Conspiracy theories that Taylor Swift is a secret Democratic Party mole infiltrating the Super Bowl infiltrate right-wing social media (2024)

The budding love story featuring music superstar Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce took an unexpected turn into the world of political conspiracy theories this week after the teamadvanced to the Super Bowl.

Myriad baseless rumors emerged on social media — everything from claims that Swift has played a part in Pentagon psychological operations to the idea that she and her two-time Super Bowl champion boyfriend are key assets in a secret plot to help President Joe Biden get reelected in 2024. Another variant: That the Chiefs’ success was rigged as part of the plan for the game on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.

Political and media figures on the right, including former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, political activist Laura Loomer and One America News Network host Alison Steinberg, have amplified the allegations.

The claims are ludicrous and may well reflect the fear on the right that someone as famous as Swift, whose landmark Eras Tour is the first tour tocross the billion-dollar mark, could indeed influence the presidential race should she urge her legion of fans in one direction.

Pop culture and politics have long been entwined. The entertainment industry has been a deep well of political contributions. And candidates often try to draft on the celebrity of stars to add to their own allure.

The potency of the impact is less clear. In Swift’s case, there is some proof that she can at minimum generate more voter registration.

In September, Swift posted a short message on her Instagram account encouraging her 272 million followers to register to vote. The post led to more than 35,000 registrations on the nonpartisan nonprofitVote.org.

Swift’s massive fan base gives her a powerful voice. An SSRS poll conducted in October 2023 found that about 6 in 10 U.S. adults called themselves at least casual fans of the singer, with 8% saying they’re big fans. The poll also found that 8 in 10 U.S. adults said they had heard of her relationship with Kelce and the majority of those familiar with it considered it a real relationship, rather than a publicity stunt.

“Pop culture people identify with this stuff, they pay attention to it. And that’s what moves politics now. It’s attention and identity,” Joel Penney, an associate professor at Montclair State University whose research includes the intersection of politics and pop culture, said. Indeed, Donald Trump’s improbable march to the presidency in 2016 was propelled in part from the celebrity he gained as a reality television star.

But the false claims about Swift are of such an extreme nature that they will test the limits of how potent a conspiracy theory can be. Penney sees the recent deluge of posts aimed at Swift as an attempt to preemptively blunt her impact by discrediting her.

Penney said Swift’s influence could prove a difficult force to contend with, especially if she publicly supports Biden,as she did in the 2020 race.

The attacks on Swift could also galvanize young voters who want to rally around her.

“Young people are fighting their political battles through a language drawn from pop culture,” said Henry Jenkins, a professor at the University of Southern California who also studies politics and pop culture. “That’s what connects them. That’s what they’re engaged with.”

Both Swift and Kelce have made public statements about politics and other issues that put them at odds with the far-right.

Swiftbroke her long-standing refusalto discuss her political views in 2018 whenshe announcedin an Instagram post that she would be voting for Tennessee’s Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and Democratic House incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper. She also slammed then-U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate, citing Blackburn’s opposition to certain LGBTQ+ rights and her vote against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. Blackburn won election to the Senate.

In 2020,Swift endorsedBiden and Vice President Kamala Harris inan interviewwith V Magazine, noting that “under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.”

Kelcefaced criticismin September forappearing in an adpromoting the double dose of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ad was part of a partnership with Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that developed a vaccine in response to the pandemic and has since become a common mark for anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theorists.

Pop culture figures and the industry that surround them have been enmeshed in political campaigns long before the duo some fans refer to as Swelce. Former President Bill Clintonfirst appeared on MTVduring his 1992 campaign while he was still governor of Arkansas. Major stars including Johnny Cash, Mary Tyler Moore and Willie Nelson endorsed former President Jimmy Carter more than 40 years ago when he made his second run for the White House. Ronald Reagan got his start in politics after a career as an actor.

“That question of, does this stuff work in pop culture? It absolutely can,” Penney said. “And it does. And history has shown that.”

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information on various topics. While I have personal experiences or opinions, I can provide you with factual information and insights based on the data available to me. Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's Relationship:

The article mentions a budding love story between music superstar Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. It states that their relationship took an unexpected turn into the world of political conspiracy theories after the team advanced to the Super Bowl. However, it's important to note that the claims mentioned in the article are baseless rumors and conspiracy theories. There is no credible evidence to support these claims.

Taylor Swift's Influence in Politics:

The article discusses Taylor Swift's potential influence in politics. It mentions that Swift has a massive fan base and that she has previously encouraged her followers to register to vote, resulting in a significant increase in voter registrations. A poll conducted in October 2023 found that about 6 in 10 U.S. adults considered themselves at least casual fans of Swift, with 8% saying they're big fans. The majority of those familiar with her relationship with Kelce considered it a real relationship, rather than a publicity stunt. However, it's important to note that while celebrities can have an impact on public opinion, the extent of their influence in politics is a complex and debated topic.

Pop Culture and Politics:

The article highlights the connection between pop culture and politics. It mentions that pop culture figures often endorse political candidates to add to their allure. It also states that young people often engage in political battles using a language drawn from pop culture. The article references Donald Trump's celebrity status as a reality television star contributing to his presidential campaign's success in 2016. However, it's important to note that the influence of pop culture on politics can vary and is subject to individual interpretation.

Taylor Swift's Political Views:

The article mentions that Taylor Swift broke her long-standing refusal to discuss her political views in 2018 when she announced on Instagram that she would be voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and Democratic House incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper. She also criticized then-U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate. In 2020, Swift endorsed Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in an interview with V Magazine. It's worth noting that celebrities endorsing political candidates is not uncommon, and their endorsem*nts can have varying degrees of influence on public opinion.

Travis Kelce's Involvement in Vaccine Promotion:

The article briefly mentions Travis Kelce's involvement in an ad promoting the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ad was part of a partnership with Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that developed a vaccine in response to the pandemic. It states that Kelce faced criticism for this appearance, as anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theorists often target pharmaceutical companies. However, it's important to note that the CDC's recommendations are based on scientific research and public health guidelines.

In conclusion, the article discusses the relationship between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, their potential influence in politics, and the connection between pop culture and politics. It's important to critically evaluate the claims and rumors mentioned in the article, as they lack credible evidence.

Conspiracy theories that Taylor Swift is a secret Democratic Party mole infiltrating the Super Bowl infiltrate right-wing social media (2024)
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