As with virtually everything she’s done in the past couple of years, Taylor Swift’s forceful statement Sunday in support of Tennessee Democrats in the forthcoming midterm elections drew a mixed response on social media and news commentaries. The move was a bold one for the singer, who has kept well clear of taking sides in politics in the past, although she has strongly urged fans to vote.
“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,” she wrote. “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.” She voiced her support for two Democratic candidates, ““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.”
The move took on an added sting as Blackburn has been a strong supporter on Capitol Hill of creators’ (including songwriters’) rights.
Bredesen was quick to thank the singer for her support, although at press time Cooper had not responded on social media.
“Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13. I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done,” he wrote. “We’re ready for it. Last day to register to vote is October 9.”
She also drew support from prominent left-learning celebrities such as Alyssa Milano.
Support from other celebrities was relatively muted — although People noted that Katy Perry “liked” Swift’s Instagram post (along with Blake Lively, Chrissy Teigen, Karlie Kloss, Emily Ratajkowski, Anna Faris, Kevin McHale and others) — reaction from many fans and others was positive.
Others took on a “what took her so long?” stance, and, unsurprisingly, the right-leaning media went in. Among countless “stay out of politics” stances was that of Fox News, which criticized a celebrity with no prior political background getting involved in the midterm elections before it went back to praising a celebrity president with no prior political background.
Equally unsurprising was a condescending tweet from former Arkansas Governor and amateur bassist Mike Huckabee: “So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won’t impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote. Still with #MarshaBlackburn.”
This drew a response from native Tennesseean Hayley Williams of Paramore, although she seemed to be commenting more on the age and dedication of her band’s fanbase than Swift’s political stance.