Ever since Donald Trump stepped into politics, the onus has been on other members of the entertainment industry to share their political views, occasionally sparring a back-and-forth with none other than the president, himself. Such was the case this week when, on Monday, Trump responded to Taylor Swift endorsing Democrat Phil Bredesen, who is running for Senate in Tennessee, where Swift says she is registered to vote.
A video of Trump's response, which took place outside the White House, was widely shared on Twitter on Monday. "Taylor Swift's jumping into politics," a reporter out of view is heard saying to Trump. This appeared to grab Trump's attention, as he is seen pivoting back toward the camera. He then asks for clarification about what, exactly, the pop star had done, to which the reporter explains that she had endorsed Bredesen. In turn, she also asked people not to vote for his opponent, Republican Marsha Blackburn.
“Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job now in Tennessee. She’s leading now substantially, which she should. I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about her,” Trump responded, addressing a pool of reporters, according to footage shared to Twitter. “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, OK?”
Trump's response was notable, among other reasons, because he tends to viciously rebuke those who disagree with him, calling them names and dismissing them entirely. His response to Swift's comments, in turn, was marked with a smile and a hint of humor.
Swift rocked social media Sunday night when she broke with her reputation for staying quiet where American politics are concerned. In a lengthy Instagram post, she acknowledged that she rarely shared her own political views, but said that the last two years had compelled her to share what she believed to be a very important message.
"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 in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now," she wrote. "I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country."
She then went on to detail who she would — and wouldn't — vote for in the upcoming Tennessee elections:
As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.
Swift has not offered any followup to the post, but one thing is definitely certain: Her fans are loyal, and they pay attention to everything she says and does. If nothing else, she definitely got their attention.