Taylor Swift, 12-time Grammy Award winner, Spotify’s most streamed artist in 2023, and Time Person of the Year, can add another line to her résumé: Democratic Party psyop. At least according to Fox News.
Fox host Jesse Watters, and frequent Fox contributor Stuart Kaplan, spent Tuesday evening musing that the Biden administration may have been behind Swift’s recent post encouraging people to register to vote.
“When she posted the link to the Vote.org, like hundreds of thousands of young Taylor Swift fans all of a sudden registered to vote,” Watters began. “I wonder who got to her, from the White House or from wherever?”
Kaplan went on to suggest that the administration had sought out Swift, “whether with [her] knowledge or without [her] knowledge,” to lend her 279 million Instagram followers for a “covert” get-out-the-vote initiative.
Watters, of course, offered no pushback on the psyops narrative.
For what it’s worth, 35,000 new voters registered on Vote.org as a result of Swift’s Instagram post in September.
It is hardly forbidden knowledge that the Democratic Party has made celebrity endorsements of its candidates part of its campaigning strategy. The 2020 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions were, to mixed reviews, studded with the stars of today and yesteryear. But Swift, whose forays into activism have been mostly limited to anodyne denunciations of Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn and the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning abortion rights, and support for Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ rights, has not been outspoken in her support for Joe Biden ahead of the 2024 election.
This, of course, has not stopped conservatives like Watters and Kaplan from indulging their obsession with Swift and their suspicion that her popularity among young people betrays, at best, a symptom of national decadence and impending decline and, at worst, a government conspiracy.
This is not even the first time Swift has been accused of participating in psyops; the far-right provocateur Jack Posobiec previously linked her to a “2024 voter operation for Democrats on abortion rights.”
Swift is only the latest celebrity to incur the wrath of the right. It once famously harnessed outrage at Colin Kaepernick and made it into a foundational block of its brand of reaction. But the obsession with Swift, about as inoffensive a cultural figure as exists in the United States, may just be the strangest.
Watters closed the segment by lamenting that he “now [knows] a lot more about Taylor Swift than [he] ever wanted to know,” but it’s clear that the right’s Swift-hatred is a product of its own making. As 2024 approaches, it’s yet to be seen whether this fixation will reap electoral rewards.