After Taylor Swift declined to endorse a candidate during the 2016 election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the former country artist turned popstar’s silence over the subject matter drew mixed reactions from fans and critics expecting her to say something more than the cryptic photo she posted, encouraging fans to “Go out and VOTE.”
While some suspected the 29-year-old who started in country music didn’t want to anger her conservative music listeners who made up a considerable portion of her fanbase, Swift is now revealing in a candid interview with Vogue that she had a real reason for her silence and one that stemmed from a strategic place.
“Unfortunately in the 2016 election, you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of celebrity endorsement,” Swift revealed in the interview. “[Trump] was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m here for you. I care about you.’ I just knew I wasn’t going to help.”
She adds that the summer before the election, she knew people were saying how she was “calculated” and “manipulative” or that she’s “not what she seems.”
“These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary,” Swift said, adding how some even went so far to call her a “snake” and a “liar.”
Swift adds that had she gone that way, people would suggest she and Clinton was “snakes of a feather flock together” and are “two lying women.”
“The two nasty women,” Swift said. “Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.”
However with the state of the U.S. today and division among both parties, Swift is finding her voice to speak up. Last October, she endorsed two Tennessee Democrats, which naturally upset Trump. While speaking to reporters at the time, the former reality star turned president said he liked Swift’s music “about 25 percent less now” after she broke her political silence to support Democrats during the midterms.
“Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. She’s leading now substantially, which is good. She’s a tremendous woman,” Trump said of the Republican candidate to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about her and let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, OK?”
Swift broke her silence that night, writing in an Instagram post that Rep. Blackburn’s voting record not only “appalls and terrifies” her, but that she would be voting for Blackburn’s opponent, Phil Bredesen. Though Bredesen did not win, Swift has continued to speak up and voiced her support for LGBTQ rights.
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic