Taylor Swift mania hit an (unofficial) all-time high last week, as she further parlayed her unlikely transition from superstar musician to NFL ratings engine to…political wedge issue?
Swift’s considerable influence over her fans — a formidable multigenerational force that Republicans fear doesn’t Venn Diagram too well with Donald Trump‘s base — had MAGA adherents crying foul against the Grammy dominator.
Fox News reported — without discernible skepticism — on the conspiracy theory that Swift is a “deep state” plant that Democrats are using to help Joe Biden win the next election. (Augmenting the suspicion is the fact that Swift’s boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, does ads for COVID vaccines — which is basically the opposite of shouting “Let’s Go Brandon!”)
But what did Swift actually do to earn the GOP’s angst and the enmity? What triggered the compulsion to talk obsessively about Swift on news outlets otherwise devoted to the machinations of the House of Representatives or the ethics of the Supreme Court?
After all, Swift has been a star for more than a decade and no one had previously accused her of such grand political machinations, despite her endorsement of Biden in 2020.
In the video below, California Governor Gavin Newsom describes, in a mocking voice, Swift’s “sin” against the outraged Republicans. Spoiler Alert: She wants people to vote. (If Newsom is right, the MAGA contempt for former First Lady Michelle Obama is easier to explain — she also works with an organization that tries to get out the vote.)
Newsom: How sad and pathetic the Republican party have become that Taylor Swift, literally, is a threat to them for one reason: She wants folks to turn out and vote pic.twitter.com/iU8DLhgLg8— Acyn (@Acyn) February 4, 2024
Given that Swift’s audience consists largely of women, many of them presumably with nothing against the LGBTQ community, the spell Swift casts spells danger for the GOP, as MAGA interprets it.
Newsom says: “What is her sin? What is her sin? She wants more people to vote. She wants to help people register to vote and remind them of the importance of expressing their democratic rights and responsibilities. Wow.”
Newsom asserts the Swift resistance “tells you everything you need to know about the Republican Party. They don’t want people to vote. They want to make it harder because they can’t win if you vote.”