Conspiracy theories swirl around Taylor Swift. These Republican voters say they don’t care
Image via AP.

Taylor Swift Grammys
'It just seems over the top to me that there would be all these forces that would do something like this.'

To hear some conservatives on cable news or on social media tell it, Taylor Swift is part of an elaborate plot to help Democrats win the November election.

“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month,” wrote former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy in January after the Kansas City Chiefs made the game with a strong performance from tight end Travis Kelce, Swift’s partner. “And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall.”

Many voters just see that talk as noise to tune out.

Ryan Allstun was wearing a Green Bay Packers hoodie at a recent rally in Lancaster, South Carolina, for GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley. Allstun said he supports former President Donald Trump and wants famous people to keep their politics private. But Allstun doesn’t look to celebrities such as Swift and Kelce for endorsements.

“Couldn’t care less,” he said. “To each their own.”

Many people at recent Republican political events were far more ambivalent about the pop star than some personalities who suggest the media coverage of Swift and Kelce’s relationship is a pretext to boost a potential future endorsement of Democratic President Joe Biden. Some have gone so far as to suggest — some tongue in cheek, others perhaps not — that the U.S. government is running a covert operation involving Swift.

Some Republican strategists think the focus on Swift could hurt the party.

“People just want to like Taylor Swift. They want to be able to watch football and listen to her music and not consider the political implications,” said Matt Gorman, Vice President at Targeted Victory, a Republican political consulting firm. “I beg people who care about this to go outside and touch grass. Most everyday people don’t have the time or energy to care.”

Image via AP.

Susan Cummins, a Haley supporter who moved to the Charleston, South Carolina, area from New Jersey about two years ago, said her social media feeds have been flooded with coverage of the couple. She considers Swift a “good performer,” but Cummins isn’t a huge fan. She follows the Philadelphia Eagles but doesn’t watch much football.

Cummins is familiar with the conspiracy theory and finds it “really far-fetched” that everything would be “rigged.”

“It just seems over the top to me that there would be all these forces that would do something like this,” Cummins said.

Conspiracy theories gain the widest attention when they target the most well-known figures and institutions. The latest right-wing conspiracy theories blend Swift with claims about the most watched sporting event in the U.S. and a pivotal Presidential Election, making any intersection of the events ripe for conspiracy theories.

“The good news is people don’t believe in conspiracy theories more than they have in the past. The bad news is that they believe them more than we paid attention to or cared about,” said Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories.

“If the right Pied Piper comes along then folks can be mobilized, sometimes with very devastating consequences,” Uscinski said.

Mellissa Best, a Trump supporter from Florence, South Carolina, wasn’t aware of the theories about Swift. But Best said she wouldn’t be surprised if powerful people tried to leverage Swift’s influence to improve Biden’s popularity among young people. Best said that if she had young children, she wouldn’t want them attending Swift’s concerts.

“I believe these leftists will do anything to stay in power,” she said. “It wouldn’t surprise me.”

While Republicans and Democrats believe in conspiracy theories about equally, said Uscinski, Trump “flipped the game on its head” in 2016 and brought conspiratorial thinking to the forefront of conservative politics, making cases such as those against Swift more common because of new incentives in politics.

Swift endorsed Biden in 2020. She also backed former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, in his 2018 run for Senate, which he lost to U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican.

While many of the same political rules apply to a Swift endorsement, one new challenge for Republicans in dismissing the drama is the reality that celebrity culture is now considered a mainstay of American politics.

Image via AP.

“Since 2016, for obvious reasons, it’s become difficult for Republicans to credibly make a case that celebrities should stay out of politics,” said David Jackson, a political scientist at Bowling Green State University who studies political endorsements. Jackson said Trump “created a new pathway to the presidency, from celebrity culture right to the Oval Office.”

The conspiracy theories have become an issue in the campaign as well, with Republican lawmakers dismissing the claims about Swift but also the significance of any potential endorsement for the 2024 election.

“Taylor Swift has made a career off of writing songs about picking the wrong man, so I don’t think we should take advice from her now,” said Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for Trump’s 2024 campaign, in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Leavitt added that Democrats’ eagerness for a Swift endorsement shows they are “panicking about the prospect of Biden being evicted from the White House.”

Haley told a recent audience that she didn’t understand “what the obsession is.”

“Taylor Swift is allowed to have a boyfriend. Taylor Swift is a good artist. I’ve taken my daughter to Taylor Swift concerts before. To have a conspiracy theory of all of this is bizarre,” she said.

Associated Press


22 comments

  • My Take

    February 8, 2024 at 1:20 pm

    Of all of DeepState’s tricks, I like their creating Swiftdom best.

