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Dear Taylor Swift

October 24, 2018

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Dear Taylor Swift

Celebrities are not often viewed as people who should throw their political views into the public eye. Yet in more recent years celebrities have taken time to express their political viewpoints, and whether they lean right or left. Pop singer Taylor Swift recently took to Instagram to shed some light on the upcoming midterm elections. Swift has kept her political views private for many years, but has now decided to share her political decisions in the upcoming election.

“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 these past two years, I feel differently about that now,” said Swift on Instagram. She continued by ending her statement with, “Please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values.”

It seems no one ever expected Swift to get political, but it doesn’t make sense why people think she wouldn’t. Every American has a say in this midterm election and she chose the right time to come forward with her views because she is seeking change within our country. What Swift did was remarkable and she should not be shamed for it.

There has been a lot of distaste in regards to Swift’s recent political posts simply because she is a celebrity. Many people believe that celebrities and politics simply do not mix. The question I have is, why not? Why shouldn’t celebrities also have a voice? To me, the only thing that makes their political opinion any different is simply because they are famous. Being a celebrity doesn’t make their opinion any less valid, but it increases the odds of getting more people to vote. There has been a low turnout in voter registration this year due to various reasons, which is another issue in itself. If celebrities can help get their fan base to vote and make a difference, I highly encourage and support this; regardless of their views, voting is highly critical.

Celebrities have a huge platform that they can spread information through. We are all human and we all have our own political opinions that we should gladly be able to share. Celebrities opinions are valid whether or not they have a huge following. I know that if I was a celebrity, I would want my fan base to know where I stand politically, and if I didn’t that would be fine, too.

Some celebrities have said her job is to entertain, not be involved in politics. I say, if you have a following; use it. If you see the need for change and the need to educate and inform; use your influence. Swift breaking her silence in regards to her political views have made her more powerful than ever. Every American has the right to vote, famous or not. Celebrities have this privilege in which they can use their knowledge to educate those who might not know anything regarding politics. To top it off, politics affect them, too. It doesn’t take years of education to be qualified to know anything political; politics affects everyone in this country.

As much as people complain about celebrities getting involved in politics, I say let them do what they feel is needed. Celebrities have a voice, and regardless of what their viewpoints are, they have the room to talk about them. If it does not affect your decision in the election, then it is probably something to not get riled up about. It shouldn’t be something that ruins your day, because at the end of it your opinion is your own. It is true that celebrities do not necessarily have the same issues as, say, a student from SF State, but the result of the elections affects everyone, not just yourself or a famous individual. It is important to keep that in mind if others political views affect you to that extent.

Celebrities are obviously not political experts, but if they educate themselves on certain issues then yes, they should use their status to spread that knowledge. Whether we like it or not, celebrities will always have political viewpoints, and with the rise of social media, they are more likely than ever to express them. If you do not like that particular person’s views, the unfollow button is at the top of their page, one click away. It should be OK for a celebrity to share their political views, just as it is OK for you to share what you had for lunch on Twitter. The decision to vote and voice your words is a personal one, but do not let others’ views deter you from the voters booth.

The average person is more likely to listen to a celebrity regarding politics, so if celebrities’ endorsements are what it takes to encourage our citizens to visit the voting booth, then we should encourage it. If you believe the opposite, do not let that change your decision to vote. Remember that everyone makes a difference, regardless of their views. Make the decision to vote and make a difference.

Journalism major at SF State
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