The Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory That Makes QAnon Look Sane

If there’s one thing at which the fringe right excels, it’s coming up with conspiracy theories. Some of them are fascinating in their intricacy, whether right or wrong, while others can appear ludicrous and yet eventually prove themselves to be not too far off the mark from reality.

But the latest scam by professional fear-mongers is proving to be one of the most ridiculous, infuriating, and pointless theories ever. Despite being demonstrably false and tactically pointless, some appear hell-bent on insisting that this is the story of the year that no one else is covering.

A Swift Sweep?

The theory involves one of the most popular celebrities in the world at the moment—pop singer Taylor Swift. It goes something like this:

Swift, already an established leftist who has shilled for Democrats and far-left political causes in the past, is preparing to be rolled out as a star-studded celebrity endorsement for Joe Biden (or whomever the Democrats nominate) this November. Taking advantage of her current popularity, from her recent Time Person of the Year award to her ongoing romance with NFL player Travis Kelce—which could culminate in an on-field proposal by Kelce after the Kansas City Chiefs win the (rigged?) Super Bowl this year—Swift will command millions, perhaps even tens of millions, to vote for whoever she tells them to vote for, thus guaranteeing that Donald Trump will “lose” again. And, just for good measure, even this theory includes some obscure references to George Soros in an attempt to promote the idea of grand collusion by the left to make this happen.

As elaborate as it is nonsensical, this sounds like a third-grader’s idea of what it takes to win an election. Never mind the fact that celebrities have overwhelmingly endorsed and campaigned for Democrats for at least the last 60 years. After all, who could forget the star power that has been rolled out for Democrats in the past, such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Katy Perry, among others? How did that work out for Hillary Clinton again?

Yes, Swift is popular right now, but she’s no more popular than any other celebrity at the peak of their career, like other recent—and possibly astroturfed—celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, or that Korean boy band that used to be all the rage just a few months ago. And of course, Swift still can’t hold a candle to some of the most significant celebrities of all time, such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson.

A Lie Told Often Enough

Such an absurd theory is, not surprisingly, being promoted by the most absurd characters on the fringes of the right today, including Laura Loomer and Jack Posobiec. Both of them deliver their faux warnings with an obvious tone of “I told you so” in an effort to make themselves sound like modern-day oracles.

While it certainly does not help that the Swift debate is now being covered by the likes of Fox News, it should come as no surprise that the increasingly leftward-leaning Fox has been heading further into tabloid territory with obsessive coverage of otherwise pointless pop culture topics that make it indistinguishable from any other news outlet. Remember Fox’s nonstop coverage of every single one of Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus press briefings? Or how about Fox’s laser-focused coverage of the Gabby Petito story, when everyone else was collectively shrugging and asking, “Who cares?”

The idea that the theory is any more credible just because more people are talking about it is laughable and only serves the purpose of boosting the egos of grifters who are trying to shamelessly farm engagement off of doomsday-style “it’s over” rhetoric on X. The rants about Swift by proponents of this theory, when not delivered in a self-congratulatory tone, frequently suggest that Swift is an unstoppable pop culture force that will doom President Trump’s comeback bid for the White House.

Thankfully, there are some who are pushing back on this absurdity already. Some are doing it with careful, nuanced deconstructions of the theory itself, while others are debunking it equally as effectively by simply restating the theory from an objective standpoint, letting the absurdity of the theory’s summary speak for itself.

A Paper Tigress

It’s easy enough to dismiss this ridiculous, groundless theory on the basis of how absurd it sounds at the outset. But it’s even easier to dismiss it with the actual data that already exists when it comes to the Taylor Swift question.

First, people will point to the two election cycles where Swift has already gotten herself involved, to much media fanfare and declarations that she alone was responsible for their outcomes.

The first such instance is the 2018 U.S. Senate election in Tennessee, where Swift infamously came out with an anti-endorsement of then-Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, primarily due to her pro-life stance. Swift campaigned heavily for Democratic nominee Phil Bredesen, with the media speculating that Swift’s popularity could lead to an upset in a deep red state.

In the end, Blackburn won a resounding 11-point victory over Bredesen. Some would say that this result wasn’t too impressive, given that Tennessee generally delivers even bigger landslides for Republican candidates. However, other factors must be taken into account: First, the 2018 election turned out to be an unfavorable year for Republicans nationwide, with the national sentiment of the midterms during President Trump’s first term most likely contributing to Bredesen’s campaign.

Secondly, Bredesen was not just some no-name Democrat plucked out of nowhere by Swift; he was a popular former governor of the state and former mayor of Nashville, who thus had name recognition and had proven himself to be electable at a statewide level.

Lastly, although the 11-point victory fell short of other Republican performances in recent memory, such as President Trump’s 23-point victory in 2020, it still marked a significant overperformance compared to the polls, which had Blackburn trending roughly around or slightly below 50%, while Bredesen trended in about the mid-40s. Thus, it was expected that Blackburn would either win by narrow single-digit margins or that Bredesen might pull off a narrow upset victory, with the final poll of the campaign showing them tied at 49% each. So, Swift’s endorsement notwithstanding, Blackburn overperformed and beat the media speculation that Swift alone would swing the race.

