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Most people look at Taylor Swift's budding romance with Travis Kelce and say, “Aww, cute!” But now some right-wing conservatives are looking at their relationship and saying, “Deep-state psyops!” Translation: It's all a big conspiracy to make sure President Biden wins the 2024 election.
Yes, this is a real thing. But does it make sense? In this edition of Glamour's new series TL;DR, we're breaking down everything you need to know about the latest pop-political conspiracy theory from the right.
Give me the TL;DR.
Following the Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory on Sunday, Republican pundits and influencers have started to latch on to a conspiracy theory that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's relationship was engineered by the Biden campaign as a tool to beat Donald Trump in the 2024 election.
I need more. What’s the background here?
Swift and Kelce are both influential figures who could have major sway in the 2024 election if they allied with a candidate. In fact, the Biden campaign is reportedly hoping for Swift to not only publicly endorse him but encourage her fans to fundraise for his victory (this isn't a total long shot, as Swift endorsed Biden in 2020).
Also, if you haven't noticed, Swift is one of the most followed people on the planet, with 280 million followers on Instagram alone. And now that she's dating Kelce (5.7 million Instagram followers), the power couple's potential political power could be very real.
It seems like the right is a little freaked out by the potency of Swifties’ uniting with NFL fans, so what's their logical response? It's all a big political conspiracy.
“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month,” wrote former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Twitter. “And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months.”
Plenty of other right-wing pundits agreed, with one host on the conservative media network OAN saying their relationship is a “massive SuperBowl psyop.” The conspiracy theory has also made its way to more “mainstream” conservative media outlets like Fox News, who have filled their airwaves this week with chatter about Swift and Biden.
What does the internet think?
While some conservatives and certain right-wing influencers may think this theory has legs, most everyone else thinks it's farfetched and, frankly, ridiculous.
So could this really mean anything for the 2024 election? Let’s ask an expert.
Most likely, no. Imani Cheers, an associate professor of digital storytelling at George Washington University in Washington, DC, tells Glamour that she thinks Fox News and other conservative outlets have glommed onto Swift because they'll spin “absolutely anything” for ratings, and she predicts they will move on once the hype surrounding the Super Bowl has died down.
“I don't believe that this is something we're going to be seeing in the next month, three months, as we move closer to the election, but I think the tactics that this organization uses just to get clicks and cause a stir is something to be mindful of,” she says. “So if it's not Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, I guarantee you it's going to be probably something around Hunter Biden. They're going to go back to the usual talking points.”
Cheers says that mindful voters should try and keep focused on the real issues in the election, despite all the distractions.
“We have to be mindful of not only myths and disinformation but just outlandish conspiracy theories that are going to occupy space and place the internet in people's minds that really shouldn't be there,” she says. “We should be having real conversations about important issues that voters are going to be discussing, and that's not Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.”
Have Swift or Kelce responded to this?
Nope. But it seems Trump is also setting his target on Swift. Rolling Stone reported on Tuesday that “MAGA world” is preparing to launch a “holy war” against Swift, whatever that means. But apparently the former president is bragging to aides that he's “more popular” than the star.
Am I going to care about or remember this next month?
Dear God, I really hope not.
Originally Appeared on Glamour