The fix, it seems, is in — for both Super Bowl LVIII and the 2024 presidential election.
MAGA media are alight with claims (or, in some cases, mere “just asking questions” trolling) about a plot to use a Kansas City Chiefs win in the former to amp up a Joe Biden endorsement from an “artificially culturally propped-up couple” (per Republican presidential also-ran Vivek Ramaswamy) in the latter.
No, I’m not kidding. Real people are really pushing this.
I’m far from personally immune to the allure of “conspiracy theories.” For example, I’m pretty sure US government actors participated in a conspiracy to assassinate JFK, and I doubt that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
But this one has me finally starting to understand a weird 21st-century youth expression: “I can’t even …”
Consider, for starters, Ramaswamy’s “artificially culturally propped-up couple” musing.
Taylor Swift released her eponymous debut album (about six million copies sold) in 2006. She picked up her first Grammy nomination in 2008. She’s won a total of 12 Grammys, sold more than 200 million albums, and recorded more Number One albums than any woman in history. She’s basically the most popular person in the world, and the Democratic National Committee didn’t engineer that popularity. Nor, for the most part, has she ever been a very “political” celebrity.
Travis Kelce was drafted by the Chiefs in 2013 and has since become the greatest tight end in NFL history. He’s broken numerous records individually, in cahoots with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and as part of a team that’s on its way to its fourth Super Bowl in five years. He’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee when the time comes for that. The only even moderately “political” endorsement I can think of that he’s ever publicly made was for a COVID-19 vaccine also heartily endorsed by … wait for it … Donald Trump, who takes credit for its development at every opportunity.
Politics didn’t make these two popular and well-known. They accomplished that themselves. Even if Joe Biden needs them, they don’t need him. But if they want a reason to endorse Biden, the MAGA weirdos are giving them one in the form of truly next-level wingnuttery.
A better idea:
Swift and Kelce are natural-born American citizens whose 35th birthdays fall before January 20, 2025. Instead of them endorsing Biden, maybe he should endorse THEM as the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential ticket. Right after the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. As, assuming it’s not rigged, they shall.
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.