Taylor Swift broke her political silence with an Instagram post on Sunday night that urged her 112 million Instagram followers to visit vote.org to register to vote. Expressing a thirst for social justice, Swift said that despite her penchant in the past to vote for women, she could not support Marsha Blackburn‘s Tennessee senate run. Swift listed a litany of Blackburn’s beliefs and congressional votes that met the singer’s disapproval — not least a vote against equal pay for women. (Swift also laments what Swift describes as Blackburn’s belief that “businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples.”)
[Taylor Swift’s senate choice Phil Bredesen alienated many Democrats when he said he would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court if he had been in the Senate.]
But in a choice that illustrates just how difficult and complex electoral politics can be. In going against Blackburn, Swift backs Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen (two-term Tennessee governor) for the Senate. Bredesen recently broke with the majority of his party by saying he would vote to confirm controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite Kavanaugh’s repeated equivocations under oath and his partisan rant during his confirmation hearing. Bredesen is 74 years old. Swift is 28.
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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! 🗳😃🌈