Republicans Lose Their Minds Over Taylor Swift

[ Posted Thursday, February 1st, 2024 – 17:32 UTC ]

In the Before-Times, back when Donald Trump was merely a minor television celebrity, anyone in politics or the media who openly espoused a theory that the Pentagon had for years been running a "psychological operation" (or "psy-op," which sounds so much cooler) to boost the fortunes of the most popular singer alive, and furthermore that because she and a star football player were now an item that the National Football League had (obviously!) conspired to advance his team to the Super Bowl (where the fix was already in for them to win) -- all so that the singer could then announce her endorsement of the sitting president -- would have been laughed off the national stage forthwith. The idea would have been considered no more than a product of the fever dreams of a conspiracy-spreading lunatic. The ravings of a nutter. Complete whackjobbery. "Tinfoil hats" would have been mentioned derisively, as America collectively guffawed at their craziness.

That was the Before-Times, though. Nowadays this insanity has gone mainstream... well, if you define "mainstream" as "prominent in the rightwing media echo chamber," that is. But what I have to wonder is whether the rightwing commentators and politicians and the MAGA world in general are truly going to go to war with the "Swifties." Because that seems to me to be a losing strategy.

Taylor Swift is unique, at this cultural moment, in the breadth and depth of her support among her fans. No other American pop singer commands such loyalty and fervent love from such a widespread audience. She is an absolute phenomenon. Her recent "Eras" tour singlehandedly boosted local economies, just from her stopping by each city. While I have to admit I am not personally one of her fans (mostly because I stopped listening to much contemporary popular music roughly three decades ago -- I've simply never heard an entire Taylor Swift song, so don't hate me for my ignorance, please!), I do have friends who fall into that category. They speak of Swift in reverent terms. Their daughters love Taylor just as much as they do -- an impressive cross-generational statement. Swift fan or not, you simply have to respect the allegiance she inspires among her fanbase.

And her fans are indeed legion. They number in the hundreds of millions. She has singlehandedly built her personal brand into a financial juggernaut. She is a brilliant capitalist as well as being a brilliant artist, in other words. Because her songs speak to so many people on a very personal level, the love they reflect back at her is fiercely and deeply loyal.

This is precisely what the rightwingers fear. This whole episode of conspiratorial craziness seemed to begin with a story in the New York Times that said that President Joe Biden's re-election team would be absolutely delighted to get Swift's endorsement. That's what caused Republicans to go ballistic -- the mere hope expressed by Team Biden that Swift would bestow her support upon them. There was no word from Swift herself -- no hints of an impending announcement or anything -- just a wish from Team Biden.

That was enough to spur the conspiracy-mongers to come out of the woodwork. They were led this week by conspiracy-monger extraordinaire Vivek Ramaswamy, who tweeted out the following right after the Kansas City Chiefs (the team Taylor's new beau Travis Kelce plays for) beat the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl. Here was Ramaswamy's loopy take:

I wonder who's going to win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if there's a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let's see how it ages over the next 8 months.

Y'know... just wondering....

As I began with, back in the Before-Times this would have derisively been laughed at by one and all, even though Ramaswamy had been an actual Republican presidential candidate not too long ago. Earlier, a Fox News personality revealed his own bizarre theory -- that Taylor Swift was so popular because of a "Pentagon psychological operations unit" who had, years ago, "floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset during a NATO meeting." Um... yeah, right... sure... the Pentagon recruited Taylor's fan army? Sheesh.... The Pentagon, not generally known for its sense of humor, officially responded with a Taylor Swift lyric: "As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off."

This is "barking at the moon" territory, folks. And even the commentators on the right who haven't completely lost all grasp of reality are still begging Swift not to endorse Joe Biden, because they fear her power.

Of course, I have no idea whether Swift will endorse Biden or not -- I certainly have no inside information either way. But I certainly wouldn't be surprised if she did. After all, she endorsed Biden back in 2020. And she's come out strongly for women's reproductive rights and L.G.B.T.Q. rights and human rights. Here is a social media post from Swift on her personal politics:

I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for L.G.B.T.Q. rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.

So it's pretty easy to see which candidate (if any) Swift might wind up endorsing. And it's pretty easy to see why conservatives on Fox News are unanimous in desperately urging Swift to "stay out of politics" because "we don't want to see you there."

