Why Taylor Swift should leave politics alone

Taylor Swift has released the second single from her upcoming album Lover, called ‘You Need To Calm Down’. The catchy track marks a departure from Tay-Tay’s previous image, with the top-selling singer becoming much more openly political than ever before.

The song begins with an unveiled jab at her critics on social media:

You are somebody that I don’t know
But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patrón
And I’m just like, damn, it’s 7 AM
Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out
But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out
And I’m just like, “Hey, are you okay?”

It then follows on with the most politically-charged verse, in defence of her LGBT friends and the group at large:

You are somebody that we don’t know
But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile
Why are you mad?
When you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)
Sunshine on the street at the parade
But you would rather be in the dark age
Just makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night

You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay

“GLAAD” is a reference to the LGBT media monitoring organisation that Taylor reportedly donated a large amount of money to recently.

If there was any doubt about the song’s political focus, it evaporated when the film clip was released a few days ago. Directed and produced by Swift, the clip features cameos from a bunch of celebrity homosexuals like Ellen DeGeneres, Todrick Hall, Adam Lambert and RuPaul. The clip is flush with rainbow flags, dancing drag queens and angry, sign-brandishing homophobic protesters. The song even ends with a message urging support for the Equality Act and a direction to sign a Change.org petition.

It’s deliberately over-the-top and full of painfully clichéd messages, but it’s fascinating to me as the latest (and loudest) example in a line of politically-charged stunts T-Swizzle has pulled recently.

In the lead-up to this song’s release and in honour of so-called ‘pride month’, Taylor wrote an open letter to Republican Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander, calling on his support for the act, which proposes to include ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to the list of protected classes under the Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act. She even fired shots at Trump, criticising his administration for not sufficiently protecting LGBTs.

During the 2016 election, Swifty Instagrammed a then-rare political post, urging her fans to go to the ballots to cast their votes.

Last year, Tay-Tay Instagrammed about the March for our Lives campaign to support gun reform. Later that year she made her political affiliations even clearer by openly endorsing Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen for the senate representing Tennessee.

Apart from the disappointing, if unsurprising, revelation that Taylor Swift’s politics are in line with just about everyone else in Hollywood and the music industry, it is concerning for other reasons, too. Chiefly, that endorsing politics usually doesn’t go well for celebrities.

Until recently, T-Swift has remained famously apolitical. Personally, I thought this was because she had the wisdom to realise that ordinary people don’t like it (or don’t care) when celebrities make political statements.

Apparently I was wrong.

Most people say celebrity endorsements have no impact on them when it comes to voting. One study allegedly found George Clooney’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton three years ago made no impact on voters, while those made by the likes of Beyoncé actually backfired. And despite Taylor’s impassioned support for Phil Bredesen, he lost by a whopping margin to Republican Marsha Blackburn.

Moreover, if a celebrity constantly makes predictable political statements, their impact diminishes.

Awards shows like the Golden Globes, the VMAs and even the Oscars have experienced increasingly low ratings in recent years. Ben Shapiro made the point that politics and culture have become inextricably merged in the last few years, citing the controversial Gillette ad as an example. He says not that long ago, both sides of politics shared the sphere of culture; film and television were the subjects of water cooler conversations, but as culture has become increasingly politicised, even these kinds of chit-chats are now fraught with meaning and tension they didn’t used to have.

I personally think people are sick to death of the inability to escape from politics wherever they go, and that that is contributing to the falling ratings and the disillusionment many are experiencing with Hollywood.

There’s something inexplicably patronising about someone who sings or acts for a living telling their millions of fans how they should vote. It’s off-putting. It’s also a losing battle.

Taylor Swift used to be heavily criticised for her apolitical stance, for her refusal to engage with political correctness, for not being “feministic enough”. But now that she’s left all that behind, now that she’s jumped on the LGBT bandwagon, she’s being vilified for not going far enough on behalf of gay rights, and even for appropriating gay slogans and expressions. Good grief.

You’re never going to win this one, Tay-Tay. Just stick to singing.

