for Congress in her home state of Tennessee has me thrilled.

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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! ????????????

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Though I tend to vote more left-of-center as well, my support for Swift’s choice to express her preferences isn’t based on partisan reasoning per se. Rather, I’m happy to read the Instagram note from Swift because she explains why it’s so important for her to speak up now, and to not remain silent any longer.

Swift explains that she has been reluctant to speak out about politics in the past, 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 captioned her Instagram post. Her support of LGBTQ rights, her recognition of the struggles that people of color face in this nation, and her observances of gender discrimination, led her to speak out against Republican Party candidates she feels would not work to protect or improve the lives of others.

“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 wrote, specifically singling out GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee Marsha Blackburn as someone she would be voting against. Swift endorsed her Democratic opponent, former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen, instead.

Not everyone has been as welcoming of Swift’s decision to speak out, as Inquisitr has previously reported, but I for one am ecstatic that Swift has decided to share her views to her mass audience. My happiness at her decision to do so is because it’s not about partisanship for Swift: it’s about promoting common decency for all within our society, recognizing that injustices do exist in this nation that needs to be rectified.

That’s a position I believe we should all get behind. And it’s why I’m proud to say that I’m a huge fan of Swift.