The day before voter registration closes in the state of Tennessee, beloved pop star Taylor Swift broke her silence and publicly voiced her political opinion, practically imploring her young fans to get out and vote.
48 hours later, over 240 000 people had registered to vote. Approximately 102 000 of these people were between the ages of 18 and 29.
There’s no denying that this dramatic increase in voter numbers is a good thing. Everyone is aware that voter numbers have been dropping in recent years; however, the issues with Swift’s interference are apparent. Politicians don’t work as professional singers in their spare time, so why does Swift think that she has any right to meddle in politics?
It has often been discussed that celebrities should use their popularity in order to do good things; however, no one seems to have considered the fact that people are so enamored with these stars that they would do anything to please them. By naming politicians that she will be voting for, Swift has effectively guaranteed that those two politicians will be voted in. Even though it may not have been Swift’s original intention, by openly and explicitly expressing her own opinions, she has effectively influenced the opinions of thousands of her young fans. And yes, Swift does encourage young people to educate themselves on the candidates running in their state but how many of those young people will actually go out of their way to do their own research when Swift has already told them who to vote for. Not many.
No one person should be allowed to sway the political opinions of such a vast group of people, especially not a pop star like Swift. With no true experience in politics, why should her opinion matter more than that of anyone else’s. Oh, I know! It’s because she can sing. Silly me. Everyone knows that because someone is talented and famous, what they think is automatically more important than what anyone else thinks.
Let us be totally clear on something: this is not a gender thing. No pop star, regardless of gender, has any right to meddle in things that are outside of their professional abilities – including politics.
And why now? Why, after such a long period of political silence, should Swift speak up now? Why wait so long to pull this obvious publicity stunt? Now, some may claim that this is an obvious result of her sexual assault trial in 2017 and combined with the Kavanaugh hearing unfolding, her opinions have changed and she feels the need to express her opinions to her fans, but why wait so long? The timing just doesn’t add up.
If there was ever a reason for us to criticize Swift, this would be it.