Taylor Swift has expressed her political viewpoints and disillusionment with the U.S. government in an upcoming interview. The full article will run in the Saturday issue of the Guardian, but on Friday the newspaper posted selected snippets where the 29-year-old pop star was unusually candid about her thoughts towards the Trump presidency.
“We’re a democracy – at least, we’re supposed to be – where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate. I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy,” Swift said of Trump.
The Guardian stated that Swift “began feeling conflicted about what the U.S. stood for when ‘all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked,'” possibly referring to the 2016 election, and that she described the current political climate in the country as “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.'”
Swift faced criticism during the 2016 election by not publicly endorsing a candidate, leading to wide speculation on her political views and to her inadvertent (and brief) adoption as a figurehead by certain circles of the “alt-right.” In the interview, Swift cited her mother’s cancer relapse and her public feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian as reasons for not wanting to step into the political spotlight.
“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.” She also confirmed that she would have endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, Swift stated her views on abortion – “Obviously, I’m pro-choice” – and expressed dismay over Tennessee lawmakers voting to impose a near-total ban on abortion in the state. In June, Swift penned an open letter to Republican Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander urging him to support the Equality Act, which would help protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. In the Guardian interview, she vowed to “do everything I can for 2020.”
Swift’s seventh album, Lover, arrives today. It includes her pro-LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” and other songs (“Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts”) that allude to Trump’s America.