People made a big deal about Ellen Degeneres sitting with George W. Bush during the Packers vs Cowboys game. I noticed it live but was far more concerned with how the Cowboys (who were clearly the better team) managed to shoot themselves in the foot over and over again. But now that the game is over (I still think they can win the Superbowl), and everyone has had their say, I thought I’d have mine.
I came across a great article by Harron walker on Vice (not an endorsement of Vice as they are often content whores) that really put it succinctly:
Ellen tried to explain away the cognitive dissonance of all this on her talk show Monday morning, saying that “just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.” But disagreeing about the Bush administration’s ongoing legacy of global violence against Muslim people seems like more than just a difference of opinionHarron Walker, Vice
She wasn’t just sitting with a Republican from down the street, she was sitting with someone who actively railed against LGBTQ* community in order rile up his base, started an illegal and unjustified war in Iraq, and used torture; do you remember the pictures of Abu Ghraib and how torture became enhanced interrogation? What rich people on TV get away with is just astounding. What we are willing to accept as normal because someone is charming and well mannered is shameful.
Obama was not any better either. He chose to “look to the future” rather than bring to justice those who had committed atrocities; rather than to bring closure to those who suffered at their hands. He promised he would close Gitmo and release the prisoners but never did. Forty souls, real human beings like you and I, remain there without charge or trial. They continue to suffer while you read this and have mostly been forgotten. Obama also targeted whistleblowers to such an extent that more than double were charged under his watch than under ALL preceding presidents combined. How can we forget the signature strikes? Killing unknown civilians because they appear to be a threat.
When Ellen Degeneres is sitting next to George W. Bush, we should consider all the evil we accept in our society. How we laugh at the war criminals when they are on late night talk shows, or talk about how charming and funny they are. The people that were tortured, the people that are dead, the people that sill live in prison or in constant fear for their lives are not laughing.
What does this have to do with Trump? Not much, but when we talk about impeachment and how horrible this president is, let’s not pretend it was so much better before. Trump is only in trouble because he’s such an imbecile, he exposes himself (and the system) to the world. Trump is part of the swamp he claims to want to drain, but there is a swamp and its been with us for quite a long time. War criminals can make good neighbours, or coworkers, or company, but its incumbent upon us to remember the evil they did, and not sit next to them!
No one is beyond redemption. It is a tenant of my belief system, but forgiveness doesn’t come while you continue to do wrong. I can say with certainty that the last three American presidents, republican and democrat, belong in prison.