Taylor Swift may be notoriously candid about her personal life, but there’s one thing she’s always kept private: her politics. Throughout a tumultuous two years, Swift has stayed silent on her political leanings, sparking fierce criticism from fans and foes alike.
That changed Sunday night, when Swift broke that political silence to endorse Phil Bredesen, the Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in her home state of Tennessee—and issue a damning indictment of his competitor, Republican Marsha Blackburn.
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions,” Swift wrote on Instagram, “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 continued. “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. 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.”
She went on to explain that she did not think Blackburn would defend those values.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office,” she wrote, “I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.”
“She voted against equal pay for women,” Swift added. “She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry.”
“These are not MY Tennessee values,” Swift emphasized. “I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives.”
As The Daily Beast previously reported, the race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is surprisingly competitive. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Swift’s endorsement provoked anger and disappointment for white supremacists on 4chan, who have created a bizarre fandom around Swift as the ideal white conservative woman. In a 4chan thread about the endorsement, 4chan posters bemoaned the loss of their pop idol, calling her “traitorous.” One user posted an image of a picture of Swift burning, while another added a meme saying the Bredesen endorsement had cost him his “last additional bit of hope.”
“It was good while it lasted, mates,” one 4chan user wrote.
Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, welcomed Swift’s endorsement. “I’m thrilled that Taylor Swift agrees on what real Tennessee values are,” she told The Daily Beast. “That no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, you should have an opportunity for a better life for you and your family. And that all Tennesseans deserve access to equal protection and equal rights, and access to enjoy the same freedoms that all Americans enjoy.”
Phil Bredesen agreed, tweeting directly at Swift to thank her for the support. “Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13,” Bredesen tweeted. “I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We’re ready for it. Last day to register to vote is October 9.”