Taylor Swift’s Loud Election Silence—and Connection to Donald Trump
While her rival Katy Perry stumps for Hillary Clinton, Swift has been noticeably silent during election season—and it may be because of her loose connection to Team Trump.
From a disorganized, racist, heavily plagiarized RNC to the Snapchat heard ’round the world, it’s hard to say who’s having a harder week: Swifties or Trump supporters. But what if these two groups have more in common than just being wrong?
For better or worse—probably for worse—Taylor Swift has long been considered the pop star face of white feminism. As a self-proclaimed feminist, Swift supports all women, unless they’re criticizing her or sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. Swift’s solipsism first came under fire when she attacked Amy Poehler and Tina Fey over a critical joke. In retaliation for making a celeb-bashing crack at The Golden Globes aka doing their jobs, Swift warned the comedians that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” According to Taylor Swift (and Madeleine Albright?) feminism means making nice. That’s a nice motto, but unfortunately Swift doesn’t exactly practice what she preaches.
In 2014, Swift decided to get even with frenemy Katy Perry after Perry allegedly pilfered some of Taylor’s backup dancers. Swift, who occasionally takes things too far, gathered together an entire cast of famous women for “Bad Blood,” a hit single that doubles as a Katy Perry diss track. Perry’s response? “Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman…”
Here’s some more irony for you: Despite her stated support for women’s causes, Swift has yet to publicly endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. As two white feminists with more than a handful of racial blind spots between them, Swift and Clinton seem like a match made in second wave feminist heaven. With all the time Swift and her squad have spent since Sunday urging fans to focus on issues that really matter, the pop superstar could have actually directed some much-needed millennial attention toward HRC.
In contrast, Katy Perry has proven herself to be very much With Her. Back when hip stars were feeling the Bern, Perry remained fire-resistant, campaigning alongside Clinton in a series of increasingly patriotic outfits. When Hillary clinched the Democratic nomination in June, Perry was among the first celebs to congratulate her, tweeting, “A lot of little girls are in bed right now dreaming for the first time, without limits.” That’s exactly the sort of vaguely political, girl power sentiment that we’ve come to expect from Taylor Swift’s PR team. So why is Swift letting her nemesis become the next president’s uncontested First Pop Star?
The answer to this question, like the answers to all of life’s greatest questions, can likely be found within Swift’s inscrutable squad.
At first glance, Swift fan Lena Dunham’s fervent Hillary support should have influenced Swift to take a stand. But by looking higher up in the squad hierarchy, we hit a snag: Karlie Kloss. While Kloss might look like an unlikely political operative, the former Victoria’s Secret Angel has been dating Jared Kushner’s brother, Joshua Kushner, for four years. Jared Kushner used to be famous for inheriting a real-estate empire from his once-imprisoned father and owning The New York Observer. Now, his claim to fame is his wife, Ivanka Trump, and her notorious father, Donald. Instead of conscientiously objecting or simply staying out of the fray, Kushner has permanently tarnished his record by actually going to bat for Donald Trump, acting as his speechwriter and vocal surrogate. In a piece for The Observer, Kushner defended his blustery comb-over of a family member, declaring, “My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite.”
It’s hard to say if Kloss’s relationship with the other Kushner brother has anything to do with Swift’s reticence to enter the political fray. But if that is the case, it’s pretty unfortunate—especially since Karlie has been noticeably silent in the wake of Snapchat-gate. Sad! And while Swift will hopefully end up voting for Hillary, in another way, a Swift-Trump alliance feels so wrong it’s right. For one, Swift’s public image couldn’t get any worse. Plus, Trump and Tay have a few things in common: they both love hanging out with models, and also enjoying weighing in on other famous people’s relationships. Taylor, like Trump, is a bald-faced liar. And while Swift hasn’t announced her endorsement yet, Trump is an unabashed fan of the polarizing pop star. It might only be a matter of time until Trump ditches “We Are the Champions” and starts making his entrances to “You Belong With Me”:
Of course, we’re going to need some receipts if we want to solve the mystery of Taylor Swift’s missing presidential endorsement once and for all. Where’s (pending) Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kim Kardashian West when you need her?