Taylor Swift sent fans and critics into a frenzy on Sunday night when she went to Instagram to download a passionate statement about the upcoming midterm elections. In the post, Swift offered support to the Tennessee Democratic candidates, Phil Bredesen, for the Senate and Jim Cooper, for the House of Representatives, adding that the voting record of Republican Marsha "scares and terrifies her."
Social networks were quickly divided into two sides by evaluating the unexpected jump from the mega star to the political struggle: #betterlatethannever and #toolittletoolate. I am neither.
Both fields imply that celebrities owe us an explanation of their policy. And while it's certainly inspiring when the stars use their massive platform to support a cause, it's not a job requirement. In fact, this idea that pop stars should talk about politics is still relatively new.
The candidacies of President George W. Bush and his subsequent re-election were publicly challenged by the mega-stars of the era such as Christina Aguilera, Usher and Jessica Simpson, and were not put on by their silence during the Iraq War. When the stars spoke, he found the controversy. See: The Dixie Chicks. After criticizing Bush in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, his songs were extracted from the national radio, with a station in Kansas City, Missouri, even organizing a party in which critics were encouraged to send the CDs and the concert tickets of the group to the garbage dumps.
Kanye West also, whose current policy has inspired his own excess of pieces of thought, found himself in the middle of a media circus after proclaiming that "George Bush does not care about blacks" during a television broadcast of relief from Hurricane Katrina.
On the opposite side, Britney Spears was infuriated by making a rather mild, if positive, statement about Bush: "Honestly, I think we should trust our president with every decision he makes," the then-22-year-old said in a clip. on CNN that was presented later on Michael Moore Fahrenheit 9/11. The conspiracy theorists came to question whether the star was on the government's payroll.
In less than two decades, attitudes have changed completely and pop stars are expected to take a stand. Everyone, from Adele to JAY-Z and Madonna, joined behind Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, and stars who rarely open up about politics, such as Rihanna, Selena Gomez and Drake, have criticized Donald Trump for some form since he took office. This made Taylor, who remained silent with her politics, an easy target, several condemned her silence and some came to accuse her of being a Trump supporter or, without merit, of a white supremacy.
While critics will still complain that he is late for the game, this particular backing could not be more flawless. The chorus of celebrities who spoke about Trump was not enough to prevent him from taking the presidency; the combined power of Beyonce, Marc Anthony, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg and Demi Lovato did not tip the balance for Clinton. Taylor is undoubtedly influential, but his voice would surely have mixed with the rest.
Instead, he kept his superpower headlines for a less bustling occasion (but still important!), Forcing every major media outlet to cover the next Tennessee mid-term race, and inspiring a huge wave of registration votes. voters (more than 65,000 people registered to vote in the 24-hour period after Swift's publication in accordance with Vote.org.) It was also the second busiest day of the year on the site, after National Voter Registration Day on September 25th.
The publication of Swift is also remarkable in its thoroughness. Instead of copying and pasting a hashtag to appease the awakened trolls, Taylor exposed her beliefs in a detailed, well-researched, and clearly detailed message that was impossible to misinterpret. "I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is INCORRECT," Swift said in the Instagram post. "I think the systemic racism that we still see in this country towards people of color is frightening, disgusting and prevalent. "I can not vote for someone who is not willing to fight for the dignity of ALL Americans, regardless of the color of their skin, sex or who they love."
He also encouraged fans to do their own homework by selecting a candidate that best fits their values and regretted that "we may never find a candidate or party with whom we 100% agree on each issue, but we have to vote anyway. " The latter is especially important, since liberal-minded people learned two years ago.
According to an NBC News / GenForward poll from the end of August, only 55 percent of millennials say they will probably or definitely vote in November. A quarter says they are not sure if they will go to the polls or not, and 19 percent say they probably or definitely will not vote. These low numbers are especially discouraging, given that 59 percent of millennials would prefer that Democrats take control of Congress mid-term, and only 16 percent approve how Congress is managing their work.
In essence, young voters want changes but are not inspired to go to the polls. Will Taylor be the breath they needed? "To the extent that celebrities can make a difference, she's the one who can," said Anthony Nownes, a professor of political science at the University of Tennessee. Billboard.
Taking into account Vote.org's data (of the 5,183 new records in Tennessee so far this month, at least 2,144 arrived within 36 hours of Swift's publication), it appears that Taylor's foray into the world of the policy was timely.