I’m going to give you another hypothetical:

Conservative, republican actor sits beside a liberal, democrat, gay politician. The actors “fan base” are up in arms asking how the actor dare sit next to someone who has views diametrically opposite what they hold. Fans are incredulous and appalled that the pair seemed to be enjoying one another’s company and were even see….laughing….. Social media is aflame with comments.

What do you think about that scenario? Should a conservative, republican actor sit with a liberal democrat former politician?

Now I’m going to give you the actual story, or what I know of it. Be aware- I am reporting about a report…..

Ellen DeGeneres attended a Cowboys game the other night. She sat next to former President George Bush. The backlash against her sitting with the President was so bad that the actress actually made a statement on her show on Monday stating that she sat next Bush for the simple reason that they are friends.

Imagine that: a republican and a democrat, who have opposite views, are friends.

DeGeneres went on to say that people can remain friends even though they don’t agree on everything.

Imagine that: people with opposite ideas can remain friends.

DeGeneres has a tag line “Be Kind”. As she reminded followers, she doesn’t say be kind to people exactly like you. It just means be kind to all those you encounter.

So let’s go to another level: I try to avoid actual political commentary. But if you found out that I was a liberal democrat, would half of you stop reading? If you found that I was a conservative, republican, would the other half unfriend me?

Why is it so hard for some to fathom that you can actually like someone who doesn’t agree with you?

Social and mainstream media made a story out of two football fans watching a football game. What was the purpose of reporting this story? Were they trying to persuade you to one side or another? Was this a newsworthy event? Or was media just trying to stir the pot and get you to look at their headline? Was it an attempt to make something out of nothing?

Does the media really want a war between Democrats and Republicans?

Are we buying into it?

62 thoughts on “How Could You

  1. Its so ridiculous the way people are having fits about it!! Seriously, this is what is wrong with the world when we think we can’t be friends with people who hold different views from us!!
    I agree that I think it is a media ploy to just get both sides up in arms and sadly it worked!
    But hopefully the more important message of being Kind to everyone is spread!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You may recall that a number of years ago I was involved in a non-profit fundraiser and our big event was a speaker series. That particular year the speaker was former First Lady Laura Bush and she spoke about her passion for literacy and children’s books. She was fantastic and well received. Well I posted about the event on FB and some of the posts I received from “friends and family” were awful! I actually ended up unfriending several people. I do think some individuals only associate with like minded people and the media feeds right into that mindset. I thought Ellen’s comments were right on point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are also in a federal election campaign right now here in Canada and as the campaign is underway, you see signs posted on people’s lawns naming the party and representative that they are planning on voting for.

    The signs are like advertisement, so as people walk by they will see that such and such a house is conservative based on the sign on their lawn, next door is a liberal based on their sign…

    It ignites, in my view, more than just education (I think like such therefore I will vote like this). It ignites judgement. Could be silent judgement, but nevertheless.

    As I walk through the neighbourhood with my kids and they point out that x house is a liberal and y house is a conservative, I educate them: What if they change their mind at the polling station? How do you know that all eligible voters inside that house will vote as the sign on their lawn says?

    It’s related, to your topic, but only loosely. 🙂

    Ellen is right. Be kind. Frankly, I like my friends who have opposing views to mine, as often, the conversations are much more ‘fun’ (as long as everyone maintains mutual respect for exchange of information).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve been reading about the Ellen/George friendship all over the place. It seems like a contrived media distraction from the realities of impeachment and treason. I don’t care if these two are millionaire [billionaire?] friends or not. Play nice, do what you want, but let’s focus on what is important: saving the democracy not who shares their game day ticket with whom. 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My boyfriend is a conservative, gun-toting hunter. We basically negate the other’s vote when we go to the polls. I have friends that are more radically conservative than him, however, I don’t socialize with them anymore for a number of reasons unrelated to their politics (although their politics are the icing on the cake).
    I think Ellen is making a good point. If we always stick to our “tribe” (be it race, religion or politics), we de-humanize those who aren’t like us. We are more apt to see it as “them versus us”. I advocate for tolerance even when the other person is soooooo wrong in my view. If that person has a good heart and doesn’t continually push their agenda on me, then I’m fine with agreeing to disagree.
    We need more Social Studies in school. We need people to understand that you can disagree and still be friends. People have forgotten about civil discourse. Look at the Senate. It used to be an environment of bipartisanship and working together for the greater good. Those days are over and it’s a very sad time for our country.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Does the media really want a war between Democrats and Republicans?”
    Of course they do

    “Are we buying into it?”
    Yes, every single time we click on a headline…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’re allowing it to happen by not forming our own opinions. It so enforces what I’ve been blogging about. I mean, if you’re into conspiracy theories, you could say I planted the story…..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved what Ellen said about the whole situation. She’s right. This country has been so divided these past 3 years and it’s time we see examples of unity. W can agree to disagree but we are all Americans. Time for a change. Brava, Ellen…and President Bush.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We have bought into it, LA. Well . . not us, but a lot of peeps have indeed. And it’s dangerous, because it compromises our freedoms.

    Would it surprise my readers to know I am still a registered Republican? Would it matter to them if I said that I’ve changed over time and am very much a middle of the road voter now? Or would that only make matters worse? I don’t know. But we shouldn’t lose the ability to know people as people. Not as affiliations or religions or brands or any of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly!! Embrace who we are as individuals, accept that we may differ on certain things, but that make us right or wrong, just us. It’s sad to see so many people get outraged over two people sharing a laugh at a football game

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m truly surprised that a gossipy and more than mundane “man bites dog story” has raised your hackles. And I’m made anxious in having to suggest that you are conflating the old school press with the new fool of social media. Do the two commingle? But of course. Do they play bumper cars in the lanes of the information flow available to the American public? Often. But the two are driven by different engines.

