Pop star Taylor Swift endorsed two Democrats on Sunday who are seeking federal office in her home state of Tennessee, shaking off her long-standing policy of steering clear of politics in her public statements.
In a post to Instagram, Swift told her followers that she intends to vote for Democrat Phil Bredesen, who is running to replace GOP Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who is seeking reelection to his Nashville-based congressional seat.
“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,” Swift wrote in a post to Instagram. “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.”
The pop star has famously eschewed taking political stands in the past, occasionally frustrating fans who pined for her to take a more vocal position, in particular against President Donald Trump. In an editorial published last November, the left-leaning British newspaper The Guardian suggested that Swift’s political silence in the Trump era made her “not simply a product of the age of Trump, but a musical envoy for the president’s values.”
In her Instagram post, Swift identified “the fight for LGBTQ rights” and “systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color” as key issues for her. She wrote that “any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG” and that racism towards “people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
Swift took particular aim at Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the GOP candidate for Senate, writing that “her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.” The pop star lamented that she “would like to continue voting for women in office” but could not do so with Blackburn.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a press release emailed out Monday morning, wrote that “multimillionaire pop star Taylor Swift came down from her ivory tower to tell hardworking Tennesseans to vote for Phil Bredesen.” In its email, the NRSC suggested Bredesen’s office had mishandled sexual misconduct allegations when he was Tennessee governor, adding that “Tennessee voters won’t be nearly as forgiving” of the Democratic candidate as Swift was.
“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,” Swift wrote. “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.”
Later this month, the pop star will kick off the Australian leg of her “Reputation” world tour. She is scheduled to perform in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 6, Election Day.