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Taylor Swift Breaks Political Silence, Endorses Tennessee Democrats

Taylor Swift at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Taylor Swift deviated from her famous political neutrality Sunday, announcing her endorsement of two Democrats running in her home state of Tennessee.

The pop star said in a lengthy Instagram post that she plans to vote for Democrat Phil Bredesen, who hopes to win the seat being vacated by Republican senator Bob Corker, and Representative Jim Cooper, who is seeking reelection.

“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 wrote in the post. “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.”

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. 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. 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. 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. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. 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. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. 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. 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. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

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Elsewhere in the post, Swift decried the country’s “systemic racism,” calling it “terrifying, sickening and prevalent,” said she supports LGBTQ rights, and singled out Blackburn for criticism, saying her voting record “appalls and terrifies me.”

“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,” Swift wrote. “These are not MY Tennessee values.”

In recent years, Swift has come under increasing pressure from the media and some fans to use her stardom to influence politics. The Guardian called Swift out last year for her silence, saying she was “not simply a product of the age of Trump, but a musical envoy for the president’s values.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee responded swiftly to Swift’s post Sunday with a press release suggesting the singer has lost touch with everyday Tennesseans.

“Multimillionaire pop star Taylor Swift came down from her ivory tower to tell hardworking Tennesseans to vote for Phil Bredesen,” the NRSC wrote, before ticking off a list of arguments against Bredesen.

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