Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Taylor Swift's People Meet Joe Biden's People
76
0:00
-20:48

Taylor Swift's People Meet Joe Biden's People

A Tragedy in One Act
76
Transcript

No transcript...

Joanna Parker paces in her office. The media narrative successfully sank the Republicans and their efforts to steal some of the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce energy. Amateurs.

After all this time, they still haven’t learned that WE control everything. Making them look like fools, waking up a whole generation to how stupid the Republicans are, was worth all of the trouble it took to hire well-paid and well-placed social media actors to whip them up into a frenzy.

The Pentagon? Please. Like they care about Taylor Swift’s fan base. She played to packed stadiums all over the world with adoring fans chanting her lyrics, every single word to every single song, now that is power.

She was already on our side. We just needed a viral moment to wake up her fans so they would learn early who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Joanna thought they mostly did a good job. The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone and even CNN did their part in mocking the Republicans over the whole episode.

James Carville never passes up the chance to call Trump supporters stupid. It’s practically his full-time job by now. And why shouldn’t he? What else has he got to do? We won the media narrative and maintained the moral high ground.

The whole thing worked out better than Joanna could have ever imagined. Why, she wondered, did they think they were any match for the machine that the Democratic Party has become? The house always wins. Now, Swift fans will spend their young lives voting against the people who were mean to Taylor Swift.

But she had to close the deal. She needed the endorsement. So far, Taylor’s people had ignored her phone calls. It had to be a conversation, not a text or an email. She would try one more time.

“Siri,” she says. “Call Tiffany Sarandon.”

Frustrated, Joanna dials the number herself, which she knows by heart.

Three rings too many. Tiffany wasn’t going to pick up.

“This is Tiffany.”

”Tiffany,” Joanna splutters. “I can’t believe you actually answered. Girl, I’ve been trying to get you on the phone all day.”

”We’ve been busy over here, as you can imagine.”

”I imagine,” Joanna says. “How is all of that going, by the way?”

“Well, between the New York Times crazies saying she was secretly gay and the MAGA crazies saying she’s a Pentagon psyop, it’s been quite the week.”

“The MAGA crazies are crazier, don’t you think?”

“I don’t know,” Tiffany says, “That Times piece was legit unhinged. It’s a toss-up, really.”

“Well, I don’t want to argue about it, I just wanted to check in and see how things were going. We’re such big fans of Taylor around here. The President is her biggest fan.”

“He has no idea who she is, does he.”

“No, but we played some of her music and it looked like he understood he was listening to music at least. But you know, Joe is doing great. He’s old. But he’s a good man, an empathetic man who is the better option for president in 2024, to put it mildly.”

“Just ask, Joanna. I don’t have all day.”

“Fine, will she endorse Joe Biden or not?”

There is a long pause. Joana bites her lip. Here is the part where Tiffany blows her off.

“The endorsement,” Tiffany says slowly, “Of Genocide Joe.”

“What did you just say?”

“We’ve run into a snag, Joanna. Half of Taylor’s fan base calls him Genocide Joe. They’re not going to vote for him, and if she endorses him, that will take her down faster than Leonardo DiCaprio at the end of Titanic.”

Joanna begins to sweat. Her eyes dart around the room. She wasn’t prepared for this. “It’s not genocide,” Joanna explains, “It’s war. War is hell. We have a country to think about. We need Taylor for the war effort here.”

”Did you know that when Kylie Jenner posted her support for Israel after the attacks on October 7, she lost 1 million Instagram followers?”

”Really?” Joanna says, pretending to be shocked. Of course, she knew that. She knows everything.

”Despite pressure from activists, Taylor has stayed out of it but she did spend time with Selena Gomez and they went to a fundraiser for Gaza. Palestine. She hopes that would keep things somewhat tamped down. Did you see this video?”

Of course, Joanna saw it. She sees everything. “No, I hadn’t seen that,” she says.

”Well, that is just a sample of what would happen to Taylor if she endorses Joe Biden. It would be like she was endorsing genocide. She’s already been accused of “white feminism” after Kanye West humiliated her in public.”

“She’s finally where she wants to be, career-wise,” Tiffany says. “And she’s in love. Her biological clock is ticking so loud it’s knocking things off the shelf. This is not the time to insert herself in a volatile election.”

”You’re looking at this all wrong,” Joanna says, laughing. “The war in Gaza does not define Joe Biden. He’s the empathy guy. He’s the adult in the room. He is the only thing that stands between us and the end of democracy as we once knew it. Would Taylor want to be responsible for helping to elect a dictator?”

