I remember the good old days — and by that, I mean less than 10 years ago — when Taylor Swift burst onto the scene. She was a breath of fresh air — a wholesome star with compelling, honest lyrics who took the country and pop scenes by storm at the same time. She avoided going down the rabbit holes of destruction that had taken other stars like Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. It was very hard to dislike Taylor Swift.
At some point, though, things changed for Swift. I don’t follow the tabloids, but something caused her lyrics to turn angry and bitter. She went from pining over Drew to declaring war on various celebrity boyfriends. She made a hard break from country music and started writing run-of-the-mill pop songs. It’s worked for her, at least financially — she’s one of the wealthiest celebrities on the planet, with a net worth in the hundreds of millions. But something has been lost. There’s no more innocence or honesty, just anger and money-chasing.
Despite turning into a garden-variety pop star, however, Swift was still different from most celebrities in one respect: she was apolitical. While other celebrities were railing against Donald Trump and in favor of the hottest new social causes like same-sex marriage, Swift stayed generally silent. In that respect, at least, she wasn’t polarizing.
Then this month, she decided to get political. In an Instagram post, she said she normally supports women in politics but opposed the Republican nominee for Senate in Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, because of her views on same-sex marriage. Perish the thought that somebody might disagree with Taylor’s “squads” of rich celebrities. Does she know that 100-150 million Americans agree with Marsha Blackburn?
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. Swift wasn’t really the ordinary girl who lived on a farm she presented herself as when she first became a star. The farm she lived on was a Christmas tree farm, and her friends in high school toted designer handbags. Her investment banker father got himself transferred to the Nashville branch of Merrill Lynch to try to find his daughter a record deal, and when they couldn’t find one, he bought a stake in a record company which then signed her to a deal.
Maybe Swift was finally caving to pressure from left-wing celebrities to get political. Maybe she’s become one of them. Either way, it doesn’t seem to be hurting Blackburn, because her poll numbers have gone up since Swift’s anti-endorsement.
But the old Taylor Swift is officially gone, and that’s a shame.
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