A Swift Conspiracy
By Stephen Tuttle | Dec. 16, 2023
Time magazine says they base their Person of the Year award on “…who they believed had a stronger influence on history and who represented either the year or the century the most…” For 2023, they believe that person is Taylor Swift.
This was followed immediately by the expected firestorm of whining and complaining from those who believe every award for every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year should go to Donald Trump. But there is no award for clinging pathetically to the lie they’ve won something they did not, nor is there an award for most charged felonies of an ex-president.
Time has never selected who they believed was the most popular or even who they thought could spur subscriptions. They chose Adolph Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1939, and Nikita Khrushchev in 1957. Vladimir Putin has been so named as has Rudy Giuliani, and it’s now hard to say which of those two would be more controversial today.
Taylor Swift is reasonably easy to criticize—it’s said she’s not the best singer and that her music is cloying and simplistic. She’s been accused of using and over-using auto-tune, using her music and social media platforms to exact revenge on old boyfriends, and so on. It is, however, impossible to overlook her level of success.
If her voice and music are not everyone’s cup of tea, both must appeal to someone, because she’s won more than 100 awards from pretty much every organization that presents such music-related accolades and has set more than 100 Guinness World Records. She has sold a whopping 114 million album units and is in the process of completing the most attended and successful concert tour in history.
The Common Sense Institute says the American leg of her tour has generated a stunning $4.6 billion in new consumer spending, and the Wall Street Journal pegs the total economic impact of the U.S. tour at $5.7 billion. They also reported local economies surged immediately before, during, and after her concerts. One southern California restaurant owner said the Swift concerts were bigger and more valuable than the Super Bowl. It will be the first tour to gross more than $1 billion in ticket sales alone.
She has not been selfish with her money, either, having contributed heavily but mostly quietly to food banks, organizations supporting victims of sexual assault, and cancer victims. She certainly leans left politically and has made that clear, but never shouts it from the rooftops, always mindful her audience spans all political ideologies.
Perhaps her occasional public political posturing is why Time’s announcement unleashed a torrent of nonsensical, conspiratorial nonsense from the far right. After all, if Donald Trump didn’t win, it must be a conspiracy of some sort perpetrated by evil actors residing somewhere in the deep state of the swamp. So Taylor Swift as Time’s Person of the Year now joins their list of imaginary conspiracies.
Let’s see…there are all the rigged election conspiracies—you know those that somehow managed to give Joe Biden an extra seven million votes and an extra 74 electoral votes. There was the pizzagate conspiracy that was part of the QAnon conspiracies claiming high ranking Democrats and Hollywood celebrities were kidnapping, drugging, torturing, sexually abusing, murdering, and then cannibalizing children. There is the so-called great replacement theory, the notion that the radical left wants to flood the country with minority immigrants who will presumably become Democrats, though some patience will be required since immigrants have to wait years to become citizens.
There are the Trump indictment conspiracies, all 91 charges of them in four different locations brought by two federal and two state prosecutors and four separate grand juries. There are the flood of Alex Jones’ heinous conspiracy theories that include 9/11 being an inside job of our government, the Sandy Hook massacre of elementary school children being a fraud, and all the rest. (And isn’t it nice Elon Musk has now allowed Jones back on the hateful sewer that X has become?)
George Soros, always busy conspiring, has been accused of being behind all of it, and now he and his son Alex are the supposed masterminds of Swift’s Person of the Year award conspiracy.
Taylor Swift is a positive role model, an uber-successful businesswoman, a pop icon, and sensation the likes of which we have not witnessed since Elvis or the Beatles. She has been an upside to a year with too many downsides.
Those now so exercised because of Swift’s Time award should consider this—it isn't her first. In 2017 she was on the cover as part of the Silence Breakers, that year’s Person of the Year. She is the first woman to be so honored and on the cover twice. And that’s twice as often as the 45th president.