Taylor Swift’s days of keeping silent on political issues seem to be over, and her opinions could have a big impact on the U.S. Senate race in her adopted home state of Tennessee.
In a lengthy Instagram message posted Oct. 7, Swift spoke out against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. The pop superstar writes that Blackburn’s voting record as a House Representative for Tennessee “appalls and terrifies me” before going on to list some of those specific votes.
“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,” Swift wrote.
Swift also explained that candidates’ views on human rights protection for everyone is a big factor for her at the polls, saying, “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.”
The singer made a point of saying she has always and will continue to support women running for public office, but she can’t support Blackburn’s bid for Senate. Instead, Taylor endorsed Blackburn’s Democratic opponent, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, who ruffled some political feathers this past week by announcing he would vote “Yes” to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual assault against the justice.
Swift seemed to address any backlash aimed at Bredesen after his statement. “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.”
She also threw her support behind Democratic Tennessee incumbent to the U.S. House of Representative’s candidate Jim Cooper.
She ended her message by urging many of her young fans to register to vote, especially if this is the first election to come around since they’ve reached the legal voting age.
“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,” she posted.
Knowing followers would be surprised by her sudden political statement, she included a preface to the post. “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 said, in what was seemingly a nod to her recent sexual assault case against radio DJ David Mueller. You can read the post in full below.