Pop megastar Taylor Swift revealed in a recent interview that she has no plans to give up her political activism mere months after her failed effort to help elect former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) to the U.S. Senate.
“I definitely think there are political undertones in the new music I made,” Taylor Swift told the German publication RTL. “I’m not planning to stop encouraging young people to vote and to try to get them to talk about what’s going on in our country. I think that’s one of the most important things I could do.”
In October 2018, Swift shocked the entertainment world by breaking her long-held silence on politics with an endorsement of Bredesen for U.S. Senate and Democrat Jim Cooper for U.S. House of Representatives, citing their record on LGBT issues.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” Shake It Off singer wrote. “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.”
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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!
While Blackburn prevailed over Bredesen, Swift’s social media posts lead to an increase in voter registration across the country, BuzzFeed reported at the time. “We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post,” Vote.org communications director Kamari Guthrie said.
Swift’s political activist didn’t stop after her midterm election plea.
In April, the Tennessee Equality Project, a non-profit which advocates for the equal rights of LGBTQ people in the Volunteer State, announced Swift donated $113,000 to the group.