It’s no surprise that pop-stars and other prominent figures love to voice their opinion’s on politics – they have huge fan bases, and their political controversy attracts a great deal of attention to themselves. And after all, they do have the fundamental right to make their beliefs public. So, why not?
At face value, it seems fail-proof to open up politically to fans and followers. Public figures often aim to make a difference, and what better way to do so?! Politics are the heart and sole of the foundation of the United States.
But here’s the problem; What happens when a public figure publicizes their stance and not everyone agrees with them?
It turns out Taylor Swift might know the answer.
After a long, long, long period of political silence, Taylor Swift made the bold decision of posting this, on Instagram, where she has over 112 million followers…
View this post on Instagram
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! 🗳😃🌈
The post garnered a little more than 2 million likes since it was posted just four days ago on October 8, 2018. But the backlash she received when she made the post was commensurate.
Swift was popular for maintaining privacy with her political opinions, being one of a small handful of celebrities left to do so. Millions of fans claimed she should “just stick to music,” while others went so far as to say she “just ruined her career.” Notable political analyst and millennial Charlie Kirk felt that Swift didn’t write the post herself, and “probably got some very bad information.”
“This is what I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics — she was all about music all about, you know, female empowerment,” he added.
President Trump chimed in after hearing about the post, stating he likes her music “about 25% less now.”
However, some reports say that Swift’s post “spurred voter registration.” And maybe that’s what she was aiming for.
In the end, it seems that celebrities take a risk when they get political. But they have to decide themselves whether potential benefits outweigh the risk, and if so, is it worth it?