The moment a celebrity decides to weigh in on politics, it usually comes with a slight feeling of discomfort in the pit of the stomach. Sure, celebrities are human beings and are just as entitled to their opinions as anyone else, but also the ultra-rich are so insulated from daily life that their grasp on the issues that affect real people is likely to be tenuous at best.
Taylor Swift‘s political views have been, up until this point, completely inscrutable. This seemed like probably the best arrangement for all involved — for her financially, and for us, the people who didn’t want her to come out and saying that she loves how Trump is ‘shaking up the system’. But she did it and it didn’t suck ass, coming out of her apolitical cocoon to speak in favour of Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper for the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.
“Who cares about Taylor Swift thinks about politics?” You might be asking yourself. A bunch of people, it turns out. Kamari Guthrie, communications director at Vote.org, told Buzzfeed that they had received an influx of 65,000 voter registrations in the 24-hour period following Swift’s Instagram post.
According to Buzzfeed, the entire month of September saw only 190,178 voter registrations, with only 56,669 registering in August. So, uh, 65,000 in 24 hours is obviously pretty huge.
Voter participation is a massive problem in the US, for instance: only around 58% of eligible voters turned out for the 2016 election. It’s a particularly critical issue for the Democrats, with studies finding a link between high voter turnout and favour towards progressive candidates, which is why voter suppression (particularly of black voters) is such a major part of Republican strategy.
Maybe the key to getting a Democrat in the White House is just getting Taylor Swift to do an Instagram post for every district. Politics solved, once and for all.