Get in loser, we’re going voting.
That seems to be the invitation Taylor Swift extends to Democrats in her recent interview with Rolling Stone, but her political message is just as convoluted as you’d expect following a line that sounds straight out of Mean Girls.
“We need to not have the right kind of Democrat and the wrong kind of Democrat,” she explained, neither endorsing a presidential candidate nor mentioning any by name. “We need to just be like, ‘You’re a Democrat? Sick. Get in the car. We’re going to the mall.’”
Whether Taylor Swift thinks voting booths appear in malls, or she hopes to hold a Democratic rally while hawking some of her merch, is unclear. What is clear is that despite Swift’s recent political awakening, she still has no idea what she’s talking about. If the Democratic debates have proven anything, it’s that Democrats are far from being easily united.
Nevertheless, the recently woke celebrity explained that she suddenly cares about politics because before, all of her favorites had gotten elected.
“Really, I keep trying to learn as much as I can about politics, and it’s become something I’m now obsessed with, whereas before, I was living in this sort of political ambivalence, because the person I voted for had always won,” she said.
Swift used to have success voting in presidential elections — she says she voted for Barack Obama twice. But in 2016, she declined to endorse Hillary Clinton because she was afraid it wouldn’t help. And her chosen candidate, Phil Bredesen, didn’t make it to the Senate in 2018. C’est la vie for most of us. But for Swift, the apparently unfamiliar taste of political defeat means it’s finally time to act.
“We were in such an amazing time when Obama was president because foreign nations respected us. We were so excited to have this dignified person in the White House,” she said, apparently believing the lie that the Obama administration was scandal-free.
“But I’m just focused on the 2020 election,” she continued. “I’m really focused on it. I’m really focused on how I can help and not hinder.”
For Democrats, her plan to help appears to be gathering them at the mall. For Republicans, her plan involves schooling them on their tribalism.
“I do think, as a party, we need to be more of a team,” she said. “With Republicans, if you’re wearing that red hat, you’re one of them. And if we’re going to do anything to change what’s happening, we need to stick together. We need to stop dissecting why someone’s on our side or if they’re on our side in the right way or if they phrased it correctly.”
Republicans, though, aren’t the only ones guilty of sinking into political tribes. Swift’s rationale for supporting all Democrats appears to be based on vague fears about white supremacy or watching people “lose their rights.” She’s buying into party rhetoric, not policy, and her appeal to unity ends up representing nothing more than the tribalism that she tries to call out.