By Lizzy Stocks
After years of deafening silence, Taylor Swift took to Instagram on Oct. 7 to acknowledge her reluctance to engage in politics in a sincere political statement.
Swift said she wrote her post due to the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6: “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.”
She went on to write, “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.” She then detailed why she will not vote for Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate running for Senator in Tennessee.
Swift may have expressed her disapproval of Blackburn’s values as they do not align with her own, but she genuinely encouraged fans to vote for candidates who “most closely represent” their beliefs, rather than urging fans to vote in her favor.
Included at the end of the post was a link to Vote.org, a non-profit organization seeking to increase voter turnout by providing access to online voter registrations and offering services for registered voters to check their registration status, find their polling location, and even receive election reminders.
Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for Vote.org said, “We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post.”
Just days after Swift’s political debut, the organization had registered 364,000 new voters.
The nonprofit credited Swift for the “momentous amount of traffic” to their site, and announced in an email that because of her, they had beaten their goal to register half a million new voters, and had reached one million new voter registrations for 2018 by Oct. 15.
Many believe Swift’s political statement and encouragement of fans to vote in elections is long overdue, but I believe it’s never too late for one to acknowledge their shortcomings and take advantage of their privilege and right to vote.
Her statement comes during an integral time in our nation, as midterm elections are swiftly
approaching, and the results will heavily impact the next two years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Not only do I applaud Swift for finally recognizing her privilege, I admire her choice to use her platform as a world-renowned popstar to advocate for human rights.
The complaint from many is that artists should keep out of politics and stick to what they know best – entertainment – as if prominent TV personalities have never been elected into the Oval Office before.
Artists, actors, and athletes alike are going to have political opinions whether fans like it or not.
Though I’m impressed by the massive increase in voter registrations, it should take the detriment of the nation to inspire the youth of America to vote, not an Instagram post by a contemporary popstar.