The singer points to her negative public image during the time of the election as one reason she stayed uninvolved, but explained that she would’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton for president if she had been in a better mental state. The primary election in Nov. 2016 followed a turbulent period in the pop star’s life, as she dealt with the fallout of a public argument with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and her mother’s cancer relapse.
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“I was just trying to protect my mental health — not read the news very much, go cast my vote, tell people to vote,” she said. “I just knew what I could handle and I knew what I couldn’t. I was literally about to break.”
Swift went on to speak to the Guardian more candidly about politics than she has in the past, saying that “all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked,” and adding that the current political climate involves “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.'”
“We’re a democracy — at least, we’re supposed to be — where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate,” she continued. “I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy.”
The 29-year-old singer received criticism from some progressives for her apolitical stance following the 2016 election, and for not denouncing white nationalists who believed that she secretly supported their beliefs. She broke her silence last October when she endorsed two Democratic Tennessee candidates, Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, for the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, a move that would rechristen the singer as a political activist for the LGTBQ+ community and others marginalized by the current White House. Most recently, she spoke about her political journey at length in a cover story interview with Vogue.
She reiterated her stance on certain policies during her interview with the Guardian, stating that she’s pro-choice and that she would “do everything [she] can for 2020.”
Swift’s comments follow the release of her seventh studio album “Lover,” in which the seventh track, “Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince,” details the singer’s disillusionment with the current administration and her own fading patriotism. In Variety‘s review, music critic Chris Willman said about the song, “Here, Swift has found an ex truly worth writing about: the naive spirit of national optimism.” She also reveals her political stances in tracks such as “You Need to Calm Down” and “The Man,” in which she calls out homophobia and sexism.