Okay, so I am going to wander into this Ellen vs the World debate concerning George W. Bush.
Most of you know that Ellen Degeneres, the first women ever to come out on prime time television (and lost her job for it before becoming a Hollywood Pariah), who was a vocal supporter of marriage equality, who went to the site of Matthew Shepherd’s murder, who made a comeback and started a television show which has been around since the early 2000’s, etc. etc. was photographed sitting with President George W. Bush at a football game.
When people came out in droves to tell Ellen Degeneres of their disapproval of her sitting next to the President of the United States and laughing – she told people to be kind to one another regardless of political views.
How dare you laugh, Ellen.
Yes, George W. Bush ran on fighting Gay Marriage in his second term. Yes George W. Bush entered the United States into a war with Iraq based on faulty intel about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Those are big things. Huge things.
Yet, prior to this current administration, I was able to safely say that, regardless of the political party, there has never been a president in this country who I believed didn’t operate with the best of intentions in mind. That includes George W. Bush.
Yes, I agree that Iraq was a disastrous foreign policy blunder. One that, as a soldier, I was part of. I agree that many civilians were caught in the crossfire and many died. Yes, I agree that many soldiers were killed and many more wounded.
But that wasn’t the first major foreign policy blunder by an American President in our nation’s history. John F. Kennedy involved the United States in Vietnam which cost America many more lives in a war that ultimately was a failure. Saigon eventually fell in 1975.
Yet we can go back even further than that, at the treaty of Paris when the world leaders were all gathered together and a man walked into the meeting and said: “I want the French out of Indochina.” When asked who he was, the man said, “Ho Chi Mihn.”
The ignored him. Doing so cost us tens of thousands of young men.
Or we could go back even further than that to the treaty of Versailles in 1919 when all the world’s leaders were literally on their hands and knees over a map of the Middle East carving out nations without the input of the middle east and making brethren of warring tribes all for the sake of Western Democracy. You can literally trace the long road to 9/11 from this point.
Or perhaps we should fast forward to the Obama era. The era of hope and change, and economic recovery. Despite the rhetoric of the far-right, Obama was a centrist. Furthermore, when it came to HIS foreign policy, especially regarding Iraq, Barack Obama continued what is known as the Bush Doctrine -a prime example is an attack on Lybia and the ouster of now-deceased brutal dictator Qaddafi. A policy that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried out. So, in all actuality, neither his supporters nor his many, many detractors (racists, tan suit haters that they are) are one hundred percent correct in trying to peg Mr. Obama with much accuracy when it came to how he fits on the political spectrum.
How will George W. Bush be viewed by history? As reactionary? An opportunist? A misguided man at the mercy of an ambitious Dick Cheney? All of the above? Maybe. Quite possibly. But History is a fickle thing. When the scholars of fifty years from now (that’s about how much distance you need from an event to view it without undue influence) write their dissertations of that period of American History, it’ll be interesting to read.
That being said – just like Barack Obama, I don’t believe that George W. Bush meant this country harm. I do believe he did everything HE THOUGHT he should do to protect America’s interests both here and abroad.
Given the height of cancel culture, given the insatiable appetite of the Twitterverse and the blogosphere to swarm upon a target and upending their popularity, their careers, their personal lives, be it deserved or otherwise, now we find ourselves here with Ellen Degeneres.
Because she sat next to and had a laugh with former President George W. Bush. Someone who stood against her fight for marriage equality.
I don’t know what they talked about up there in the owners’ box of that football game. I don’t know how much they talked after or prior to the game after she’d been married all these years later. I don’t know what Goerge thinks about her marriage to Portia and I can’t know that. I am not privy to that information.
Yet, I do know that Ellen calls George her friend and has publically come out and said people should be kind to one another. I agree with her.
See, not so long ago, my husband and I had planned to move to the northeast somewhere. Maybe Vermont, maybe Connecticut, maybe New Hampshire – to buy a home and to start going through the process of adoption.
in August of this year, my mother-in-law suffered two major heart attacks back to back, had a quadruple bypass, and a heart valve replacement. My husband and my life suddenly came to a screeching halt. In the past two months or so, I’ve moved down here where they live without my husband who had to stay behind at work. I’ve cooked, I’ve cleaned, I’ve administered pills, taken her to the doctor, and have even purchased her house which severely needed remodeling – all of which I’ve taken care of while my husband is away.
My mother in law and my father are Trump supporters.
According to scary mommy’s blog’s philosophy (among others) – we should have left my mother in law to die and my father without a wife, in a house that was falling down around his ears.
I’m not cool with that because I have a conscience. Regardless of my parent’s political views, which by the way are different from mine and my husbands by light-years, I am not about to let them languish. The one thing I can guarantee we don’t talk about among the myriad things we do is politics.
Those things are known. I can probably guarantee that both George and Ellen’s views are known to each other. I also know that Ellen has vowed never to have Trump on her show.
Look, the bottom line is this. Ellen doesn’t just talk the talk. She’s walked it. She’s changed the lives of innumerable people by doing good deeds every single day on her television show. She’s stood up for gay people, came out at great cost to her, wept at the gathering in Matthew Shepherd’s home town, and given away God knows how much money to those in need.
Personally, I think it’s time we cancel “cancel culture”. I think it’s toxic, myopic, ruthless, cruel, and causes the murder of people by ten thousand papercuts (or tweets/ blogs/ etc) each one of them lashed out from behind the safety of a smartphone, a laptop, or a PC. Given the involvement of foreign agents in this country’s political system and social media sites anyway, it’s another shriek in the windstorm of suspicious and possibly clandestine attempts to get Americans to turn on Americans for perceived slights and the inability to make everyone happy all of the time. Not even Ellen is capable of such extraordinary feats.
P.S. I love Ellen.
P.S.S. I loved George. Still do. He was one of the last American Presidents.