“Well, try explaining that to the kinds of young people who splatter minestrone soup on the Mona Lisa. They don’t exactly listen to reason. All those dead babies, all that destruction…”

“I did not wake up this early to drive to Beverly Hills to listen to you lecture me about Israel and Palestine. Okay?”

“My job is to look out for my client's best interests.”

“What about the best interests of the country? We need all hands on deck like we’re fighting the Nazis in World War II. If Taylor doesn’t do something to help with the war effort, she will be responsible for everything that happens next.”

“Is that a threat? You know I’m recording this phone call.”

“Yeah, so am I,” Joanna lies.

“Fine.”

“Okay,” Joanna says, “You don’t have to decide this right now. We can come up with different ways to drum up enthusiasm. What if, say, oh I don’t know, during Style Joe Biden could come out and take Taylor’s hand as they dance down the stage?”

“Right,” Tiffany says. “Joe Biden can barely walk off the stage, let alone dance down it. What if he trips and falls into a pile of Swifties?”

“Okay. That’s out,” Joanna says. “What about, just spitballing here, during You Belong to Me we cut to Joe Biden in the bleachers surrounded by Swifties? He doesn’t fall on them; he’s just sitting with them, like he’s a Swiftie, too?”

“Joe Biden surrounded by 12-year-old girls is probably not the best look. You can’t remove your eyeballs, wash them in soapy water, and unsee that.”

“Okay OKAY,” Joanna says. “Wait a second … I got it. How about during Shake it Off we show a video of Joe Biden’s face on the big screen? You know, like Joe just needs to shake it off? Shake it off?”

“You mean like Big Brother in 1984?”

“Yeah, forget it. There aren’t enough tanning beds in the world that can fix that. Oh, I know, we could do You Need to Calm Down with Trump’s face! Something? And then Biden comes out…on stage and waves to the crowd…”

“Taylor wants to be as inclusive as possible with her audience,” Tiffany says. “Her dad’s a Trump supporter. She is not someone who wants to divide the country. The whole point of her show was to bring everyone together under one roof for a shared emotional experience.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Joanna says. “This is my last offer. The song Wildest Dreams — Joe Biden can come out on stage — they could imagine him winning in 2024 as the wildest dream. I mean, it could bring the house down.”

“Do you think the lyrics, ‘he’s so tall and handsome as hell’ applies to Joe Biden? Also, when they see Joe Biden, they think of genocide.”

“FINE! This is my very last offer. How about Travis and Taylor come to the White House? Maybe she’s helping him with some charity for trans teenagers or teenagers who want an abortion or something like that. And maybe someone special pops out of the closet.”

“You mean like Monica Lewinsky?”

“No.”

“Michelle Obama?”

“No, no. I was thinking someone a little more exciting like…”

“Zelensky?”

“I was going to say Bruce Springsteen, and they could perform a live concert. They could sing, oh, I don’t know. Lover.

“Really? That’s not creepy at all!”

Okay, they can do Cruel Summer. Jill and Joe could dance to it? They could bring back the Christmas special dancers for a celebratory viral moment?”

There is silence on the other end.

“Tiffany? Did I lose you?”

“Why don’t you get back to me when the war in Gaza ends? Then we can talk, okay?”

“The war in Gaza is never going to end, Tiffany.”

“I’m sorry, Joanna, I really have to go. Someone just accused Travis Kelce of actually being a space alien.”

Joanna hears the click on the other end. If there is one thing she can’t handle, it is failure.

She sinks into her chair and thinks about the war in Gaza and Taylor Swift. She thinks about her life, too. How did this end up being her job? Biden was going to lose, and it would be her fault because she couldn’t get Taylor Swift to endorse him.

She hears Taylor Swift’s song The Archer playing softly on the speaker. She couldn’t think about this anymore. Maybe tomorrow she would get back to being a bulldog. But right now, she would be a Swiftie, caught up in the forever dream of what it was like to be young and have your whole life ahead of you.

That was what made Taylor Swift so powerful. She gives us the dream. Everything else gives us the nightmare. There was too much to worry about. Joanna stared out the window and let the music carry her away.

76 Comments
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Essays on politics and culture from Sasha Stone's Substack. A former Democrat and Leftist who escaped the bubble to get to know the other side of the country and to take a more critical look at the left. Sashastone.substack.com