My daughter and I have bonded over Taylor Swift’s music since she was little. Last year, I took her to the Eras Tour, where we danced and sang aloud without a care as to who heard our off-key crooning. So you can imagine my amusement when I learned that certain figures on the political right believe Swift to be at the center of a “psyop” to secure the 2024 election for President Biden.
Welcome to the new American bloodsport: demonizing celebrities for falling in love at politically inconvenient moments.
The latest far-fetched theory goes like this: Taylor is secretly plotting with the Biden administration. The story claims she has orchestrated everything from scripting the Kansas City Chiefs’ AFC Championship victory to coordinating a dramatic mid-Super Bowl proposal with tight end beau Travis Kelce. Apparently, their power couple formation would grant Biden a critical boost right before the 2024 election.
Legions of tinfoil hat-wearers have dedicated serious airtime to unpacking this deranged Taylor Swift “psy-op.” A romance kindled by two wildly successful stars somehow implies a nefarious political agenda rather than just, well, basic human attraction.
How positively normal of them.
Isn’t there enough real injustice in this world without having to invent more? Leave Taylor and her new beau Travis Kelce alone. Not everything in life needs to be politicized — certainly not two young people falling in love. Their affection for each other harms no one. Yet paranoid minds affix themselves to the couple like remoras on a shark, as if this private romance formed part of a grand plot directed from the highest halls of power.
True, Swift endorsed President Biden in 2020. Yet so too did scores of Hollywood celebrities and entertainment figures. Is anyone surprised? The arts community trends progressive; film, music, and theater have long lent Democrats their cultural cachet during elections. In any case, Biden hardly needed Swift’s endorsement to win; Trump energized the left into record turnout all on his own. If you believe the 2020 election turned on a pop star’s endorsement rather than four years of daily controversy, permit me to interest you in a bridge across the Potomac that’s for sale.
The paranoid notion of a “Swift psyop,” sadly, represents more than just eccentricities on the fringe right. It ties into a broader, damaging tendency to reject normal explanations and assume dark ulterior motives lurking beneath the surface of events.
Conspiracy-mongers, repeat after me: Not everything is a plot. Sometimes a star football player just happens to meet and fall for a celebrity. Sometimes that celebrity just happens to prefer candidates and policies other than yours. This does not constitute a threat to the republic or to anyone who does not follow Taylor on Instagram.
Can we not allow any arena of life to remain politics-free? Must partisan suspicions infect even entertainment, sports and young love? I beg you, leave Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce be. Let my daughter enjoy her music without casting aspersions on her hero’s character. And let a father enjoy some music with his little girl without worrying how he’s going to explain to an eight year old what the word “psyop” means.
Let us also not forget what Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift symbolize for so many Americans: the fulfillment of the American dream. Their stratospheric success stories personify merit and dogged determination. As the self-made billionaire squirreling away Grammys, Ms. Swift epitomizes the rewards of tenacity and talent refined. Likewise, Kelce’s ascent to all-star NFL royalty screams personal discipline and reflects gallons of blood, sweat and tears expended.
Is this not the fulfilled promise of the American experiment that conservatives purport to celebrate? By embracing the self-evident virtues embodied in luminaries such as Swift and Kelce, everyday strivers might find inspiration to attempt great feats themselves. If two kids chasing impossible dreams can will their way to the apex of realms like entertainment and professional sports through sheer determination, imagine what any American can accomplish.
But false narratives about CIA plots and partisan puppeteering sow cynicism instead. They convert icons like Swift and Kelce into objects for derision rather than admiration. And in so doing, conspiracists strip away the last remaining sources of enchantment for ordinary Americans just trying to believe better lies ahead.
So let go of Taylor Swift’s coattails, conspiracy-mongers. Take comfort instead in life’s simple delights that remain untouched by backroom dealing or staff machinations. The soaring bridge of Taylor Swift’s “Lover.” The thrill of a touchdown. The joy of seeing your daughter’s eyes light up watching her favorite musician perform. Not everything needs to be a partisan battle. Allow yourself those small refuges of innocence.
Put another way: For my daughter’s sake and yours, let Taylor Swift date in peace.
Jimmy Soni is the best-selling and award-winning author of “THE FOUNDERS“.
Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.