On Friday afternoon, Taylor Swift tweeted directly at Donald Trump to criticize him for his tweet encouraging police officers to shoot protestors should they begin looting. Her tweet got more than one million likes in less than five hours and became her most-liked tweet ever.
“After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?,” she wrote. “‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November @realdonaldtrump.”
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Twitter placed a public notice on Trump’s tweet, saying the tweet’s content “violated the Twitter rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the tweet to remain accessible.”
Swift, who was once guarded about her political opinions, began speaking out more than a year ago, when she posted on Instagram urging her fellow Tennessee residents to vote for Democrat Phil Bredesen over his opponent, Republican Marsha Blackburn, in the election for U.S. Senate.
“[Blackburn’s] voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” she wrote then. “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.”
Although Blackburn won the election, Swift’s post caused a significant increase in voter registration, according to Vote.org. More than 65,000 people in the state of Tennessee registered to vote in the 24-hour period following the singer’s post.
Since then, she’s spoken out against the Trump administration, specifically.
In an interview with The Guardian, Swift described the political atmosphere Trump created as “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.'”
Of Trump’s presidency, she said: “We’re a democracy—at least, we’re supposed to be—where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate. I really think that he [Trump] thinks this is an autocracy.”
Hilary Weaver is a freelance writer based in New York who writes about politics, queer issues, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, and every woman the Queen has ever made a dame.
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