The late-night comics are having a field day with all of this, of course. Last night (for example) Seth Meyers was downright scathing: "Because only a grand conspiracy would explain why she might prefer Joe Biden over a man who every day behaves worse than any man in a Taylor Swift song -- which is saying a lot." He went on to ridicule all the insults and pleading from the conservative media types:

Now, let's see... whose instincts do we think are sharper? The twelve-time Grammy-winning artist who has sold over 200 million records, staged the highest-grossing concert series of all time, produced and distributed her own record-breaking concert movie, and was Time's Person of the Year -- or the dingus whose main talent is staring blankly at the camera every morning like a sock with button eyes?

Donald Trump reacted in his own bonkers way -- by insisting that he is "more popular" than Taylor Swift. Liz Cheney countered that Taylor Swift is "a national treasure." Rolling Stone ran an article titled "Trump Allies Pledge 'Holy War' Against Taylor Swift."

But this seems like a war they're destined to lose. It's hard to see how the MAGA faithful is going to influence the Swifties in any way whatsoever. After all, Swift's fans have a fierce and very personal connection with their idol. That's not going to be shaken by Donald Trump calling her ugly names -- in fact, any efforts to smear Swift are quite likely to lead to an enormous backlash, where her fans become ultra-committed to voting for Biden in November. Which is precisely what Republicans are so worried about. They fear that Swift will be able to do what Joe Biden has so far not been able to do: energize young voters and get them excited about going to the polls to vote for him.

We'll see how all this plays out. The Taylor Swift hatred and fear bubbling up on the right probably won't be affected much by whether Kansas City beats the San Francisco 49ers next weekend or not. But it is all going to erupt in a major way if Swift does endorse Biden, no matter how her current boyfriend ends his season. But although I won't make a prediction of the Super Bowl's outcome, I will say that in any showdown between the MAGA world and the Swifties, I would confidently place my money on Taylor's fans. That seems like a pretty safe bet, at this point.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


6 Comments on “Republicans Lose Their Minds Over Taylor Swift”

  1. [1] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Trump needs his base to stay enraged over how unfair everything in life is toward Trump. Swift is a great distraction from Nikki Haley’s correctly pointing out how mentally deficient Trump has shown himself to be recently. The funniest comment I have heard from Fox News (lack of) personalities was one saying that they have their own huge stars that they could have counter Swift’s influence…Kid Rock and Jon Voight!!! I kept waiting for him to start laughing at his own joke, but he was serious.

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    This conspiracy goes way back, CW. It started in 2019 right after Biden announced his candidacy and the refs started "boosting" the Chiefs in order to ensure they would play in every Super Bowl from that day forward until reelection year, and here we are now. However, in order to not tip anyone off, they decided to have the Chiefs appear in only 4 out of 5 of those Super Bowls... so it was decided not to have the Chiefs win the AFC Championship game for the one in the middle... the midterms (of course).

    2020 Chiefs and 49ers
    2021 Chiefs and Buccaneers
    2022 Chiefs lost AFC game in OT by 3 points (obviously, on purpose)
    2023 Chiefs and Eagles
    2024 Chiefs and 49ers

    As anyone can see, we've now gone full circle and the San Francisco 49ers are in on this too and... Nancy Pelosi!

    Give me a break from these MAGA morons. Connecting the dots ain't their strong suit, and yes it's batshit crazy the utter asinine BS the right wingnuts feed to their gullible rubes.

    That's what caused Republicans to go ballistic -- the mere hope expressed by Team Biden that Swift would bestow her support upon them.

    Not like she didn't already do that in 2020. Seriously, the Righty rubes think it would be earth-shattering news if Taylor Swift supports Joe Biden:

    The change we need most is to elect a president who recognizes that people of color deserve to feel safe and represented, that women deserve the right to choose what happens to their bodies, and that the LGBTQIA+ community deserves to be acknowledged and included. Everyone deserves a government that takes global health risks seriously and puts the lives of its people first. The only way we can begin to make things better is to choose leaders who are willing to face these issues and find ways to work through them.

    I will proudly vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in this year’s presidential election. Under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.

    ~ Taylor Swift, October 2020

    Been there... done that; the right wingnut snowflakes should try to keep up.

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    They fear that Swift will be able to do what Joe Biden has so far not been able to do: energize young voters and get them excited about going to the polls to vote for him.

    Taylor has already allowed her music to be made into a campaign ad for Joe Biden... way back in 2020:

    Only The Young
    It's literally "been there and already done that," and Democrats can just roll that campaign ad again and watch all the MAGA tiny little (empty) heads explode. :)

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:


    What? No love for Scott Baio? ;)

    Love you, Russ

  5. [5] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    I guess that hearing the phrase “Charles in Charge” made Trump believe that people were questioning his authority — so Baio had to go go!

    Love you, sweet friend!


  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    He'd probably go off about groping Nicole eggert.

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