Country star-turned-pop princess Taylor Swift says her next album will have “political undertones” and that it’s no accident her new music will debut just as the 2020 presidential election season is heating up — even though going political has done little for Swift’s career.
In a post on Instagram, Swift declared that her new songs will feature “political undertones” and that she plans on encouraging her fans to register to vote and become politically engaged before the next election.
“I definitely think there are political undertones in the new music I made,” she added in an interview, according to Elle Magazine. “I’m not planning to stop encouraging young people to vote and to try to get them to talk about what’s going on in our country. I think that’s one of the most important things I could do.”
Swift was badgered into becoming political ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. As one of pop’s primary rising stars, she was constantly asked to weigh in on elections and issues, but until November of last year, Swift resisted the urge to say much, sticking instead to non-partisan statements, and encouraging her fans and followers to vote regularly. But with close friends like Lena Dunham, it seems Swift could only avoid making a public political statement for so long.
In October of last year, Swift penned a lengthy Instagram post endorsing Phil Bresden over Marsha Blackburn for an empty Tennessee Senate seat, citing Blackburn’s lack of support for gay marriage, the Violence Against Women Act, and equal pay legislation. The post stopped just short of calling Blackburn a traitor to her gender, but the implication was there.
Swift also said that she was breaking her silence on politics because of the unique nature of the 2018 elections.
“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. 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,” Swift wrote.
Bresden ultimately lost, and while Swift wasn’t forced to take back her endorsement, her left-leaning friends probably recognized a big problem with her alliance: Bresden said publicly that he would have voted to confirm now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh if he had been in the Senate at the time of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, upending Swift’s claims that Bresden was the more feminist-friendly candidate.
In March of 2019, Swift doubled down in a personal essay printed in Elle, claiming that she now felt it was her responsibility to speak out against “dangerous rhetoric” and “racism.”
“Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric,” she said. “I’m going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year.”
“I’m finding my voice in terms of politics. I took a lot of time educating myself on the political system and the branches of government that are signing off on bills that affect our day-to-day life. I saw so many issues that put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, and felt like I had to speak up to try and help make a change,” Swift added. “Only as someone approaching 30 did I feel informed enough to speak about it to my 114 million followers.”