I have long admired Taylor Swift. Beginning as a teenager, she has been a positive influence on a generation of fans, mostly young girls. My three daughters have all been major fans, and I enjoy her music. Or I did, anyway, until she abandoned her country roots for the more boring world of pop. All together, I would guess my daughters have seen Swift in concert at least ten times. Which means that we are relatively significant contributors to her vast financial empire.
One thing I have long admired about Swift is her steadfast refusal to be political. In recent years, she has taken quite a bit of heat for her failure to denounce President Trump. (Why should she denounce Trump? No particular reason, but they pretty much all do.) Unfortunately, her holdout ended yesterday. On Instagram, she weighed in on Tennessee’s Senate election. On the side of the Democrat, of course:
Taylor Swift is a brilliant songwriter and businesswoman, but, like most celebrities, she is utterly ignorant when it comes to politics and public policy. Her Instagram post merely parroted Democratic Party talking points. Tyler O’Neil unravels her distortions of Marsha Blackburn’s record in a post titled “Three Lies Taylor Swift Told About Marsha Blackburn.” Naturally, Swift’s tirade focused on LGBTQAPZV “rights,” “systemic racism,” and, of course, “women.” (Not Marsha Blackburn, but, you know, “women.”) What we might call 21st century celebrity issues. Nothing on putting millions of people back to work, reducing barriers to economic growth, asserting American interests in foreign policy, and so on. For reasons that are obscure to me, celebrities don’t care about what used to be the core political issues. Probably because they are rich and don’t have to worry about things like unemployment and wage growth.
I am no longer a Taylor Swift fan, and I doubt that any of my daughters will be interested in attending her concerts from now on. It is interesting that Swift has been on a long international tour in support of her most recent album. She played the last concert of that tour within the last day or two. Maybe it is coincidence that she went political when it could no longer affect ticket sales. I am sure that most of her fans are Republicans.
Sadly, other musicians have applauded Swift’s dumb liberalism. Maren Morris, a Texas native whose music I have enjoyed very much, enthusiastically applauded Swift’s descent into politics. Too bad. One more artist I will have to cross off my list. But Morris, too, is crossing over and leaving country music behind. Coincidence? I report, you decide.