Interestingly enough, Posobiec’s earlier claim that Swift is bought and paid for by the Soros family owning the rights to her music is debunked entirely by the Blackburn/Bredesen episode; if the Soros family purchased Swift’s music rights in 2019, then what was her motivation for getting politically engaged back in 2018?

More recently, Swift made her first-ever presidential endorsement in 2020, when she encouraged her fans to support the Biden/Harris ticket. In her social media post, she encouraged her fans to register to vote and even told them to “request a ballot early” and “vote early.” Despite this endorsement coming in early October, a whole month before the election, it clearly made no impact on the election, as Trump still only barely “lost” at the end of the day.

Her attempts to influence elections have even gone international, with even more disastrous results. Swift and her fanbase used a concert in Argentina last year to rally against then-candidate Javier Milei, denouncing him as an Argentinian version of Donald Trump. Milei went on to win in a landslide, beating his opponent by 11 points. Sound familiar?

Musical Success Does Not Translate Electorally

The mindset behind this theory insists that because Swift has sold millions of albums and generated stupidly high revenue from her concerts, she must command legions of untapped fans who are prepared to vote on her command. Never mind, of course, that her aforementioned past forays into politics have already turned her fans into voters as recently as 2022, thus ruining any possible element of surprise that might have existed had she remained politically silent until this year alone.

As much as the media trumpets Swift’s alleged ability to jack up voter registration numbers with a single social media post, the actual numbers behind these instances are literally microscopic. The New York Times recently crowed about how one Instagram post by Swift in 2023 led to a mind-blowing registration surge of…35,000. Of course, when this is compared to the nationwide total of about 279 million registered voters, it accounts for just 0.000125% of all registered voters in the country. If that’s the best Swift can manage on a national registration appeal—where those 35,000 are scattered all across the country—then the Democrats would be better off sticking to outright voter fraud.

As said before, sunlight is the best exposure for such a childish conspiracy theory as this. And with greater scrutiny comes greater analysis, including several polls. The most recent one, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, was promoted by the Daily Mail as signaling that as many as “one-fifth” of Americans would be willing to vote for whomever Swift endorses.

However, once the reader moves past the obvious clickbait headline, the actual analysis paints a much different picture: The article notes that a mere 18% describe themselves as “more likely” to vote for whomever she endorses. The same poll then found that another 17% are actually “less likely” to vote for the candidate the singer chooses, which the Mail admits “could bode badly for Democrat Joe Biden.”

Elsewhere, the same study admitted that the vast majority of respondents, 55%, were neutral and would not be swayed either way by her endorsement.

The Mail touts Swift’s popularity among younger voters in particular, namely Millennials and Gen Z. What it fails to mention, however, is that Biden is facing historically high disapproval ratings among younger voters, perhaps more than any other demographic. The latest Pew Research poll finds that a mere 27% of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 approve of Biden, while a staggering 71% disapprove of his performance thus far. Many of the same voters Swift would be courting are already fiercely opposed to Biden out of a belief that he is not far-left enough on key issues such as “global warming,” student loan debt, and the ongoing Israel crisis.

Another study by Cygnal reveals a rather interesting pattern when it comes to who identifies as a Swift fan based on political ideology: people who are politically moderate are more likely to identify as not being fans of Swift or otherwise being fans of her music while not liking Swift personally. Meanwhile, those who do identify as Swift fans are more likely to be on the political extremes rather than in the middle, with 21.9% of Swift fans being “very conservative” and 33.3% being “very liberal.” While the 33.3% are already likely to vote for Democrats based on their beliefs, the other 21.9% are less likely to switch their votes based solely on what Taylor Swift says.

99 Problems but Swift Ain’t One

The coming presidential election will be about many things: from the raging immigration crisis to the nonstop political persecutions of President Trump and his followers by the Deep State, and from a world on fire due to Joe Biden’s abysmal lack of leadership to a culture war run amuck with such madness as transgenderism.

And to be fair, President Trump does have many things to worry about in the nine months ahead; the many voter fraud apparatuses in place from 2020 have still not been fully dealt with, and the mainstream media bias and suppression of his message are worse than ever before. By no means does he have this election in the bag, even as the polls and betting odds increasingly favor him to win the presidency once more.

We have our part to play in helping secure President Trump’s victory this November, highlighting the issues that matter and further driving wedges between the various groups that make up the left’s already-fracturing multicultural coalition. The aforementioned disapproval of Biden by young voters is one great example of how his own base can be turned against him with relative ease.

What does not help our cause is hyperventilating over the latest celebrity gossip trend and pretending that the latest flavor-of-the-month pop star is going to electorally doom President Trump. Proponents of this theory, in addition to being blatantly self-serving, also prove their uselessness by refusing to offer any sort of alternatives or solutions to any “problem” presented by Taylor Swift. As such, their promotion of the idea that the election is already over because of Swift accomplishes nothing except driving conservatives away from the polls out of sheer nihilism, depressing our own turnout over a phantom political threat that doesn’t even really exist.

The best thing to do is to simply not engage with such grifters and let their incoherent ramblings die in silence and darkness while we continue to focus on the things that actually matter. Let us march forward with cautious optimism, aware of the trials and tribulations that await us, but with the hope that we absolutely can still win this final fight, no matter what some trendy singer says.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 01: Taylor Swift signs autographs at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM)