Swift received perhaps the most criticism of all for remaining silent during the US federal election in 2016. Recently, however, the singer’s tune seems to have changed. On Oct. 8, she urged her 112 million Instagram followers – for the very first time – to “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates … and vote based on who most closely represents your values.” In the lengthy post, she mentioned two candidates she plans to vote for in the state of Tennessee and threw in a few of her own opinions, which she has previously shied away from voicing. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is wrong,” she wrote. “I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of colour is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
The following night, on stage at the American Music Awards, the songstress continued the political theme: “You know what else is voted on by the people? It is the midterm elections on Nov. 6,” she said. “Get out and vote. I love you guys,” she added. That Swift has finally spoken out on issues that matter to her is no surprise to her loyal fans, who have watched her go from performing understated gigs in small venues to worldwide sold-out stadium shows.
“Taylor is using her platform for the right reasons,” super fan Beth Emelhain, 23, tells WHO. “She copped a lot of flak when she didn’t say anything and now she’s copping it after standing up for what she believes in. Taylor has a huge audience that watch and adore her every move so just by her saying ‘please vote and educate yourself’ – she raised voter registrations in the US in an amazing way.”
Vote.org reported that, while it was not yet possible to measure the direct impact of the Bad Blood singer’s words, there had been a spike in new registrations. “One thing is clear, we’re seeing a massive surge in the 18-24 and 25-29 voters,” the site said in an official statement.
Swift is set to bring her Reputation tour to Australia in November, and it’s a return that fans are more than ready for. “This will be my third time seeing Taylor in Sydney and every time it gets better!” says Emelhain. “I’ve been following this tour on social media and it looks incredible. She performs one different song each concert and I can’t wait to see what ours is!”
Taylor’s full setlist for the Australian leg remains to be seen, but according to US Weekly, during the American phase of the tour, Swift performed 14 songs from her acclaimed 2017 album, Reputation – interspersed with her previous singles and fan favourites. Love or loathe her, one thing’s for sure – Taylor is righting her wrongs, one step (and a few brilliant songs) at a time.