Taylor Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers that she would vote for the Democrats in November. (Reuters: Simon Dawson)
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Taylor Swift’s decision to break her silence on politics has triggered a storm, with even US President Donald Trump weighing in on the pop star’s remarks in support of Democrats.
- Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers that she would vote for Democrats in US mid-term elections
- Before he was elected, Mr Trump had spoken warmly of the pop star
- Swift had avoided speaking about politics, until the Instagram post this week
Swift, 28, has notably stayed out of the US political fray in contrast to her more vocal peers, like Democrat supporters Katy Perry and Beyonce, and Republican backer Kid Rock.
But Swift on Sunday told her 112 million Instagram followers that she would vote for two Democrats running in Tennessee in the US congressional mid-term elections on November 6.
“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,” Swift wrote.
Asked about Swift’s comments, Mr Trump on Monday told reporters; “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 per cent less now, OK?”
Before he was elected in 2016, Mr Trump had spoken warmly of Swift. On separate occasions on Twitter in 2012 he called her “fantastic” and “terrific”.
The Speak Now singer said in her Instagram post she was a supporter of gay rights and women’s rights, and against racism.
Donald Trump once said he was a fan of pop star Taylor Swift — not anymore. (Reuters: Jonathan Ernst)
“I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for all Americans, no matter their skin colour, gender or who they love,” Swift wrote, saying she would vote for Democrats Phil Bredesen for the Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives.
Mr Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor, is facing Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn in what has become an extremely close race for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Bob Corker.
Swift said that while she typically tries to support women running for office, Ms Blackburn’s voting record “appals and terrifies me”.
Comments get a swift response
Swift’s comments got 1.5 million likes on her Instagram page. But they enraged many conservatives, especially those in the country-music community where Swift got her start as a teenager and went on to win 10 Grammys.
“What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics,” Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative non-profit student organisation Turning Point, said on Fox News television on Monday (local time).
Former Star Trek actor George Takei was among those welcoming Swift’s declaration ahead of what are expected to be polarising elections in November.
“Guys, things have gotten so dire that even Taylor Swift had to say something,” Takei tweeted.
Model Chrissy Teigen, actress Blake Lively and singer Perry were among those adding likes to Swift’s Instagram post.
Swift is currently on a world tour to support her top-selling 2017 album Reputation and will perform live at the American Music Awards show in Los Angeles on Tuesday (local time).