- Taylor Swifts new song shows an astounding lack of self-awareness.
- Her fans like her music. But now shes wading into political controversy.
- Only The Young is divisive, artistically hollow electioneering.
Taylor Swift just dropped her new song, Only The Young, this week. The release coincides with the debut of her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.
The song makes a big political statement [Rolling Stone] during a presidential election year. But making big political statements is not how Taylor Swift became a superstar.
Swift used to have the appeal of uncomplicated sweetness and wholesome charm. Her voice and image didnt have anything to do with politics. She stood above it all.
But thats all changed with Only The Young and Miss Americana. Now the country music icons business is to attack the president and one of her states senators.
She has hired out her voice to be employed for political purposes, corrupting the purity of her art. The boorish food fight that is U.S. politics is no place for Taylor Swift.
Only The Young Has No Heart
Great art is a wellspring of meaning. It doesnt have an agenda. It certainly doesnt have a political agenda. Art with a political agenda is hardly art at all.
Its just propaganda.
Having a narrow agenda usually gets in the way of making truly captivating, resounding songs, or paintings, or stories. It produces third rate work like the throw-away melody and novice lyricism of Only The Young.
Taylor Swifts agenda is to get more young people to vote in 2020. But shes made it clear that shes counting on that to push Americas political center to the left.
Taylor Swift Is Fighting Dirty
Here are some words she uses to rally the young:
You go to class, scaredWondering where the best hiding spot would beAnd the big bad man and his big bad clanTheir hands are stained with red
Shes blaming millions of people whove never hurt anyone for the actions of rampage killers. The system didnt even merely fail in her mind.
Taylor Swift is holding half of our society responsible for the choices individuals made. But society isnt to blame. Individuals are responsible for their own actions.
This is the ugly turn American politics has taken in recent years. And its bad enough that politicians and their adjuncts in the media do this now.
But its even worse that our kids cant even listen to pop music anymore without being exposed to this new normal of bad faith hate-mongering.
Miss Americana No More
Taylor Swift is finally lashing out. But not in the way that most teen pop idols do. | Source: Sundance Institute via AP
Taylor Swifts refrain is:
Only the youngCan runOnly one thing can save usOnly the young
But if thats really true, shouldnt Taylor Swift back pro-life politicians like Sen. Marsha Blackburn? Its just a question. Im not going to treat Taylor Swift the way shes treating so many Americans, and sing a song about how her hands are stained red.
What Swift needs to understand is that the most controversial issues in politics are very nuanced. And that both sides want the best and have good reasons for believing what they do. That extends to older people, whove had a lot more life experience than younger Americans.
Theres a lot that young Americans can learn from their elders. And if the next generation is going to save us, it wont be by tearing our parents and grandparents down.
Heres what Miss Americana seems like to me. It seems like Taylor Swift is in that phase Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera really any aging teen pop idol went through. Where they grow up by becoming very forwardly sexual with their image.
But Swifts version of rebelling is just that shes really political now and a Democrat. Which is actually super adorable. Its even a bit endearing. But it is tough to watch politics claim and absorb yet another great artist this year.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: February 1, 2020 4:38 PM UTC