Please keep in mind that Taylor is a unisex name. If Taylor Swift was a man–actually a man unlike her tone-deaf song–I would be saying the exact same things.
Out Of Touch
You’ve probably heard this argument before from conservatives, but I am a non-conservative saying this. Swift claims that she could not express her political opinions because of contractual obligations; while supporters claim this is some kind of patriarchal overreach into her career.
Let’s face it. You cannot convince working-class independents from these post-industrial towns if you want their vote. They would probably smugly respond with “So you have to work an unfulfilling job where you can’t express yourself? Welcome to the rest of America, sister!”
Playing The Misogyny Card
Look, when you are a public persona commanding millions strong and you make political statements, you are playing a big kid’s game. People are going to get nasty and personal, and if you cave into it or overreact, you let them win. Haters gonna hate, and you just need to learn to shake it off.
Swift is not being excluded because of her gender. There are male celebrities, male politicians, and ordinary men in general who get height-shamed, weight-shamed, age-shamed, looks-shamed, wealth-shamed, and shamed in general on a casual, normalized basis. You don’t hear them playing the victim card. It is not a bug, it comes with the territory.
One Trick Pony
How will the separation of powers continue to be maintained come November 2024? Right to choose!
Will the geopolitical complications be mitigated? Women’s rights!
How can the election impact climate change? Right to choose!
How would the stock market react if we enter into another bull market? Women’s rights!
Will the housing bubble pop once again? Right to choose!
What are the three branches of government? Women’s rights!
It especially does not help make your case when–let’s be real–there are people who don’t even associate with feminism and always equate feminism with man-hatred and thinly veiled female supremacy. You live in one of the most diverse countries in the world. You Swifties don’t just exist in this country, and you cannot just Chip Roy your single issue into every other issue.
It is not just your bodily autonomy that is at stake, rather democracy itself.
What Do I Think About Taylor Swift?
Just like how I think of every other pop star–shallow, solipsistic, and not on my mind on a daily basis. However, I do make an exception to how much progressive media keeps talking about her and her fans’ somehow leverage at the voting ballot.
Once again, I don’t have anything personal against Taylor Swift or her Swifties. My response to her and any other pop star is a very simple “No thank you.”
You don’t just need leverage based on numbers, rather on what you know. If you know very little about American democracy, then you cannot win over independents.
What Can She Do Then?
Swift’s record label always has the opportunity to put a pocket Constitution in her albums and she can always quote the Founding Fathers who created this country. The ancestors of their ideas derived from many sources, such as the Enlightenment philosophers, the British Empiricists, the Magna Carta, the Greeks, the Romans, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Protestant Reformation, the medieval Christian and Jewish intellectuals, the medieval Islamic polymaths, and–while not substantially, rather based on Benjamin Franklin’s own observation–the Iroquois Confederacy. Millennia of intellectual discourse resulted in the rights we all enjoy and benefit from.
(Please stick around because I just got inspired to write a series talking about the influence-genealogy of each Founding Father–especially Thomas Jefferson. They will be available in the Gleamingstripes Tribe series.)
What I am afraid she’ll do is make the solipsistic claim that the Founding Fathers are an irrelevant bunch of dead white men with money and power, and end up alienating everybody in this country. I am especially concerned that the daughter of a stockbroker will have a narrow view of people who take pride in American democracy, viewing all of them as overweight boomers who simultaneously wave the American flag and the Confederate flag.
What Is Americanness Then?
Maajid Nawaz debated the concept of Britishness in Oxford University and made the claim that Britishness is a feeling of belonging even if Britishness cannot be defined. The problem that I find is that Americanness is more clearly defined, for it is rooted in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Those documents are not just the foundations of this country nor does it come as a message in a bottle, rather they exist inside all of us as natural, inalienable rights (inalienable meaning it applies to everyone with no exceptions).
With the Constitution, we know tyrants, bullies, and theocrats when they walk in.
Generations of people fought, suffered, and died to ensure that those rights would be guaranteed to everyone. These rights include the right to not live under a totalitarian government that can kill anyone with impunity, the right to not be discriminated against, the right to not be thrown into the whims of outdated, old-world traditions and dogma.
She and her Swifties need to understand that–yes–the Founding Fathers were flawed human beings who were products of their time, but they helped create the shining city on the hill. They created this country, breaking away from the theocratic, autocratic British crown–one of the most powerful empires in the world mind you. They also helped stop the encroachment of the traitorous, proto-fascist pigmentocracy that is the Confederacy.
She would need to understand that there are people out there who do not treat the Constitution with the same august reverence as they would toilet paper. There are people who do not think that cheap gas and McMansions are more valuable than democracy itself. Unfortunately, the concept of Americanness being watered down has really created a blank space.
If we take the Constitution for granted, we will never ever get our country back together. It will always pose the risk of being dismantled, so we will never be out of the woods. We cannot sit upon our laurels and pretend we are safe and sound. The story of the US is the story of us, and we need our eyes open if we wish to keep democracy intact.