by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It seemed inevitable that a backlash would arrive — even if it’s fair to say Swift didn’t necessarily ask for all this undue attention.
Considering anyone who’s dipped a toe in social media in the last week has probably had their eyes fried by all-caps discussions of whether or not Swift and her relationship with Superbowl-bound Travis Kelce is a “psyop” designed to change the outcome of the 2024 election, you might be inclined to think that moment has arrived. …
… [A]s of now, there’s no real evidence that large numbers of people are upset about Taylor Swift, much less believe she’s the lynchpin of an insidious plan to help Joe Biden get reelected. Besides, isn’t this out in the open? No one would be surprised if she endorses Biden at some point — she came out against Trump in 2020 and has attacked GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn. She’s clearly a Democrat. You don’t have to concoct a conspiracy here.
At most, you will find some sports fans annoyed that they keep cutting away from NFL games for reaction shots of Swift, and that is a) a fair complaint and b) probably something Swift has no control over. Then there’s the more general issue that conservatives, indeed at this point all Americans, have very good reasons to believe they are pretty much being lied to and manipulated constantly. But that’s a much more generalized problem than Swift’s current role in the national conversation.
It’s hard to draw any concrete conclusions here, and as of now, I suspect that if there is a psyop here, it’s that there’s been a psyop to convince the public that large numbers of Republican voters believe Taylor Swift is a psyop.
I suspect the supposed conspiracies and discontent over Taylor Swift aren’t really representative of public opinion on the right, left, or center. It’s far more accurate to say we are a rootless society that has lost sight of the transcendental values of truth, unity, beauty, and goodness that would otherwise be used to define good art, ground our politics, and infer any connection between the two.