2018 is seriously the weirdest timeline.

We’ve come a long way since 2009, when Kanye hopped on stage during an award show to grab the mic from then 19-year-old Taylor Swift, after she had beat out Beyonce for a Best Music Video Award.

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!”

At the time, some people were pissed at Kanye, some didn’t care and others thought he was just speaking the truth. Honestly, I was probably Team Kanye at the point, even if it was all a bit ridiculous.

But, things have changed.

Both Kanye and Taylor Swift have publicly joined the political fray recently and the stakes are high. Their messages and methods of delivery, couldn’t be more different.

In one corner, the mega pop-star Taylor Swift, calling out systemic racism, highlighting the need to protect LGBTQ rights and publicly questioning the voting record of politicians, while encouraging her massive following to get out and vote.

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

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On the other side, the artist formerly known as Kanye “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” West is also taking a political stance. He supports the “dragon energy” of his “brother”, President Donald Trump.

For Kanye, “It’s not about policies because I’m not a politician like that.” He appears to be more interested in Trump’s personality and in rebelling against those that have told him why he shouldn’t be supporting Trump.

Whereas Taylor Swift clearly laid out her political ideology and issues she views as priorities, West has continued to separate himself from any actual political substance or policies of the man he loves so dearly. While Kanye told fans “I didn’t vote but if I did, ‘I would have voted for Trump,” Swift urged her fans to educate themselves on candidates and get registered to vote. And, it looks to have actually made an impact.

In this round of Kanye vs. Taylor, I’m most definitely team T-Swift.

Josh Stewart considers himself a global citizen first and foremost and is passionate about cultural exchange. He has a B.s. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from St. John's University in Minnesota and experience as both an ESL and social studies teacher in Korea and the Philippines. He currently works a digital content Manager for Citizen Education and Education Post and enjoys both traditional and creative methods crafting messages around the desperate need to improve our education system and provide quality options to the most marginalized students and families.


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