Taylor Swift and the Politics of Groupthink

By John F. Di Leo

October 8, 2018 A.D.

 

Last weekend, pop (formerly country) superstar Taylor Swift – after years of carefully avoiding politics – took to Instagram to issue a polemic against Congressman Marsha Blackburn, candidate for U.S. Senate in her home state of Tennessee.

Swift, who has long had a broad following across the ideological spectrum, penned a social media screed that tarred Rep. Blackburn with the usual accusations that modern Democrats regularly level against Republicans: accusing her of supporting a patriarchy by taking positions that oppose women, LGBTQs, and other minorities.

Now, we have no way of knowing for sure whether T-Swift came to this feeling entirely on her own, or if the talented singer-songwriter was led in this direction by handlers upset at her general silence on politics in the past. Today’s entertainment industry, despite being shaken by the #metoo movement, remains rooted in groupthink where politics are concerned.

But here’s what we do know, regardless of whether it’s the pop princess Taylor Swift spouting the claim or any more activist Democrat doing it:   the claim itself is malarkey.

In this area – the area of sex and minority rights – the only significant issue on which the right and left disagree is on gay marriage. The left favors such a redefinition of marriage, while the right generally opposes legalizing such a union by granting it the word “marriage.”  That’s really it.

Outside of this issue, the right doesn’t have a single position that is at odds with the best interests of any group of law-abiding US citizens. Male or female, rich or poor, urban or rural, the American right and the American left don’t really split on these lines at all, no matter how much the left may try to claim they do.

In fact, the right’s positions are universally far better for women, for LGBTQs, and for blacks, Hispanics, and any other group you might choose to name.

Consider these varied topics in the world of politics today (and please forgive me, but I will use some generalities here to illustrate my point; as the left wants to speak of people in groups, let’s address the groups that way, but with greater honesty):

The right stands for job creation. Unemployment in all demographics is down, as the post-Obama economic boom has given work opportunities to people of every color, age, ethnicity, sex and persuasion.

Is the unemployed gay man, black single woman, or Hispanic single mother better served by a party that shouts “I support your demographic group!” or by the party that helps create the conditions that can lift them out of poverty with a path to a career?

The right stands for law enforcement. In states that have instituted such conservative policies as certain jail time for criminals, and concealed carry for law abiding citizens, the streets are safe for everyone, not just for old white males.

We want the mugger and rapist arrested, no matter what demographic their victims belong to. We want the home burglar arrested, no matter whether he’s robbing the apartment of an actor or the apartment of a retail clerk.  We want the drive-by shooter arrested, no matter whether he’s shooting up a park full of black kids, white kids, Hispanic kids or Asian kids.  When we crack down on the problems, we help everyone.

When criminals are convicted and locked up, and when some percentage of law-abiding pedestrians might be armed, everyone is safer – from the mother riding public transit to the gay man walking back to his car from a nightclub.

The right stands for real borders, and a crackdown on the ongoing problem of illegal aliens flooding our job market and our government infrastructure.

It’s not the white upper class businessmen who suffer the most from millions of illegal aliens; it’s the neighborhoods where these illegals live.  America’s legal blacks and Hispanics already suffer a more challenging job market because of their concentration in dying liberal cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, new York and Detroit.  The influx of illegals has brought to our cities new drug gangs, expansion of already dangerous neighborhoods, unaffordable costs to our government healthcare infrastructure, and too much competition for scant jobs for those willing and eager to work.

Do we help poor people, of any race or sex, by wearing a rainbow pin or ridiculous pink hat, or do we help them by making their streets safer, by helping them to get jobs and careers, by enabling their local emergency rooms to save them when they have heart attacks rather than being continually overwhelmed by victims of MS-13 shootings and drug addiction?

 

In the final analysis, the question isn’t why Taylor Swift was talked into helping out a desperate political party that’s watching its long-planned blue wave go up in smoke. It really doesn’t matter why one more celebrity was convinced to tout the party line, lending her questionable credibility to an ever more desperate cause.

The real question is, Why on earth do any Americans continue to divide the nation into these groups, by color or sex or preference or heritage, at all, when our real problems are shared across demographic lines?

The issues of the day – the issues that truly matter, and which should be decided by elections like this November’s – are truly shared by all law abiding citizens.

You don’t have to be a middle aged white man to benefit from safety and economic growth, you know.

Everyone benefits from safe streets, job growth, lower taxes, available hospitals… most of all, those who suffer the greatest challenges in these areas at first.  The people who benefit most are those who live in dangerous neighborhoods, in jobless communities, in hospitals jammed with gunshot and stabbing victims…

Who really benefits?  the young woman on her way home to work, the choreographer on his way to the theater, the single mom running a daycare service, the nurse trying to help patients in an emergency room… all these people benefit from conservative policies, no matter their color or preference.

They all suffered from liberal policies, as well.  Decades of leftist mismanagement are what drove jobs overseas, turned inner city schools into war zones, and taxed families out of healthcare, out of their farms, even out of their homes.

The politics of division have no place in America.  It is a pity that one more celebrity has taken up that cause… and it would be that much greater a pity if any of her impressionable fans shut their eyes to the truth all around us, and listen instead to such hackneyed and unfounded demographic generalizations.

Copyright 2018 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer and actor. His columns on economics, history, and the political scene are regularly found in Illinois Review. 

This article was originally published in Illinois Review, here:

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