The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

I'd Probably Buy W. a Beer

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 10, 2019 18:51

1 user

There's a significant degree of controversy surrounding Ellen DeGeneres' time spent with former President George W. Bush at Sunday's Cowboys-Packers game. But is it warranted?

Everyone apparently has an opinion regarding what they saw Sunday afternoon when the Green Bay Packers went into Arlington, Texas and proved Dak Prescott can't win when he needs to. Liberal LGBT icon Ellen DeGeneres was observed by millions laughing and carrying-on with none other than the evangelical, hard-right 43rd President of the United States-turned-painter, George W. Bush.

Who would have thought that controversial, right?

I can't speak for Ellen or for W. Nor can I speak for the scores of celebrities who have fractured into oppositional camps on the matter. Ellen defended herself, stating she's "friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs" as she does, as well as clarifying that "be kind to one another" is not exclusively for people who share her positions or beliefs.

I think, ultimately, that's a fair point. But if I may take a moment to quote philosopher and civil rights activist James Baldwin: "We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."

Baldwin's words are both a cultural indictment and a resolution. It's okay to be different from one another, to believe in different things and hold different positions and even moral aptitudes. It's okay for some of us to be progressives, liberals, and leftists, just the same as it's okay for others to be traditionalists, conservatives, and evangelicals, or any combination thereof, and everything in between.

But the moment those differences escape the tethers of diction and debate and spill over into oppressive application, those differences become critical to the point of necessitative resolution.

With all of that being said, I think I would still buy George W. Bush a beer. With a couple of frosty Shiner's between us, I'd want to get into his head. I would want to know what he was thinking during his presidency and what he thinks about it all now. Is he remorseful of his doing? Did he spend more time listening to his vice president and his secretary of defense than trusting his own gut? These are just a few of the many explanations I would want from him over several rounds.

I think with W., we have to consider context, at least to a degree. By no means does this let him off the hook for the horrible, dishonorable, incontrovertible stains on his office, but I think given the circumstances, and the panic expressed by everyone, coast to coast, in the wake of September 11, I'd want to hear him out.

Some people with whom I've shared this have asked me "why?" It's because I believe in understanding, commonality, and compassion. The way I see it, Bush presided over a new era of conflict, woefully unprepared and unmatched. But if he understands his role and feels the sharpened fangs of guilt, I could buy him a beer, and maybe even watch the Cowboys choke alongside him.

Maybe even laughing.

 

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 10, 2019 18:51

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WWL

Daytime talk-show host and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres has defended her friendship with former President George W....

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest