It’s not often that a gay icon will feel the ire of the left without even opening her mouth in public.
But that’s exactly what happened after daytime-television talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was spotted sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game.
Thankfully, DeGeneres wasn’t about to apologize for the horrible sin of being friends with a (gasp) conservative Republican.
And her response to the hullabaloo provides a few lessons that people of all political affiliations would do well to listen to.
It started Sunday, when the Cowboys were playing at home against the Green Bay Packers.
Television cameras appeared to catch an unlikely group sitting next to each other in a suite at AT&T Stadium: George Bush and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush, and DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi.
— FOX 4 Sports (@KDFWsports) October 6, 2019
In any sane world, here’s how people would have reacted: “Look, four rich and famous people decided to attend a football game. I wonder who foots the bill for overpriced beer and nachos?”
But that wasn’t going to happen.
Liberals were particularly upset that a gay woman would chat civilly with a conservative former president who opposed gay marriage and is believed by many on the left to be a “war criminal.”
Bush is a homophobe and a mass murderer. Ellen is billionaire trash. https://t.co/EEkWNQc5r9
— The Humanist Report🌹 (@HumanistReport) October 7, 2019
The Supreme Court is about to decide whether it’s legal to fire people just because they’re LGBT. I hope Ellen enjoyed her football game with the guy who put Roberts and Alito on that court. Bygones! (He also personally campaigned to get Kavanaugh appointed.) pic.twitter.com/mUwrXJsSiy
— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@RaphaelBW) October 7, 2019
Ellen opened so many doors for lesbians like being on tv and dancing on tv and being pals with war criminals and pic.twitter.com/DshMXX4lmj
— DeAnne Smith (@DeAnne_Smith) October 7, 2019
We’ve all seen this act play out before: A famous person is seen hanging out or otherwise associating with an “undesirable.” An outrage mob assembles on social media, and eager to make it all go away, the famous person apologizes to anyone he or she has offended.
Not this time.
Instead, DeGeneres — to her credit — defended her friendship with Bush, highlighting the importance of being friends with people who she disagrees with politically.
“So Portia and I were invited [to the game] by Charlotte Jones,” DeGeneres said in a video posted to Twitter on Monday night. “She’s the daughter of Jerry Jones who owns the Dallas Cowboys. And we went because we wanted to keep up with the Joneses.”
Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story. pic.twitter.com/AYiwY5gTIS
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
After cracking a few jokes about her experience at the game, DeGeneres talked about the criticism she’s received from the left for attending the game with the Bushes.
“During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, so people were upset. They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?’ Didn’t even notice I’m holding the brand new iPhone 11,” DeGeneres said.
“A lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad — they tweet,” she added, clearly alluding to some of those angry comments.
But there was one tweet, DeGeneres said, that she “loved.” It read: “Ellen and George Bush together make me have faith in America again.”
That’s the sort of message she wants people to get out of this controversy, DeGeneres said.
“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have,” the talk show host said. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different. For instance, I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur.”
“But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she added. “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter.”
Her comments were spot-on. The left might not get it, but it’s OK to associate with people of different political beliefs. It’s OK to love them, and it’s OK to be friends with them.
We live in a very divided political climate where it can often seem that both sides are always at each other’s throats. But it’s encouraging to realize that politics is not everything — in fact, it’s good to set all that aside every once in a while, sit down and enjoy a football game together.
Those on the left who were attacking DeGeneres don’t appear to get it. If they had their way, conservatives would be shunned by society for having the “wrong” views.
These people might call themselves “liberals,” but in reality, they’re opposed to the true liberal ideals of freedom of thought, free expression and civility.
Thankfully, the talk show host appears to have taken a stand against the illiberal left.
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