Last night, Taylor Swift made a rare political statement on Instagram. In it, she endorsed the Democratic candidate for Tennessee’s congressional race, Phil Bredesen, and, in turn, denounced the Republican candidate, Marsha Blackburn. Unsurprisingly, it’s a move that’s upset many conservative men.
“What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics,” Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA, said on Fox & Friends today, before suggesting that Swift didn’t actually write her Bredesen endorsement and that she had been fed false information. And according to The Daily Beast, members of conservative 4chan chatrooms are calling Swift’s pro-Bredesen statement “traitorous” and posting disturbing memes of the singer burning.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) is also giving his two-cents—particularly about Swift’s fans, who he seems to think are all under the age of 13. “So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won’t impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote,” he wrote on Monday morning. “Still with #MarshaBlackburn.”
Huckabee has since received a flurry of responses taking him to task for his comment, including from Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
“And here we have a man in power mocking a woman’s value and impact out of what i can only assume is fear. not fear of an election result but fear of a powerful woman who’s power he now realizes he can not benefit from,” Williams wrote. “and who in their right mind underestimates a 13 year old girl anyway?!! who publicly mocks a woman’s political standings by dubbing an entire generation powerless? you don’t know the impact you have with your words… what fires you’ll start. use ‘em wisely.”
Some Twitter users, like Williams, criticized Huckabee for mocking 13-year-old girls. Others pointed out that, with Swift having debuted her first album in 2006, many of her fans are well within voting age.
Swift posted her message about the upcoming midterm elections on Sunday night, saying that she’s choosing to break her silence on politics due to “several events in my life and in the world in the past two years.”
“I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG,” Swift wrote, in part. “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.”