Taylor Swift has become a political pawn. The far right orchestrated it all.

The 2024 US Presidential Election is racing to the pointy end, with the stakes high - but instead of talking about *politics* many politicians and commentators have Swiftie mania. And not the good kind.

For months now Republicans and anyone associated with the far-right movement has been coming hard for Taylor Swift. She's become a political pawn for 'Make America Great Again' - the popstar swept up in outlandish conspiracy theories, with claims of her rigging not only football games but elections.

There's even been threats of violence against her from those on the fringes, plus reports that allies of Donald Trump have targeted Taylor Swift.

Watch: a look back at the trailer of Taylor Swift's Miss Americana documentary. Post continues below. 

Video via Netflix.

For much of her career, Swift stayed silent. It was a deliberate decision she later said, a choice to remain mostly apolitical. 

But in 2018, after Trump was elected President, Swift decided to voice her support for two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee. 

"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 said in a statement at the time.


Fans were mostly impressed by Swift's decision to take a stand, though there was petulant condemnation from some Republican leaders. And that frustration from this side of politics has only grown, particularly amid the rise in visibility of far right extremism.

Last week Swift's boyfriend Travis Kelce and his NFL team won the championship game, leading countless pro-Trump figures to claim the victory had been "rigged" by Swift. The conspiracies spiralled from there.

Last month Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested that Swift might be a Pentagon "psyop" - an asset used for psychological operations. He then claimed Swift could be "a front for a covert political agenda".

The Pentagon - yes the Pentagon actually had to weigh in - rejected Watters' claim, saying: "As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off".

A New York Times report this week said Joe Biden's campaign is hoping Swift will endorse him again this year in the election. This of course added further fuel to the fire.

RMIT Associate Professor Catherine Strong is a music industries researcher who focuses on gender inequalities, gender-based violence and working conditions in music. She is also part of the Music Industry Research Collective.

Speaking with Mamamia, she notes that it's fascinating to watch the world's reactions to Swift's rising celebrity power.

"She's used her position to encourage people to vote - the way she used it to endorse Biden at the last election. Celebrity is something that can really have an impact on how certain things go in the political realm. Obviously there have been huge superstars in the past, but at this point, it really feels like Taylor is reaching new heights," says Professor Strong.


"Everybody is trying to jump onto the Taylor bandwagon if they can. But then obviously for the right wing in America, they can't jump on it, because she's very clearly not on their wavelength. So they're scrambling to find ways to undermine her influence and power."

But what Professor Strong notes is that this approach could very likely backfire against the far right, pushing them further into the outskirts of public debate. 

In Swift's documentary, Miss Americana, her father worried that Swift taking an overt political position would impact her safety and also her career.

Fortunately, it has not impacted her career. In fact, given the sheer success of her Eras Tour concert, the records she has broken and the cultural relevancy she has with billions of fans - it's fair to say Swift has never been more powerful than she is right now.

But that's not to say her safety is secure.

Just recently, AI-generated sexually explicit images of Swift went viral on X [formerly Twitter] and other social media sites, racking up tens of millions of views. The images were later traced back to a 4chan, an online message board known for sharing hate speech and conspiracy theories - much of which often stems from extremist ideologies. 

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer, and also a very, very big fan of Taylor Swift.

She says that historically speaking, Swift has often been the target of unnecessary vilification and hate. But it's the far right's current treatment and perception of Swift that she finds most concerning.


"All Taylor has done recently is encourage her followers to register to vote. But Republican elections require the suppression of voters - basically the less people vote, the better the Republican party tends to do," she explains.

"Taylor appeals to a subsection of voters that those from the far right have a precarious relationship with - young female voters. That's particularly worrisome for those who want Trump to win this election, because those same young female voters are angry at the Republican party's role in overturning Roe v Wade."

McLaughlin says a lot of Swift's fanbase see the attack on the popstar as frustrating, agreeing with Professor Strong that it may do the far right more harm than good.

For context, stats are showing that American women are more likely to vote for Biden than Trump in the election right now. Plus, a 2023 survey found that 53 per cent of American women are fans of Swift, meaning this demographic isn't one to mess with. 

"Attacking Taylor Swift - who has a very outspoken fanbase who have proven their ability to go above and beyond - may backfire," she says. 

"People who may not usually be politically activated do go out and vote might now do so this time - likely against any party or leader associated with the far right, because of the sheer amount of conspiratorial sh*t thrown at someone who doesn't deserve it."

The question now is whether Trump has met his match in Swift.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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