‘The swiftie vote’

Politicians shouldn’t use pop culture in order to gain votes


On Jan. 24, the Senate held its hearing on Ticketmaster and its monopoly on event ticket sales. This hearing came to be after Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster presale for her upcoming “The Eras” tour caused fans around the country to call out Ticketmaster for its mishandling of the sale and its outrageous fees that come with buying tickets.

This hearing should have been a serious discussion on how to fix the problems associated with Ticketmaster, not a way for Senators in this hearing to gain attention and favor.

This hearing in the Senate was not directly related to the Swift fiasco. The hearing was meant to establish Ticketmaster as a monopoly and make the company release some of its power on ticket sales.

But probably due to the hearing taking place so close after the “The Eras” tour sale, Swift and her upcoming tour quickly became the face of the hearing for many. And not just for her fans, but for some of the senators who spoke at the hearing as well.

Many of these senators used Swift’s lyrics in parts of their speech, including Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal who said Ticketmaster needed to “look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem. It’s me,’” from the song “Anti-Hero”, and Utah Senator Mike Lee who said that restricting ticket buyers from reselling their tickets is “a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” from the song “Blank Space.”

While their lyrical references may seem like an innocent attempt at making the hearing more lighthearted, they were more likely cheap ploys to gain favor with voters, especially voters in younger generations and in Swift’s fan base.

And, it worked. In an article about the many lyrics used in the hearing, the New York Times quoted a Swift fan who was unable to get tickets in the presale who said, “If they were pandering toward me, it completely worked.”

On TikTok, where a lot of clips of these Senators’ speeches were posted, there were many comments of people talking about them successfully getting “the swiftie vote” in the next election.

These Senators, rather than working on important issues in American politics to prove themselves to voters, have resorted to taking a couple minutes of time to speak Swift lyrics to win over voters. and have been successful.

And while most of the blame should be on the senators, voters, and especially young voters, need to be more educated and do research on who they are voting for rather than voting for who they hear about in the media or who they may think might be a fan of their favorite artist.