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Taylor Swift explains why she stayed quiet ahead of 2016 presidential election

Taylor Swift performs at Amazon Music's Prime Day concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. (Evan Agostini / File/Associated Press)
Taylor Swift performs at Amazon Music's Prime Day concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. (Evan Agostini / File/Associated Press)
By Peter Sblendorio Tribune News Service

She’s speaking now.

Taylor Swift explained in a new interview with Vogue why she kept quiet about politics publicly during the 2016 presidential race between Hillary Clinton and President Trump.

“Unfortunately in the 2016 election, you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement,” Swift told the magazine for the September issue’s cover story. “He was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you.’ I just knew I wasn’t going to help.”

Swift, 29, added her reputation in the eyes of some people at the time played a role in her silence.

“Also, you know, the summer before that election, all people were saying was ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar.’ These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary,” Swift told Vogue. “Would I be an endorsement, or would I be a liability? ‘Look, snakes of a feather flock together. Look, the two lying women. The two nasty women.’ Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.”

Many noticed that Swift had stayed out of the political discussion ahead of that election. The “Shake It Off” singer did post a photo on the day of the election lined up for a voting booth.

The pop star has since spoken out about politics multiple times in recent years, including in June when she said in a Twitter post, “I personally reject the President’s stance” regarding the LGBTQ Equality Act.

In her wide-ranging interview with Vogue, Swift also opened up about the much-publicized drama between her and Kim Kardashian, who referred to her as a snake on social media in 2016 during a dispute between Swift and rapper Kanye West, Kardashian’s husband.

Many on social media criticized Swift on social media amid the drama at the time.

“A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience,” Swift told Vogue. “I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly.”

The issue is out nationwide Aug. 20 after hitting shelves in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday.

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