  • Tom

    February 8, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    That’s some serious WWG1WGA conspiracy stuff going on there. Idiots of the world unite. Has Elmo booted her of X yet? That can’t be too far off.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 8, 2024 at 3:23 pm

    She already endorsed Biden in a Biden vs Trump match up. It’s not her fault the G0Ps gonna put Trump up to lose again The GOPs must feel like a 2nd Trump loss will finally have him going away, but I’d say they’re wrong. They will still have to lick his nasty old balls.

  • Robert Plant

    February 8, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    I couldn’t name you one Taylor Swift song. Taylor Swift might have influence over her younger and dumber audience but she should keep in mind what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Can I say Dixie or are you wokesters offended.

    • My Take

      February 8, 2024 at 4:44 pm

      She is the Dixie Chicks’ revenge.

      • Dont Say FLA

        February 9, 2024 at 2:00 pm

        She is their vengeance.

        She is their retribution.

        Look what they made her do.

    • Screamin' Jay Hawkins

      February 8, 2024 at 4:49 pm

      That’s funny. So she posts an instagram saying people should vote, 35,000 people register to vote and they’re just young and dumb. A couple of washed up old rockers like Ted Nugent and Kid Rock say vote for Trump and that’s fine ’cause they’re just good old boys with wisdom.
      As someone said the other day, if your candidate is so weak than an endorsement by a pop singer is going to make a difference, you need a better candidate.

    • Josh Green

      February 8, 2024 at 11:12 pm

      This is the most Boomer nonsense i’ve read in a while.

    • Outlaw Christianity And Save Earth

      February 9, 2024 at 4:26 am

      Hahahahahhaha “keep in mind” is what your cun+ ROGER WATERS should consider as he loses jobs and representation.

      Filthy Brexit losers.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 9, 2024 at 10:50 am

      Congratulations!

      Is that you were going for?

      …but Congratulations on what? Ignorance? Senility? Living under a rock? Living in the past because your present is a colossal failure?

      What was your big brag about? If you had a point, everybody missed it.

  • Michael K

    February 8, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    MAGA has Ted Nugent. That’s about it, and they can’t stand the thought that everyone else is cool and having much more fun.

    • Linwood Wright

      February 8, 2024 at 11:14 pm

      Yeah, Ted Nugent. The guy who adopted an underage girl just so he could have sex with her.

      Ted Nugent. The guy who admitted to crapping in his pants for a month so he would look crazy and dodge the Vietnam war draft.

      Perfect representative for the GOP.

  • Outlaw Christianity And Save Earth

    February 9, 2024 at 4:24 am

    White Christians are a cancer on the Earth.

    Brainless, liars and violent, their thirst for fentanyl, fame and unearned wealth has filled jails worldwide.

    • Bob Marley

      February 9, 2024 at 8:08 am

      The Devil’s lettuce and crack is the drug of choice for Demos in the United States. Smash store fronts, carjackings, etc. Get dat dope and jam those rap songs.

      • Outlaw Christianity And Save Earth

        February 9, 2024 at 12:00 pm

        Yes we know you’re a fentanyl man; that’s great and a big ‘thank-you’ from the Sacklers.

      • My Take

        February 9, 2024 at 12:20 pm

        The rednecks’ meth is probably the biggest in MAGA.

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    February 11, 2024 at 11:52 am

    Shouldn’t conspiracy theories be less verifiable as total nonsense?

    Yes. Yes they should.

    Therefor, this nonsense isn’t conspiracy. This is a sad attempt by MAGA Media at preventing something they thought might potentially happen.

    Some folks at the right wing “think” tank dreamed up a concern, “what if Taylor and Kelce endorse Biden”

    They consulted with the Federalist Society (and Clarence) about what to do. Strategy was given as “Claim a conspiracy for them to do that, so they won’t do that.”

    These MAGAs are just pathetic with their critical thinking and strategery-izing. LOL @ MAGAs

  • Nelson

    February 12, 2024 at 7:32 am

    [ Aggressively pointing finger at MAGA / conspiracy nuts ] Ha ha!

  • John L

    February 12, 2024 at 9:56 am

    Gee…….I wonder why the Chiefs are great. Taylor Swfit….noooooooooooooooooo. They have best qb ever and were champs last year and in the super bowl the year before and the year before that. INsANE TRUMPERS ARE IDIOTS.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 12, 2024 at 11:49 am

      If these Fox News Moe’s knew anything at all, they’d know San Francisco’s QB was the one wearing Taylor’s number, 13. I bet he “threw” the game.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 12, 2024 at 11:47 am

    Are the Fox News people all patting themselves on their backs today for nailing their prediction? To the cross? Where it promptly died?

  • Disloyal Taylor

    February 12, 2024 at 1:44 pm

    Trump said on Sunday it would be disloyal for Taylor to endorse Biden over Trump again in 2024 as she did in 2020.

    Why would he say that? Because he’s scared? What other reason could there be?

    Trump is evidently scared of Taylor Swift.

    So why, WHY are GOPs so scared of Trump? Can anyone explain it?

Comments are closed.


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