Pam Eggemeier, SVM editorial page editor
Taylor Swift and Kanye West are once again pitted against each other, this time over politics. Swift, who until recently chose not to reveal her political leanings, has made a 360-degree turn. Three days ago on Instagram, Swift pleaded for people to register to vote. She also laid out her human rights platform, endorsed two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee and attacked Sen. Marsha Blackburn's voting record.
West and President Donald Trump continue to be attached at the hip. West continued his pro-Trump Saturday Night Live rant, taking it to the Oval Office on Thursday. He gave the president an earful on everything from African-American unemployment to Chicago crime. His wife, reality-TV star Kim Kardashian, has also met with Trump, playing a key role in getting the sentence commuted for Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who was serving life for nonviolent drug charges.
As the nation's politics become more divisive, those with the most influence will get louder. It's hard to find people with more money and sway than entertainers and professional athletes. While many people are telling them to stay in their lane, free speech dictates that they won't and Hollywood has dumped piles of cash into the laps of candidates for a long time.
Swift has more than 12 million Instagram followers, and the voter registration numbers have surged since her post. Before we panic over the potential political implications of Swift's power, we must remind ourselves that a reality-TV star is the leader of the free world.