On Sunday, a picture circulated of liberal comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres sitting next to President George W. Bush at the Dallas Cowboys–Green Bay Packers game. The backlash was swift, as progressives took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at the fact that she was smiling and laughing with Bush during the game, despite his role in the Iraq War, among other political disagreements.
DeGeneres addressed the criticism during her show on Monday. “During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, so people were upset,” she said. “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.” She continued:
Here’s the thing: 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. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten 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, and I’m friends with people who are furry, as a matter of fact. But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter.
Predictably, her response did little to curb the harsh criticism lobbed at her from the left, but her comments were nonetheless encouraging. It’s interesting that Bush received no censure from conservatives angry that he had been spotted sitting next to a progressive, lesbian celebrity at a football game, but DeGeneres continues to endure backlash for defending her friendship with someone across the political aisle.
Though there is no shortage of vitriolic commentary across the political spectrum, it is increasingly partisans of the Left who demand ideological conformity, and total condemnation and rejection of those who fail to champion the progressive agenda.