Taylor Swift gets political: What the US pop star did or did not say over the years

Taylor Swift told her 112 million followers on Instagram that she is endorsing two Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections.
Taylor Swift told her 112 million followers on Instagram that she is endorsing two Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections.PHOTO: REUTERS

She has crooned her way to pop music success. Now, Taylor Swift wants her voice in politics heard.

After years of deliberately keeping silent on her political views, the United States singer-songwriter on Monday (Oct 8) told her 112 million followers on Instagram that she is endorsing two Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections.

In her lengthy 400-word post, the Bad Blood singer threw her support behind Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper in her home state of Tennessee, as she unleashed a fierce attack on incumbent Republican Marsha Blackburn.

"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," wrote the 28-year-old, as she urged fans to register to vote.

Social media users were initially surprised by Swift's latest comments, but her post has since drawn mixed reactions.

And it seems that at least one person is no longer Swift's fan. US President Donald Trump on Monday said that he now liked Swift's music 25 per cent less.

In 2012, Mr Trump tweeted that Swift was "fantastic" for taking a picture with him.

 

What has Swift said (or not said) in the past about politics? Here is a look.

2012: 'I don't talk about politics'

In a 2012 interview with Time magazine for her album Red, Swift was asked about her view of the presidential elections, but held back in her reply.

She said: "I follow it, and I try to keep myself as educated and informed as possible. But I don't talk about politics because it might influence other people.

"And I don't think that I know enough yet in life to be telling people who to vote for."

However, she did hint that she would be voting.

"I'm going to be out of the country, so I'll have to get a special form, I think," she said.

2016: Who is Taylor Swift voting for?

In the 2016 presidential elections, Swift noticeably kept mum about her political leanings, even as she posted a photo of herself in line at a voting centre.

The now deleted Instagram post read: "Today is the day. Go out and VOTE."

While Swift's celebrity friends Lena Dunham and Karlie Kloss proclaimed themselves as Hillary Clinton supporters, Swift made no mention of the candidate she was backing.

Some fans who wanted her to take a stand on the presidential elections expressed their disappointment with her seemingly neutral post.

Despite this, she had the most well-liked Instagram post among the stars. She earned 2.1 million likes, with Kourtney Kardashian and Rihanna trailing behind.

One of the top Google searches on election day was "Who is Taylor Swift voting for?"

Jan 2017: Swift calls for girl power

When she won best album at the 2016 Grammys, Swift used her acceptance speech to make a passionate call for young women to be steadfast when others try to take credit for their success.

Some news reports even went as far to call the speech a "huge feminist victory".

Swift said: "As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.

"But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday, when you get where you're going, you will look around and you will know - it was you, and the people who love you, who put you there.

"And that will be the greatest feeling in the world."

Jan 2017: Women's March

Last January, Swift tweeted her support for the Women's March, a global protest on advocating policies on human rights, including those of women.

"So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched. I'm proud to be a woman today, and every day," she wrote.

But critics had a field day when Swift failed to show up, especially after she had already made feminism a huge part of her identity.

Aug 2018: Helping those whose voices should also be heard


Taylor Swift was featured on Time's 2017 Person of the Year cover as a "silence breaker". PHOTO: REUTERS

Swift won her trial against Colorado radio personality David Mueller in August after a jury found that he had assaulted Swift by groping her bare bottom.

The pop star was awarded the symbolic $1 in damages she had sought.

She added that she would make donations to organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.

"My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard," she said as the trial ended.

It was among Swift's most powerful moves in support of women's rights.

Soon after, she was featured on Time's Person of the Year cover as a "silence breaker".

March 2018: Swift speaks out for gun reform

Earlier this year, her attention briefly turned to a controversial political issue, when she lent her support for the March For Our Lives gun control movement on Instagram.

The movement was sparked by the Feb 14 Florida high-school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Swift wrote: "No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theatre. Or to their place of worship."

"I've made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform."

SOURCES: Guardian, Time, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly