One of Taylor Swift’s most admirable qualities is that she didn’t talk politics. Whatever opinions she held, we as a general public were blissfully ignorant of it, and thus could enjoy her music without the bitter taste of politics ruining the sweet taste of entertainment.
It was a quality of Swift’s that I admired, despite the deluge of leftist commentators pegging her as just the worst for not joining in on any part of the “resistance” against Donald Trump.
I even wrote about this admiration I had for Swift’s non-political approach, despite the fact that that I was not a fan:
Swift respects her audience, no matter which way they lean. Whether they’re blue haired SJWs, or troop loving patriots, Swift welcomes all. She’s a performer who is there to bring her audience emotion, depth, fun, and what have you, not divisive commentary and political stances. She never forces anyone to pick a side.
The bit about never forcing anyone to pick a side is sadly over now, however, as Swift has decided to publicly throw her support behind the March for Our Lives.
As many now know, the March for Our Lives is billed a “student-led” march against gun violence and for gun reform. I put “student-led” in quotes because this march is being organized, funded, and led by a who’s who of leftist activist organizations including Planned Parenthood, Everytown, and The Women’s March.
Swift announced via her Instagram account that she’s donating money to the march, and noted that she supports gun reform.
“No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence,” Swift wrote. “Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform. I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again.”
No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform. I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again.
Let me be clear. I’m not saying Swift remotely knows what this is a march is actually all about, who’s behind it, or what the actual goal is. Swift’s announcement on Instagram would go without all that information as it appears she has her comment sections for the photos turned off. Swift is also, obviously, a very busy gal. What she sees, as many others do, is what the march bills itself as. There is no inkling as to who the awful groups behind it might be.
However, despite the fact that she may very well be ignorant to a lot of this information, it’s highly disappointing that Swift has taken the stances she has. What isn’t a mystery is that guns are a hotly debated issue in the U.S., and the kids who represent this march make their loathing for things like the NRA and the politicians who support it very clear. They state their opinions in a very high profile way.
Even if Swift is ignorant to the groups, and true intent behind it, she’s highly likely not ignorant of how heated this debate has become.
And therein lies the horrible part about her public support for the March for Our Lives. Swift has finally forced her fans to take a side with or against her on an issue.
We as media consumers too often are forced to see past a star’s political viewpoints to enjoy their work. While it might not bother some of us, many of us end up finding the politics of a celebrity too much. It overshadows their work, and no matter how good they are at what they do, it’s always there in the back of your mind. Joss Whedon and Davey Havok are two people whose work I adore, but feel that if left alone in a room together there’d be little love between us.
I’ve felt pangs of disappointment whenever I learned one of my favorite artists takes a stance against something I hold dear or felt that artist disrespected something I hold in high regard. It especially becomes difficult when celebrities consistently take a stance against something you love or respect. It makes you tune out to what they have to say.
This is true for many and has been evidenced lately by the falling ratings of channels like CNN and ESPN, as well as the tanking ratings for the NFL and Hollywood award shows. People don’t want to stomach the politics when they came for the entertainment.
Hopefully Swift, whom I thought knew this already, will keep her politics away from her entertainment. Gun control will never come up at her concerts, and hopefully not her interviews. I doubt the latter will be possible, but perhaps she’ll take a wiser middle ground with it.
If she doesn’t, it may not play out well for her audience. In turn, it may not play out well for her.