    You’re a novel writer. (Hows that going, by the way?) And in writing fiction you have to consider story structure. And a satisfying fictional narrative does not follow the same flow of a fact based news report that keys the five W’s and that H. Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. Facts inform, fictions are made to emote. Different engines. Reporting is a collection of data points. Story telling is painting a picture. Which is why William Randolph Hearst replied, “”You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

    Now many feel that a satisfying story structure was a necessary human evolutionary step to share and shape our understandings, fears, and the follies of our ambitions and desires in an uncaring and ultimately unforgiving world.

    That a fine tuned narrative could teach us to overcome obstacles, and discover both our collective weaknesses as well as the universal individual value in what it means to be truly a human. Our hero story.

    Well, if there is only one story structure, why so damn many stories? Because each one of us is a vast collection of data points. And what is social media. The collector of data point after data point and all now ready to be codified. To be used in a collective narrative, nefarious or not.

    Old media ain’t the problem. Social media is the nightmare.

    To yourself a favor La…read this http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/book-excerpt-mindf-ck-by-christopher-wylie.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This story got my attention because it seemed to inhabit all the things I’ve been blogging about. Why some stories receive more attention than others, what constitutes as news, why someone bothered to take a picture of the situation, why the social media pundits chose to crucify Ellen for laughing with a republican. It also highlights us versus them theory, and the idea that one group is smarter than the other. It shows bullying, in that Ellen is supposed to be embarrassed. It shows how media, both mainstream and social have decided what we think and how we think it. There’s so many layers as to how we can look at this story, how many lenses we can use …..the actual two people went to a football game story is benign. The after is malignant


  10. Oh, the media here are stirring up the Brexit thing. No doubt about it. We’ll never get out at this rate. I want to be out, some of those close to me want to stay in – we’re on opposite sides. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is actually difficult – stuff comes on the BBC news – this is the BBC – you would expect impartiality. It isn’t. I walk out of the room. Under normal circumstances, fine for people to disagree and still get on. But this, here – it is dividing people and the media definitely stir that up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If you opened a kiosk at the mall and sold paper clips, there’d be groups demanding to know your company’s stance on the border, abortion and yes, Bush. Before you framed your first dollar, there’d be a boycott, a protest at the end of your driveway and local TV chasing you and your kids into elevators for comment. This is the new America..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. These are excellent questions. Over the years some long-term friends developed political views opposed to mine. We stay friends through common ground and by avoiding political discussions with each other. I have mostly avoided political comments on my blog but I do state my views in About. I’m cordial on the blogs of those who have stated opposing views on their sites, although I don’t “like” the posts that state those views. However, some of those same persons have stopped coming to my website because of the few times I’ve alluded to my “political” viewpoints. It gets complicated and sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree with Ellen. But then again, I usually do. As for your political leanings, I think it’s admirable that we have no idea where you stand. That’s hard for people in this day and age. More people should keep their opinions to themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There’s something being made out of nothing all the time. The media is always looking for dirt on people and this is definitely an example of stirring the pot. No one would think anything about this if the media wasn’t always pointing out these things.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I posted about it on my Facebook page and someone said that it was wrong of Ellen to be buddies with someone who actively encouraged other politicians to ban gay rights on marriage. I came back with the fact that my father and many people I grew up with are so far on the other side of the aisle we have to have binoculars to see each other. I still love them. We still talk and laugh together. We just don’t talk politics much.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The whole thing about Ellen and the former President was so stupid. I don’t know if it was the media or a few disgruntled fans going on social media to make a case. I may not agree with you but I will forever defend your right to say it. I know I am screwing up the Voltaire quote but the meaning is there.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Of course I wouldn’t stop following your blog if I discovered you views were more liberal or more conservative than mine! And I think the whole “backlash” against Ellen for sitting next to President Bush and sharing a joke is beyond ridiculous. I can’t help be curious if President Bush also got backlash for sitting next to Ellen and sharing a joke? But the bottom line is, if we really want to embrace tolerance and diversity, then we have to be nice to, and actually be in relationship with, people who are very different from us. It’s really just that simple. And I really don’t understand why that has become such a hard concept to embrace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as I know, Bush got no backlash….which also should make you think…..the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. How much time do people have that they can actively engage twitter for hours about this

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Love your blog!! I was motivated by Ellen’s comment to write my most recent blog as well. I’d like to add to Ellen’s thought–let’s not just be kind to everyone –let’s remain kind even to those who are not kind to us. Let’s not let others behaviors effect what we say we value.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Yup, this is exactly the stuff I was talking about when I said that so much of what is laughingly called news these days is actually gossip. It’s the kind of stuff folks to & fro about when out drinking with their friends. It’s not important, it’s not life changing, it’s just nonsense chit-chat. A previous comment mentioned the UK & Brexit. It has been & continues to be hugely divisive. I have friends on both sides of the argument. I debate with those who have a well-thought position, preferably back-up by fact. I avoid any sort of engagement on the subject with those who do not. But all remain in my social circle, unless they advocate violence one to the other. There has been a bit of muting on social media by me of the latter individuals, but we still have plenty we like about each other so the friendships continue and no matter the media’s attempt to whip up some sort of story, it’s absurd to think otherwise. I agree with Ellen, being kind to people in your tribe is no effort, being kind to those who are not – that’s the proper practice of kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

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