With the US presidential election happening next week, Taylor Swift has allowed for her music to be used in a political advertisement for the first time.
Taylor Swift’s song Only the Young has been approved for usage in a pro-Joe Biden ad from Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell, who represents California’s 15th district. The song was originally released as a promotional single for Miss Americana, the 2020 Netflix documentary covering Swift’s career and life over a period of several years. As per CNN, Swift allowed Swalwell to use the song free of charge.
The near two-minute ad, posted on Twitter by Swalwell, uses the song to soundtrack moments from President Donald Trump’s first term in office including the controversial appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in over 200,000 deaths, and the Black Lives Matter protests.
The ad opens with audio from vice presidential candidate and senator Kamala Harris asking “Why are so many powerful people trying to make it so difficult for us to vote?” and ends with presidential candidate Joe Biden stating “We’re going to be okay, I promise you.”
Up there's the finish line.
Our future is worth our fight.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) October 30, 2020
Footage of Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr, and senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham plays over Swift singing “And the big bad man and his big bad clan / Their hands are stained with red / Oh, how quickly, they forget.”
Swift, who surprise released her album folklore earlier this year, has been politically active over the past few years supporting gun control reform, LGBTQI+ rights, and racial equality. The 2020 election marks the first time she has endorsed a presidential or vice presidential candidate.
For us spectating from Australia, a country that doesn’t have mandatory voting and requires a celebrity to tell them to get out and vote looks a little weird. But it is encouraging to see Swift using her platform to support worthwhile causes and to inform the community.