Saturday, February 3, 2024

Why MAGA Republicans are so afraid of Taylor Swift

Why are ultra right-wing Republicans and Trump supporters so afraid of the woman pictured above?  Taylor Swift holds no political office and at 34, she is too young to qualify as a candidate for President of the United States,  Nevertheless, Taylor wields an enormous amount of influence around the world.  She may even be the greatest online influencer on the planet.  Her Instagram follower count is currently at 279.5 million followers.

Taylor Swift is on a roll.  She was the Time 2023 Person of the Year.  Her name has appeared on lists such as Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time and Billboard's Greatest of All Time Artists.  She is the highest-grossing female touring performer and the most streamed woman on Spotify and Apple Music.        

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Movie has been a smash box office hit.  It has broken a handful of records pertaining to ticket sales.  It has become the highest-grossing concert movie of all time, surpassing Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.  In addition to being one of the world's best-selling musicians, Taylor is a philanthropist and an advocate for the empowerment of women.

In 2018, Taylor took to Instagram to support Phil Bredesen, the Democratic candidate for Senate in her home state of Tennessee.  This was the first that she expressed her political leanings publicly.  Then, a month before the 2020 presidential election. she formally endorsed Joe Biden in an edition of V magazine.  Taylor has also encouraged her supporter to become active in the political system, prompting over 35,000 of her Instagram follows to register to vote in September of 2023.  So what?  Isn't that a good thing?  Isn't it healthy for a democracy?  Isn't that Taylor's right as an American citizen to use her digital  platform to express her opinions, as long as she is respectful?

MAGA Republicans feel threatened by an increase in voters.  Instead of encouraging Americans to participate in the political process, MAGA Republicans want to limit voters, especially Democratic voters.  Instead of making their party more attractive to more people, especially Blacks and women, they choose to close it off.  They choose to be anti-democratic.   

Taylor Swift has a perfect right to express her political views.  It's called freedom of speech and it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  Unlike Donald Trump and his far-right supporters, Taylor has never been hate-filled and racist.

You can be sure, however, that if Taylor had endorsed Trump, those same MAGA Republicans would have praised her to the high heavens.  There would have been no talk of conspiracy theories.  However, she has expressed support for Democrats.  Horror of horrors!  She is evil.  She is a communist.  She must be stopped from corrupting her young fans.  

Taylor's boyfriend, Travis Kelce, a tight end for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, has promoted both COVID-19 and influenza vaccines in commercials.  Oh boy!  He must also be a leftist radical.  He and Taylor must hate America. 

Unfortunately conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift abound among far-right believers.  There have been unfounded theories that the pop singer is a Pentagon psychological operative. Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy described Taylor and Kelce as "an artificially, culturally propped-up couple."  Donald Trump's spokesperson, Karoline Levitt, called Democrats' alleged efforts to win Swift's endorsement as a "Hail Mary pass to drag Biden over the finish line."

Obviously, Republicans are concerned about whom Taylor will endorse in the 2024 presidential election.  She's a powerful and influential woman.  Unlike Trump, however, she does not bully people.  She does not behave like a mob boss.

Thank goodness that there is some sanity within the Republican party.  Nikki Haley, who is campaigning against Trump for her party's presidential nomination, has criticized Republican attacks on Taylor Swift.  When asked to weigh in on the pop star by Jake Tapper on CNN'S The Lead, Haley replied, "I'm not going to lie.  I don't know what the obsession is.  Taylor Swift is allowed to have a boyfriend,  I've taken my daughter to Taylor Swift concerts before.  You know, to have a conspiracy theory of all of this, is bizarre.  Nobody knows who she's going to endorse but I can't believe that that's overtaken our national politics."  

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina clearly believes that the United States has more pressing issues than than cooking up conspiracy theories about the candidate Taylor Swift will support in the 2024 presidential campaign.  To be fair, other sensible Republicans have also denounced the Taylor Swift conspiracy theories, including Megan McCain, daughter of the late Senator John McCain.  McCain, called out members of her own party in an X (formerly Twitter) post.  She wrote, "Whatever nutjob "republicans: are floating ugly and insane conspiracy theories about Taylor Swift are total idiots."

MAGA Republicans don't have the same point of view as Haley and McCain.  They have a very different perspective on the 2024 Super Bowl between the Kansas Chief and the San Francisco 49ers    on Sunday, February 11th in Las Vegas.  Travis Kelce plays for Kansa City, so there must be some conspiracy.  The NFL must be part of the conspiracy.  The league must have somehow arranged for the Kansas City Chiefs to be in the Super Bowl so that Taylor and Travis could promote their liberal views.  Don't you know that the Sup[er Bowl has been fixed?  That kind of thinking is absurd.  It is utterly ridiculous!  It would be laughable if it were not so sad that so many Americans take such claptrap seriously.

- Joanne