Taylor Swift Endorses Tennessee Democrats

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Taylor Swift Endorses Tennessee Democrats

Taylor Swift is known for keeping quiet when it comes to politics. And she’s certainly gotten a lot of flak for it, too—particularly as more and more celebrities (on both the right and the left) are sharing their political alliances. And it’s understandable, especially considering her country music background (and fan base). Just look at the Dixie Chicks’ fall from grace in the early aughts, when they criticized President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq at a 2003 concert in London.

But we live in different times, and it’s been a long, exhausting two weeks of watching the Kavanaugh hearings. And Taylor Swift has finally made a political statement that has surprised most of us who assumed she would, like during the 2016 election, be sitting this one out.

Tonight, Taylor posted a picture of herself on Instagram with a long and earnest caption about who she is supporting in the 2018 midterm election: Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. But even more surprising is her hardline against Marsha Blackburn, who currently holds a seat in the House of Representatives and is running this year for Senate.

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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! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT

“Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn,” Swift wrote. “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.”

Swift adds that the deadline to register to vote in Tennessee is October 9.

While she doesn’t offer any opinions about races outside of Tennessee—and she doesn’t say anything in particular about the current administration—she does offer particularly left-leaning views when it comes to social justice:

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.

It’s honestly a surprise to see this from Swift, especially given the heat she’ll most likely get from the right. (It’s also worth noting that last night was the last performance on the American leg of her Reputation tour before she heads to Australia.) Will this be a turning point in the midterm election? That’ll be difficult to gauge. But it’s certainly a turning point in Swift’s carefully guarded public persona—and a blow to the right, who certainly benefited from her political silence.

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