16 thoughts on “Why Taylor Swift should leave politics alone

  1. I’ve worked in the film industry, and politics has been talked about constantly, especially after the 2016 election. There’s a huge amount of contempt for anyone outside their sphere of thinking. For example, I actually had colleagues seriously suggest the urban centers — LA, New York, Chicago, etc. — ban together and create their own separate country in order to escape the “stupidity” of the rest of the country. Any news about anything Trump-related is greeted with giddiness if they believe it will lead to impeachment. And they are 100% convinced anyone who sees differently is a bigot. One coworker who knew I’m Christian, asked me, very seriously, “Why do you hate gay people?” I don’t see how this stuff doesn’t come to some sort of a head soon.

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  2. A while back Lifesite News had an article about the gay mafias that are so influential in the news and entertainment industries. The presence of such mafias explains why there is never any critical examination by the mainstream media of the oddities of homosexual cultures.
    I’ve seen enough of the perverse and bizarre behavior of the heavily-gay clergy of the RC Church to know that gay community is, as a whole, not right in the head.

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  3. It will be interesting how Tay’s fan base reacts to this in the long term. I don’t really know much about her, but always had the impression she was initially marketed as some kind of wholesome, all-American, country music-loving girl to an audience which may veer towards the conservative side (as appears to be the case with country music generally). Even if this wasn’t the case, parents would be quite happy to have their teenage daughters listen to the rather innocuous music of an appropriately attired girl who doesn’t really write about anything besides having crushes on boys.

    Also, her new lyrical direction seems to coincide with her increasing chubbiness, to put it delicately. Not a good look.

    As an aside, be careful about Ben Shapiro. I don’t believe he’s an authentic conservative voice, but rather is promoted by the media as a way of controlling the boundaries of acceptable political discourse, and to give conservatives the mistaken impression that their voices are being heard. He says some good things, but he’s not a Christian, supports all sorts of ruinous wars in the Middle-East and also seems to be a bit flaky on the subject of mass immigration into Western nations.

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  4. It would be concerning if this actually did influence people. If it causes her to have less impact, and if it means less people will listen to her music then good. Her music is degenerate in addition to being ugly, and people should stop listening to it anyways.

    The problem though isn’t that celebrities are getting political. If several high profile celebrities came out with a deliberately and explicitly pro-life hit single, all of us would be cheering, and we should. There’s nothing wrong with using the power and influence one has as long as it is used in the interest of goodness and truth. The problem isn’t that celebrities are getting political, it is that they are opposed to goodness and truth; they are murderers and degenerates.

    I’m sick and tired of having conversations about politics where the perception of the view or the prudence in expressing it is treated as more important than the actual content. Discussing politics is enraging now because it has been completely divorced from truth and goodness, and the only arguments that people make anymore are ones of democratic majority.

    All of this is natural to a society which is stupid enough to give the vote to everyone though.

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    1. This is a very good point. I have been cheering a lot recently over the fact that Morrissey (who has many problematic beliefs) has come out swinging in defense of British identity and against mass immigration.

      Without meaning to attack Ms Hitchings on this one, the whole ‘celebrities shouldn’t get involved in politics’ complaint really seems to show how much traditionally-minded Christians are on the back foot. We know we’ve lost the fight, and so now it’s a kind of plea to the forces of chaos to stop attacking us and play nice.

      Hollywood isn’t necessarily collapsing because people are sick of politics, but because it is now pushing ideas that are so repulsive to Logos and so offensive to people’s conscience. Many of these people may not be devout Christians, but as St Paul said in Romans 2:15, the Law of God is written in their hearts. The mask has slipped off to an extent, and people are realizing the entertainment industry has become a propaganda outfit attempting to carry out large-scale social engineering.

      That a democratic majority support an abomination of course counts for nothing.There was also a time when a majority of the Church supported the Arian heresy. But a brave and persistent minority kept fighting against it and eventually prevailed.

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      1. Right. The wider culture has done such a good job of gaslighting us that we don’t even know how to form arguments based on our own principles anymore. The only retorts we have are recourse to what the people want or other liberal principles.

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      1. I’m not a fan of Rock music myself, and I think it had a big part to play in getting us to where we are today, but that is an incredible act of bravery by men who aren’t even Christian, and from many of the comments it sounds like they saved many lives with that song. God Bless them.

