Ellen Degeneres' Plea for Civility Is the Daily Reality of Non-Progressives Like Me

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2016, file photo, Ellen Degeneres appears during a commercial break at a taping of "The Ellen Show" in Burbank. DeGeneres is known for keeping her comedy on the nice side. But she lets her inner meanie out for "Ellen's Game of Games." That’s NBC's new prime-time game show, which begins its regular run Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after a December sneak peek. The hour-long show subjects its contestants to minor-league torments that, it turns out, delight host DeGeneres. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)


Ellen DeGeneres found herself in a bit of hot water when she recently deigned to be photographed sitting next to George and Laura Bush and *gasp* enjoying herself.

Ellen is being hailed for her “open-minded” plea for civility, as if the rest of us haven’t been living our lives like this every single day. I live in California. My friend pointed out that Ellen’s “revelation” is just everyday life for those of us here who don’t identify as rabidly progressive.

I’m black, and I work in and around the entertainment business. Every day, everywhere I go people freely and gleefully throw their progressive politics at me. They’re not lecturing. They’re just…assuming. They’re looking at my skin and assuming I’m a liberal, assuming I need a safe space from Big Orange Bad Man, assuming I agree with their every liberal notion on everything from homelessness to public education. They unflinchingly disparage people who didn’t vote for who they think we all should have voted for. They insult flyover country conservatives, Trump supporters, or just anyone who doesn’t loudly and proudly toe the far-left progressive line.

No progressive ever asks me my opinion. They just…assume. They assume I hate everyone who isn’t like me the way they hate everyone who isn’t like them. It’s liberal privilege, a narcissism of a sort. They sail through life thinking everyone is just like them, never thinking anything else. Thus, they have the privilege to say whatever to whomever and wherever they like.


And yet, Californians like me don’t need to make public pleas to just “love everyone”. We are forced to live that out every day of our lives. We navigate a landscape that isn’t just politically unfriendly, but starting to become downright dangerous. What Ellen experienced is a very small representation of life in this state as a non-progressive. You don’t even have to be a conservative…just being someone who doesn’t think Donald Trump is going to set the whole world on fire tomorrow is enough to raise the ire of too many people around these parts.

We don’t pat each other on the back. We don’t need to defend ourselves to each other for working and socializing with left-wing progressives. That’s because we already know what Ellen is just now expressing publicly – that you can actually live quite peacefully and joyfully next to people with whom you have fundamental political differences. You can disagree on very deep issues without labeling the other person as evil and irredeemable. You enjoy the company of people who vote differently from you (and even who offend you in some ways) and then go home and mind your own business.

Every single interaction with someone on the other side of the political aisle from you does not need to become a PRINCIPLED STAND. Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s. Just take your chocolate Frosty and exit the line.


I’m glad Ellen said what she said and more progressive celebrities need to stand up with her and echo the sentiment. This is not a column trashing Ellen. I’m a fan, always have been, always will be. What she said was right, but it was also something a lot of other people have been saying for a long time but are being ignored and shouted down because they’re LITERALLY HITLER™ or something.

For the internet mafia that tried to come for Ellen, this may look like a missed opportunity to stand up for *insert self-righteous cause here* to the elderly, amateur painter, former leader of the free world. They fail to extend the picture to what happened directly after the game, which is this – Ellen and Portia went home. George and Laura went home. Everyone went about their business and enjoyed their life. The end.

We are not such a helpless citizenry that our only options for “justice” are to indignantly and aggressively confront every public figure we disagree with. You don’t need to throw a glass of water in Tomi Lahren’s face while she’s out quietly enjoying brunch with her family. You can beat Tomi at the ballot box. You can thwart the Bush’s on the campaign trail. You can participate in the messy, non-violent revolution that happens in this country every four years. If you make your case to the electorate well enough, you’ll win.

In fact, if you’re a liberal just know that you will have a win some day soon enough. For no other reason than American politics is cyclical. That is the joy and the pain of our republic.


Until then, perhaps you can stand down from your hatred for a few minutes and recognize that you come across people who are fundamentally opposed to your politics every damn day. At the grocery store, school, work…where ever. You just don’t know it because they don’t wear their politics on their sleeves. You’ve touched them, talked to them, maybe even shared a laugh with them and somehow the world continued to spin on its axis.






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