Taylor Swift is making a mistake with her new documentary, 'Miss Americana,' an odd attempt to reinvent herself as a political figure.
The trailer for “Miss Americana” makes it clear that Taylor Swift is trying to reinvent herself as a political activist.
David Letterman predicted this moment in Taylor Swift’s career years ago. She once said on his show:
I feel like at 22, it’s my right to vote, but it’s not my right to tell other people what to do.
Then Letterman proved he’s among the prophets when he replied:
But as you grow older, you’ll realize that the dumb people around you are growing in number. And so you’ll have to tell them what to do.
Taylor Swift wants to believe – or wants her fans to believe – that she cares about politics more than she cares about her songs and music career.
But it’s an awfully suspicious coincidence that Swift waited until she was no longer broke to get woke. And that she’s certainly picking the side that will keep her in the “Top 40” and Hollywood entertainment industry’s good graces.
The trailer for her upcoming Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” opens with this melodramatic voiceover:
Throughout my whole career, label executives would just say: ‘A nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on people. A nice girl smiles and waves and says thank you.’ I became the person everyone wanted me to be.
Is Taylor Swift, one of the luckiest, most fortunate people to ever live, actually trying to get fans to feel sorry for her?
She makes it sound like she agreed to some kind of sinister, Faustian bargain. Imagine some ruthless corporate industry executive billowing cigar smoke in a lavish boardroom. He tempts a wide-eyed young Swift:
I can give you everything you ever wanted. Wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Millions of people will adore and worship you. The entire world will treasure your words and your voice.
But Swift is incredulous. She answers:
What will I have to give up in return?
The recording bigwig’s mouth twists into a devious grin.
You have to be nice. And smile.
Then he does an evil villain laugh.
Swift actually starts off the “Miss Americana” trailer like this. With a pity party over that bargain. But don’t expect her to give back the millions and mansions it made her.
And I don’t believe for a second that Taylor Swift doesn’t actually just like to smile.
This documentary is supposed to chronicle Taylor Swift’s bold foray into political activism. It portrays her 2018 endorsement of a Democratic Senate candidate in red-state Tennessee as a huge career risk. Her possible “Dixie Chicks” moment.
But it wasn’t like that at all.
The Chicks didn’t endorse a respectable governor who was running for Senate. They said they were “ashamed” of the president, right before a war, on foreign soil, a year-and-a-half after 9/11. Now that took courage.
Even Hillary Clinton supported the Iraq War. The Dixie Chicks staked out some truly controversial political ground. It was a very unpopular opinion that mattered to them. They went full Colin Kaepernick and sacrificed everything.
Taylor Swift wants us to admire her bravery for boldly going on the record as… opposed to violence against women and kicking gay people out of restaurants.
This wasn’t courageous in 2018. Swift waited even longer to back the LGBT community than johnny-come-latelies Barack Obama (2012) and Hillary Clinton (2013).
Taylor Swift’s attempt at reinventing herself is a mistake. Because she’s already perfect the way she is. Swift makes some sweet ear candy. Bless her heart, she’s had more success at it than anyone gets to have at anything. Why isn’t that enough?