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Taylor Swift could soon become Republicans’ greatest asset
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Taylor Swift could soon become Republicans’ greatest asset

A trend-setting example of normal, married family life would be the worst possible thing that could happen in pop culture for the Democratic Party’s long-term future.

Some conservatives right now seem to think Taylor Swift is a secret operative of the Democratic Party’s deep-state operation. One popular theory on social media holds that the relentless media coverage of Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is actually a sophisticated psyop designed to culminate in a decisively well-timed endorsement of Joe Biden.

Not only is this theory rather far-fetched, but if history is any guide, a political endorsement by Swift isn’t likely to affect the 2024 election in any meaningful way.

The most Republican thing ever would be to jump on the attack bandwagon just as Swift’s influence on American culture is making a major turn for the better.

Swift and Kelce do, however, have the potential to help start an entirely different kind of revolution — an American family revolution — if, as is apparently rumored, the power couple ends up getting married.

In that case, as the incomparable Peachy Keenan puts it, “We will witness the greatest spike in weddings in American history. Mimetic desire will grip the hearts and minds of millions of Millennial women, who will awaken from their rosé hangovers and start issuing marital ultimatums to whoever they left on read that week.”

Big if true — and especially big for conservatives. A trend-setting example of normal, married family life would be the worst possible thing that could happen in pop culture for the Democratic Party’s long-term future.

In 2018, my organization, the American Principles Project, commissioned a nationwide study on the effect that family formation has on voting behavior and ideology. The findings were staggering: People who are married with children hold much more conservative viewpoints and are much more likely to vote Republican across the demographic spectrum.

For example, married black and Hispanic voters are twice as likely to vote for Republicans as their never-married peers. Never-married and cohabiting Americans, by contrast, are overwhelmingly progressive in their ideology and voting habits.

What’s more, the study showed that how children are raised has a significant impact on their political alignment in adulthood. Children from married families vote more conservatively when they grow up, while children from broken households tend to prefer left-wing candidates as adults.

These gaps have persisted since then. In 2020, married people voted for Donald Trump 54-45, a nine-point margin. Unmarried people, meanwhile, voted for Joe Biden 59-40, a 19-point margin. This is a farbigger difference than even the much-touted “gender gap.” Trump won married women by five points, after all — and lost among unmarried men by a similar margin.

One can try to explain this gap away through all other sorts of other factors — age, education, religiosity, etc. But the causal link between marriage and parenthood on the one hand and conservatism and Republican voting habits on the other is strongly suggested by social science research and, more importantly, is clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense.

It follows, then, that the political right should welcome the high-profile transformation of one of America’s biggest pop stars from single cat-mom to, potentially, happily married to a normal-seeming guy. It’s at the very least a bigger deal than any potential endorsement coming down the pike. Swift’s previous endorsements — Biden in 2020 and failed Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in 2018 — turned out to be nonfactors in both races.

Sometimes it’s hard not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Still, conservatives should try to avoid it. The most Republican thing ever would be to jump on the attack bandwagon just as Swift’s influence on American culture is making a major turn for the better.

Ultimately, if Swift and Kelce are going to have any impact on American elections, it won’t be this November. But if all goes well for them, and I hope it does, they really do have the potential to help Make Marriage Great Again. And a true family revival would indeed shape elections for the better, for many years to come.

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