The Conservative Solution to the Taylor Swift Problem

Photo by Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP, File

As Taylor Swift invades the NFL and creates a massive voter registration push where she created 35,000 more Democrat voters, conservatives have been weighing in with their opinions on the hyper-successful starlet. 

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The consensus is that everyone can admit that Swift is a master marketer and that her fame and success can't be denied, but that her musical ability is less than stellar. While the former can't be denied, Swift's musical beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are millions of people all over the globe that be holdin' a strong attraction to it. 

The bottom line is that Swift presents a serious problem, not just to Republicans but to America in general. Mark Hemingway's fair but brutal piece over at The Federalist marked why Swift is a societal issue well. While Swifties are all friendship bracelets and unapologetically embracing their womanhood, underneath it all is one of the biggest societal wedges being forced between men and women: 

Distressingly, there’s plenty of evidence that Swift’s dysfunctional view of relationships is already influencing the minds of a new generation of pop stars. Just take a gander at the lyrics to up-and-comer Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire,” an excruciatingly bitter, plodding ballad that is inexplicably a smash hit.

I still stand by the fact it’s a mistake to read too much in the way of politics or feminism into Swift’s appeal, but given her popularity in the face of this lyrical obsession, it’s a chicken-or-egg-first proposition about whether the cultural avatar of millennial females is famous for being near constantly romantically aggrieved even as TikTok is full of videos of women insisting, “No really, it’s great being 29 and unmarried and childless, I don’t want that at all, I get to sleep in on weekends and learn to make shakshuka, this is the most fulfilling life I can conceive of, I’M HAPPY WHY WON’T ANYONE BELIEVE ME?!”

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If you dissect Swift's influence on the culture, you'll see a lot of women being coerced into wanting men while hating them, expecting failure when relationships are achieved, and believing that selfish psychopathy is okay both during the relationship and after it inevitably fails. For modern women currently in the throws of feminist influence, this kind of thinking is like crack. It feels really good to feel it. It gets you high. It lets you be emotional without apology. 

You could really form an international, near-religious following around this kind of thing. 

Conservatives see all of this and begin sounding the alarms as they should. The Federalist, NRO, PJ Media, and even our own Duke here at RedState have all penned pieces on the Swift issue. However, as Duke noted in his piece, no one seems to have any solutions to his problem. There's plenty of commentary on her effect on Western culture and more than enough criticism about her music, but none of these are going to move the needle in terms of public opinion. 

So what do we do? We can't punish her with the market because Swift is an economy unto herself. The financial influence she has on everything she touches is something most banking CEOs wish they had. As such, there is no turning her off. There is no real competition, and anyone who might pose a threat doesn't want to be a threat. 

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It's here that I'm likely going to make more than a few of my readers mad, but it needs to be said. 

There is no solution to stopping Taylor Swift's cultural influence with the exception of the passage of time. Perhaps Swift will somehow implode and self-destruct, causing a massive fallout between her and her fans, but you might as well hope you stumble upon a buried treasure chest during a casual walk on Galveston Beach. 

The fact is, Swift's fame is such that she can withstand storms. In fact, she thrives in them, making her one of the few entities that gets stronger the more she's attacked. Whether it's breakup beefs with famous stars or political naysaying, attacking Swift causes her supporters to rally around her all the tighter. 

When it comes to Swift's cultural and political influence, Conservatives are defeated...at least for the time being. 

This doesn't mean that Swift's influence is such that she can cause Democrats to win with a wave of her hand. Swift certainly didn't help Phil Bredesen win his race against Marsha Blackburn in 2018, but Swift has certainly grown her political and cultural clout since then, so it's unsafe to write her off. 

But Conservatives don't really have a way to truly stop Swift. No amount of writing "Who?" in response to articles or social media posts is going to weaken Swift's hold on the culture. No articles negatively critiquing her musical abilities will sway the masses that love it. You can mock and laugh at her about her dumb political takes, and her failures as a love interest, and accuse her of literal witchcraft all day, but it won't do a damn thing but make her stronger. You can suggest your fellow Americans "ignore her" and you'll quickly find that this doesn't help either. 

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The only solution is time. Eventually, Swift's star will fade and her influence will wane, but this won't be for years. Given Swift's ability to evolve, her longevity shouldn't be underestimated. Even when the time of her decline comes, she's still cemented herself into history as one of the most popular and influential celebrities that has ever existed. 

And if you didn't like hearing that, then you really won't like hearing this. 

Swift is a huge indicator of the conservative movement's unwillingness and failure to involve itself in mainstream/popular culture. While I can thankfully say that things are now starting to turn around and real steps are being taken to inject conservative values and stories into the mainstream, Swift's unanswered hold on generations of fans makes the conservative absence glaring. It largely ignored Andrew Breitbart's warning and proceeded to turn its nose up at Hollywood, the comic book industry, the video game industry, and every media in between. 

Conservatives have few influences to counter-balance Swift's and perhaps if Conservatives had put more emphasis and attention on the arts, her kung-fu grip on the minds and hearts of millions of people wouldn't be so strong. The brutal truth is that the conservative movement is decades behind the left in terms of cultural influence and it shows. It shows more and more every year. It shows at every award show and damn near every movie. 

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Worst of all, it shows in the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world who continue to subscribe to leftist viewpoints and hate everything else with a passion without fully understanding why. 


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