Greeson: Swift backlash makes little sense in either direction

Greeson: Swift backlash makes little sense in either direction

October 11th, 2018 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

Taylor Swift performs "I Did Something Bad" at the American Music Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

I am puzzled by this whole Taylor Swift thing.


No, it has nothing to do with her politics. The last time I checked, every American has the right to make political statements about which candidate or issue they support. It's one of the cool parts of the First Amendment.

It also has nothing to do with the whole "shut-up and " drivel. Being talented does not mean you need to keep your views or preferences quiet.

No, the puzzling thing about the swift Taylor Swift backlash is why do Republicans care? Seriously.

Yes, Swift endorsed Phil Bredesen rather than Marsha Blackburn in the Tennessee race for the U.S. Senate. But the main part of her social media stance was to encourage her followers to make sure they are registered to vote and, more importantly, informed on the issues before going to the polls.

Who is against more registered voters and a more-informed electorate? We'll wait.

The backlash against Swift came from as high as the Oval Office. Trump said he likes Swift's music "25 percent less" after her posts. Well, if his math skills on music are comparable to his recollections about what he received from his father, well, that's either 2 percent or 200 million percent less. Or somewhere in between.

Conservative talker Mike Huckabee also sounded off, not missing a chance to get involved in a spat in a spotlight.

Huckabee's Tweet: "So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won't impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote. Still with #MarshaBlackburn."

That of course drew the ire of women of all ages. In the modern realm of Tweet-now, Think-later, of course, the backlash against Huckabee for insulting women when he is supporting a female candidate in the race is of little consequence because facts should never get in the way of a good social media outrage, right?

Swift is amazingly talented at writing songs that speak to her fans. That legion of fans is dominated by preteens and folks worrying about driver's licenses more than the federal deficit and universal health care options.

Is her music for me? No, and that's OK. It's about choices. In art, music, sports, culture, cuisine and, of course, politics.

That last "of course" has left our country in such a low place that the words of a pop princess are deemed controversial. And before the other side sprains a finger wagging at Huckabee and the rest for getting their Fruit of the Looms in a fruit basket bunch about Ms. Swift, remember this: Liberals everywhere are just as outraged at rapper Kanye West.

They are Americans. They have a voice, and both Swift and West have a monster platform from which those voices can be heard.

"What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics," Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, said on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday.

No, Charlie, you do or do not love celebs on the condition of whether they stay away or jump neck deep into politics. No, Charlie, you want only those who disagree with you to stay away from politics, something that is really un-American.

Uniform thought is not unity.

Here, Charlie, is what I used to love about our political process and campaign seasons: When the powers that be tried to persuade voters how their ideas were better rather than telling the other side to shush and stay out of it.

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343.

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