BOSTON - It was bubbling up from the right-wing fever swamps even before the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC title - pop mega-star Taylor Swift and boyfriend Travis Kelce, star tight end for the Chiefs, are plotting a post-Super Bowl endorsement of Joe Biden. The fix is in for the Chiefs to win, goes the elaborate conspiracy theory, the better to boost Biden among Swift's legion of fans.
Fox News talking head Jesse Watters put it this way: "He can't name a Taylor Swift song, Taylor Swift can't name a Biden policy. This relationship was engineered in a lab and with the boyfriend sponsored by Pfizer it is a match made in corporate heaven."
Get it? Pfizer manufactures the COVID vaccine, another right-wing "demon" promoted in commercials by Kelce.
As far-right online troll Jack Posobiec tweeted: "Travis Kelce was one of the first white NFL stars to kneel for the anthem in the BLM [Black Lives Matter] era and they rewarded him with a Pfizer contract and Taylor Swift run."
Adds former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy: "I wonder who's going to win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if there's a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall."
A couple of factual problems with these fantasies: Swift endorsed Biden four years ago and displayed a solid grasp of the issues in a widely-circulated film clip where she denounced a Republican senator from her home state: "She votes against fair pay for women, she votes against reauthorization of the violence against women act which is just protecting women against domestic abuse and stalking, stalking!"
And the idea of a Swift endorsement making much difference in November is far-fetched. Only 18% in a recent poll said it would make them more likely to support Biden, while an almost equal number said it would be a turnoff.
What's the political strategy behind all this nonsense?
Extreme conspiracy theories are a proven way to motivate some voters, and the Republican base has its share of them. By attaching these fact-free stories to a future Swift endorsement, its peddlers hope to blunt any positive impact and stir up their followers even more than they already are.
Welcome to American politics, 2024 style.
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