Taylor Swift has revealed she is ready to do “everything” she can for the 2020 presidential election.
It’s not an understatement to say Taylor Swift’s political voice – or lack of – has been placed under scrutiny for the last couple of years.
She’s historically been accused of staying quiet when it comes to political issues: she was placed under intense scrutiny for not endorsing a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and has been called out by celebrities including Demi Lovato and Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario for her “false feminism”.
But it’s clear Swift is ready to make a change. At the end of 2018, Swift publicly appealed to her fans to vote in the midterm elections, and used the music video for her single You Need to Calm Down to make a public appeal for LGBTQ+ rights and to ask fans to sign her petition for the Equality Act.
And now, in an interview for The Guardian, Swift has explained - but not tried to excuse – her previous silence on political issues, and outlined her plans for the future.
According to Swift, it was her assault trial (in which she famously sued DJ David Mueller for a symbolic $1 for putting his hand up her dress) and watching the rights of her LGBTQ+ friends be eroded, that finally made her wake up to the issues at hand.
“The things that happen to you in your life are what develop your political opinions,” she said. “I was living in this Obama eight-year paradise of, ‘you go, you cast your vote, the person you vote for wins, everyone’s happy!’
“This whole thing, the last three, four years, it completely blindsided a lot of us, me included.”
Now, Swift is ready to take action – and she’s using her incredibly influential voice to take on the issues which matter to her.
Her seventh studio album, Lover, was released on Friday – and she’s already been praised for feminist take-down track ‘The Man’, which sees Swift call out the difference between the ways we treat successful men and women. Another track on the album, ‘Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince’, echoes of Swift’s disillusion at the current state of America – and it’s that feeling which has driven her to speak up.
“The thing I can’t get over right now is gaslighting the American public into being like ‘If you hate the president, you hate America’,” she explained. “We’re a democracy – at least, we’re supposed to be – where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate.”
And Swift is certainly ready to disagree. Despite facing unprecedented levels of backlash, hate and criticism over the last few years, Swift has gained an incredible amount of self-awareness, both about her privilege and need to speak-up.
“I mean, obviously, I’m pro-choice, and I just can’t believe [the current assault on reproductive rights] is happening,” she explains. “I can’t believe we’re here. It’s really shocking and awful. And I just wanna do everything I can for 2020. I wanna figure out exactly how I can help, what are the most effective ways to help.”
With the 2020 election around the corner, Swift’s new direction is perfect timing – and we can’t wait to see how she uses her voice to make change.