        So how about it Bono? Where’s U2’s pro-life album? I won’t hold my breath.

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  5. The devotion to LGBT issues and other social-justice obsessions makes you think that multiculturalism is some sort of a new religion. Paul Gottfried says the same thing in his book Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt. It’s an interesting read. From what I remember of the book, Gottfried says that the multicultural faith evolved largely from liberal Protestantism. Multiculturalists can atone for their sins by voicing support for approved victim groups.

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    1. I haven’t read Gottfried’s book, but will check it out. Drew Fraser makes a similar point in ‘The WASP Question’ in tracking how the religious evolution of the Anglo-Saxon people (from Western Orthodoxy to Catholicism to Protestantism) has resulted in a kind of spiritual deformity. I’m not sure that I fully understand or agree with his reasoning, but there must be a reason to explain why the problems of multiculturalism and radical ‘tolerance’ are particularly acute in the Anglosphere.

      And Social Justice Warriors are, in a sense, the new Puritans.

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      1. Two descendants of the Puritans who come to mind are the Congregationalists (UCC) and the Unitarians. The Unitarians long ago moved beyond Christianity and became a movement for “social action.” The Unitarians are another group whose influence is far greater than its numerical membership.

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  6. Taylor Swift is a great example of the incongruity of beauty and goodness.

    One of the things that always irked me a bit about conservative philosophy is its idea that he beauty somehow points to the good. In Taylor Swift we have found its opposite.

    I particularly find her extremely physically attractive but the thought of her beauty is somewhat besmirched by the thought of her “throwing shade” on Christians. Quite a femme fatale. Beauty without goodness, Eros without Caritas.

    I personally prefer my celebrities making political statements. Taylor cultivated the nice “girl next door” image, but that’s all it was, an image. I prefer the reality to the illusion.

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    1. Beauty does point to goodness and truth, but it’s better to think of it as a principle that holds at the macro level. Societies that try to live in accordance with the will of God become more beautiful and ordered. As a society becomes more godless and full of sin, it seems its music, art and architecture starts to fall apart. The food becomes increasingly unwholesome and you see the people becoming physically less vigorous – flabbier and seeming to lack any spark in their eyes.
      At the individual level, it probably still holds – God doesn’t instantly strike people down for their sins, but persist in sin long enough and it starts to show in your general countenance. Or maybe in your descendants, which is a horrifying thought. Likewise, some people aren’t born with much physically, but embracing Jesus as Logos and attempting to live a holy life seems to give them a kind of warmth and vitality.
      Taylor Swift is probably burning through the accumulated physical/genetic and perhaps even spiritual capital her ancestors gave her. She’s still somewhat attractive, but is getting chubbier and nowhere near as cute as she was years ago. It’s interesting that this degeneration is mirrored in her political activism.

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  7. I wonder if Ms Swift is going political on her own accord, or if she’s really under pressure from the powerbrokers in the music industry. Stars like her may have a lot of publicity but not as much power as would appear. Singers don’t even write their own songs anymore. Someone once wrote an article called ‘Hit Charade’ (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/hit-charade/403192) which exposed all this and more. If I was a bettin’ man I’d say that her famous apolitical stance was both an affront and a challenge to the old stupid white men in the Industry, and that they broke her.

    Old Age and Treachery will Always Overcome Youth and Exuberance.

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    1. I imagine you’re probably correct, although I don’t think it’s old stupid white men we need to worry about, but another ethno-religious group who tend to dominate the entertainment industry and are known to be hostile to Christianity.

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  8. I for one applaud her for this song AND the video – Christianity is about God’s love for everyone. EVERYONE. He who casts the first stone….. that means not judging others. That is God’s job. Not yours. Taylor Swifts message in You need to Calm down is a great message to the younger generation to stop pushing hate and be glad, happy, and love one another instead. Yeah its political but how is that different from half of the other celebrities like Kanye west or Jay Z who both use their songs and political views to push their political views on everyone. More messages about letting go of Hate & Judgement is what we need in this world. Maybe you could follow her example.

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