‘Trump’s presidency forced me to lean in’: Taylor Swift opens up about breaking her silence on politics

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Taylor Swift has discussed her decision to publicly support the Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The singer had previously been criticised in some quarters for not engaging in major political moments in the US such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2016 presidential election.

But in 2018 she broke her silence and endorsed Democratic candidates, urging fans to “get out and vote”.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Swift said: “As a country musician, I was always told it’s better to stay out of [politics]. The Trump presidency forced me to lean in and educate myself. I found myself talking about government and the presidency and policy with my boyfriend [actor Joe Alwyn], who supported me in speaking out.”

She added: “I started talking to my family and friends about politics and learning as much as I could about where I stand. I’m proud to have moved past fear and self-doubt, and to endorse and support leadership that moves us beyond this divisive, heartbreaking moment in time.”

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Swift’s single “Only the Young” was written in 2018, shortly after Swift broke her long silence about politics. She had endorsed Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen in the Tennessee Senate race against Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. Even though Swift’s comments led to a surge in voter registration, Blackburn emerged as the winner.

“Almost the entire process of creating that song, I was fighting back tears because I was so sad about the results of the midterm elections in my state and the losses faced by superb Democratic candidates in states like Georgia and Texas,” she said.

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“I didn’t want the defeat and hopelessness I felt for our country’s future to get the best of me. I didn’t want to weep. I wanted to have hope. Writing ‘Only the Young’ helped me push through that moment in my life and gave me the hope to keep fighting for what I believe is right.”

Last summer, Swift showed strong support for the BLM movement. After sharing a number of tweets in support of the movement, she tweeted: “Racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there. In order for policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight against police brutality and racism of any kind.”