Pals: Ellen and George W
I’m old. Really old.
Old enough to remember when sitting next to a former American president at a sporting event would not incite a seething pack of bigots.
Old enough to remember when politicians were opponents in the halls of Congress and pals in the Washington saloons.
I’m also old enough to remember when people found friends who shared their interests. Politics? Who cared?
Which brings us to Ellen DeGeneres and the left-wing outrage mob that apparently lost its mind on social media Sunday after the liberal comic was spotted sitting beside George W. Bush at the Cowboys and Packers game.
Worse, the two were acting chummy. How dare she canoodle with a conservative!
The social media anger was so virulent that The Ellen Show quickly circulated a charming video clip explaining that - stop the presses - Ellen has friends of all political persuasions. Oh, and that when she tells her audience to “be kind” she means to be nice to everyone.
Good for Ellen.
Yet the fact she felt the need to explain her friendship with Bush is a sign that something has gone horribly wrong in America.
The rift between left and right has become a crevasse. The kind you find on Everest. So deep that if you fall in they’ll never find your body.
Ironically, one of the most divisive places in America is the world of comedy. Much of what passes for humor in the dismal swamp of late-night TV is mean-spirited, political and unfunny.
Ellen is an exception.
If she’s bitter about the way some people reacted when she came out as gay in 1997, she never shows it. In fact, acceptance of gay marriage by the majority of Americans is probably due in no small part to Ellen DeGeneres’ warmth and sense of humor.
Ellen’s job is to make people laugh. She’s very good at that.
She’s also good at reminding us of what it means to be an American.