Illustration for article titled What Taylor Swift Did Is Cool, I Guess. But We Need iFewer/i White People to Vote, Not iMore/i
Screenshot: ABC News (YouTube)

Earlier this week, millions rejoiced as sentient Facebook algorithm Taylor Swift emerged from her rhinestone-studded cocoon of caucasity to reveal that she recently discovered racism and the importance of voting. This act apparently caused a massive voter registration spike. According to Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for, as many as 65,000 people registered within a day after Swift’s politically charged Instagram post.

Also, related, you know the alternative (and better) ending to I Am Legend, where Will Smith was actually the monster and the zombies were only attacking him because he kept kidnapping and killing them? Well, with the newly woke Swift and the comatose Kanye, this is how it feels to be a (former) resident of Yeezus Island in 2018.


Anyway, even with a healthy cynicism of her motives, Swift becoming so outspoken so close to such an important election would seem to bode well for us. (In this context, “us,” of course, is “people who are sane” and “people who are not evil.”) Since it’s safe to assume that the people Swift has the most influence over are millennials, and since younger people are more likely to be progressive, her act might actually have a substantive positive effort on the polls. Perhaps she might even swing a race or two.

That said, of the 65,000 (and counting) that Taylor Swift supposedly inspired to register, I doubt that there are very many black people in there. I’m sure there are some sprinkles of pepper in that sea of salt, but that’s some lonely-ass pepper. Unfortunately, even deeper than my cynicism of Swift is my well-earned skepticism of white people’s voting habits. Never in the history of America has “more white people voting” been a good thing for anyone who wasn’t white.

So much of the push towards voter registration is directed at blacks and other people of color, but we ain’t the problem. When we vote, the vast majority of us take a look at the ballot box and choose the candidates who are the most sane and the least evil. Even with the shitty choices we’re so often given, 90 percent of us still manage to choose the right ones.

Maybe we’re getting it all wrong. Maybe instead of trying to get more of us to vote, the push should be to get less of them to vote. Maybe on Election Day, we should erect targeted barricades at each and every crucible of whiteness, from Cracker Barrel to Lululemon, so they can’t escape until voting is over. Maybe we should push to have soccer moms and suburbanites take citizenship tests before they’re able to vote, and maybe these tests should have unanswerable questions like “Where is Egyptian Musk manufactured?” and undoable tasks like “Sing the third verse in Lift Every Voice And Sing.” Maybe we should just scratch everyone named “Susan” from the polls. Just think about how much better our country would be for everyone—women, the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, and even Kappas—if only like 17 white people were able to vote.


Of course, I’m not saying that I don’t trust white people at all. (I don’t, but that’s not what I’m saying here, today.) If, for instance, I’m in need of a plumber today and that plumber happens to be white, I will give Sully the Plumber the benefit of the doubt. I also trust white people making coffee and pouring beer, but perhaps that’s only because I don’t drink either. But when it comes to voting ... yeah. I trust them as far as I can see them. Which sucks since voting is done behind a curtain.

So maybe, if Taylor Swift really wants to do some good, she should tell her millions of followers that the midterm elections are happening on Black Friday. Which, all things considered, could even eventually be a pun.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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