"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."
Taylor Swift has broken years of political silence to back two Democrat candidates in the US midterm elections.
The singer has remained famously apolitical in recent years – and faced criticism for not speaking out against Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
But in an emotional post on Instagram, Swift has now backed two Democratic candidates in her native 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,” Swift wrote on Instagram as she urged her young fans to register and vote.
“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. 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.”
Specifically, the post sees Swift backing Phil Bredesen, who is running for Senate, and Jim Cooper, who is running for the House of Representatives.
Swift also criticises Marsha Blackburn – Tennessee’s Republican candidate who was last week backed by Donald Trump.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn”, wrote Swift.
“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me…She voted against equal pay for women. 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.”
Responding to the endorsement, Bredesen wrote on Twitter: “Thank you for the kind words @TaylorSwif13, I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans.”
Meanwhile, the alt-right are furious that Taylor Swift has endorsed Bredesen. As reported by The New Statesman, Notorious alt-right chat-forum 4-chan are upset about the change.
“Goodbye Tay”, “They took her from us”, “She was supposed to be our girl!” and “Why did she break our hearts?” are just some of the many hundreds of posts that have appeared in the forum.
Some were also speculating that Swift had been paid to support Bredesen. “Ever notice how every celebrity seems to be reciting the same script,” one member wrote; “All PR nonsense” added another. Others wrote: “she just doesn’t want to be labelled as a white nationalist” and “That looks ghostwritten.”
Swift recently appeared in the‘Women In Music Power List’ for 2018, commissioned by BBC Woman’s Hour.