For the most part, though, Swift has been studiously apolitical to a degree that’s difficult in the Trump era—and critics assume her calculation is an economic one. Unlike most of her peers in pop, her roots are in country music, and many speculate she is fearful of alienating a large portion of her fan base who might support Trump.
“[Successful artists] have whole industries around them that they’ve built to support them, and those people—generally speaking—they only have one interest and that’s for the money to keep flowing,” explains Howie Klein, former president of Reprise Records. “I can imagine that someone like her is gonna be driven by almost her own little Taylor Swift industry around her doing quick calculations of cost-benefit analysis.”
But Hilary Rosen, a Democratic communications strategist who served as chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America for 17 years, said in an email that if artists approach politics authentically like they do with their art, “they can both accomplish a lot and keep their fans.”