Taylor Swift learned early on what politics can do to stars. She was 13 when a singer from the Texas country band Dixie Chicks stood on a stage in London and criticized George W. Bush. “We don’t want this war, this violence,” said Natalie Maines at the time, a few days before the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003. “And we are ashamed that the President of the United States comes from Texas.” Death threats and calls for a boycott followed “Saddam’s Angel.” The band's songs were no longer played on the radio, and stations let former fans trample the CDs and cassettes. “Don’t be like the Dixie Chicks, they always warned me,” Taylor Swift said a few years ago. “I was obsessed with not getting into trouble.”
It was more than a decade before the musician made public political statements for the first time. No longer as a country singer, but as a world-famous pop star. Today Taylor Swift is 34 years old and one of the most successful, influential and richest musicians of all time. And she is a force in American politics, whether she likes it or not. Swift's power lies in her influence, especially on young people. She has 280 million followers on Instagram, 95 million on Twitter and 24 million on Tiktok. Explaining why she didn't speak out politically for so long, Swift once said that she had to learn how to speak to so many people. But it is time to take off the muzzle.
Taylor Swift didn't even have to make a statement recently to be at the center of the next political stir. All she did was watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play a football game. His team, the Kansas City Chiefs, won and qualified for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Conservative moderators and the political right constructed the story of a couple who faked their relationship on behalf of the Democrats. Together with the National Football League, they are said to be aiming to manipulate the most important game of the year so that pop stars and star players can then publicly support President Joe Biden in the presidential election campaign.
In 2018 it broke out of her
Taylor Swift as a puppet of the “Deep State”? Such claims could be dismissed as ridiculous if, in the charged political climate in the United States, they were not yet another sign of how far the poles are drifting apart. Trump's supporters have declared a “holy war” against Swift if she supports the Democrats. The resigned Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was also inspired to spread the conspiracy theory about the Super Bowl on the X platform. On Fox News television, presenter Jeanine Pirro recently called on Swift to stay away from politics. “We don’t want to see you here,” she said to her audience of three million. And in right-wing conspiracy circles it has long been certain that the young woman is a mole for the Democrats.