Taylor Swift is finally getting political.
For the first time since becoming one of the world's biggest music superstars, the notoriously apolitical Swift came out on Sunday in favor of the Democratic candidate battling to become Tennessee's next U.S. senator. In a lengthy Instagram post, Swift said she couldn't vote for Republican Marsha Blackburn due to her positions on issues such as equal pay, domestic violence and gay rights. Instead, she has thrown her lot in with former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
"In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country," she wrote on Instagram. "I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent."
Referring to Blackburn, she continued, "I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love."
The race between Bredesen and Blackburn is being watched closely, in part because polling has consistently shown it to be a tossup.
She wrote that she would also be voting for Democrat Jim Cooper, who is running for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican Jody Ball.
Swift's decision to go public with her political views is notable given how careful she has managed her image over the years to avoid going into that territory. Not to mention, supporting two Democratic candidates for federal office may raise eyebrows in a deep red state like Tennessee, as well as for Swift, herself, whose work is rooted in country music, which traditionally leans conservative.
In 2016, for example, she posted a picture of herself on Instagram in line to vote, with the message, "Today is the day. Go out and VOTE.” The now-deleted post didn't indicate whom she would be voting for, prompting backlash from people wanting her to take a stand on the presidential election.
The resulting hubub prompted Lena Dunham to defend Swift for not getting political.
But earlier this year, perhaps she hinted at a more political Taylor Swift to come, when she posted on Instagram her support for March For Our Lives, a gun control movement born out of the February 14, 2018, mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
"No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence," she wrote on Instagram. "Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship."
It was mild by today's political standards, but definitely political.
In Sundays' post, Swift ended her lengthy post by urging others to register to vote in the upcoming election -- particularly our youngest voters.
"So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count," she wrote. "But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈."
For a look back at Swift's Nashville roots, watch the video below.
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