Ellen DeGeneres Refuses to Be Shamed for Watching Football with George W. Bush

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On Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres attended a Dallas Cowboys football game. It was noteworthy because of whom she was seated next to: former President George W. Bush. The pair could be seen in pictures and a video clip enjoying the afternoon together. (Their respective partners, Arrested Development actress Portia di Rossi and former First Lady Laura Bush, were there too.)

In 2019, everything must be political. And so the news that DeGeneres could make it through an entire football game seated next to the odiously conservative Bush and actually have a good time made people very mad. You will not be surprised to learn that some took to social media to vent. Here is a sampling of what they had to say.

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On Tuesday, DeGeneres addressed the controversy during her show. She highlighted a supportive tweet from someone who wrote, “Seeing Ellen and George Bush together makes me have faith in America again.”

“Here’s the thing,” said DeGeneres. “I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that’s okay that we’re all different.”

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“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them,” DeGeneres continued. “When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do.”

I’m with Ellen. This perspective is sadly all-too-often absent from our current cultural dialogue, with its emphasis on cancelling anyone and everyone who did or said something wrong. It’s becoming harder and harder for people to get along with each other, and be civil toward one another, when they disagree about the issues—even though, as Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty has persuasively argued, it’s rarely a good idea to end a relationship over politics. Gratuitous cruelty toward people who are part of the other side, tribe, or team does not make the world a better place.


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