Last Saturday I attended the Taylor Swift concert at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. It was the second of back-to-back nightly shows at the colossal venue. It was a dazzler of high-octane music and whizbang stagecraft. But it was hardly one of politics.
There were no “Beto for Senate” or “Ted Cruz 2018” signs that dot the leafy yards of Preston Hollow, a Dallas neighborhood. I didn’t see any red “Make America Great Again” hats but plenty of leotards, headbands, and unicorn costumes.
The only thing that Swift said that could be remotely interpreted as political was her declaration that these days everyone is looking for something real in their lives, perhaps a rebuke of the falsehoods that pervade our national political conversation.
The very next day, with the U.S.-leg of the Reputation Stadium Tour behind her, she posted on Instagram a cri de couer about the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. She brushed aside previous criticism that she had been apolitical, “Due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”
Being the victim of groping and watching the rise of Donald Trump, who has bragged about assaulting women, may have provided sufficient grist to speak out.
“It’s important that Swift spoke up because her voice can make a difference. Only 56 percent of the voting-age population actually voted in 2016.”
Later in her post, Swift named names, saying she can’t back Marsha Blackburn, the Republican who is running for US Senate because of the many anti-woman measures the Tennessee representative supports. Swift offered a full-throated endorsement of Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, who are candidates for the US Senate and House of Representatives respectively from Tennessee, where the pop star votes.
It’s important that Swift spoke up because her voice can make a difference. Only 56 percent of the voting-age population actually voted in 2016. And historically, turnout of young…