Of all the people who could have possibly come out against “cancel culture,” wherein one is shunned for harboring the “wrong” political opinions or associating with people who harbor such opinions, legendary rockstar Elton John was perhaps not a likely candidate.
But that is exactly what John did in an interview with NPR, wherein he defended Ellen Degeneres from the backlash she faced for hanging out with former president George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game.
“Unfortunately, what our democracy has become now is that it’s not OK to have different opinions than yours and that is not healthy,” the 72-year-old British singer said, ostensibly discussing Western politics as a whole.
“George Bush has made a lot of mistakes,” he continued. “I made a lot of mistakes. Ellen DeGeneres has made a lot of mistakes – yes, there were [bad] decisions that he’s made, but that was made by Democratic presidents and Republican presidents [too]. And I admire Ellen for standing up and saying what she did.”
The fact that the notoriously liberal rockstar bucked the popular trend of the left – pitching a fit when someone disagrees with them politically – is certainly newsworthy. When DeGeneres did a segment on her show discussing her friendship with Bush, many of the far-left commentators simply refused to let her off the hook.
“It appears many of you may be genuinely unaware that insiders said NOBODY worked harder to get Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court than George W. Bush. He fought for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. And the Iraq War, which was based on a lie, killed millions,” white man Shaun King of the Black Lives Matter movement said.
“‘I’m friends with George Bush,’ boasts Ellen, saying it’s good to have friends with different views But this isn’t a matter of views; it’s a matter of *crimes*. Bush is a war criminal with the blood of 1 million Iraqis on his hands. He should be in prison,” self-described journalist Ben Norton said.
“This sucks,” far-left magazine Jacobin said from its Twitter account.
The other popular complaint with DeGeneres’ association with Bush was that the consolidation of power among elites supersedes the left-right political paradigm – or perhaps that there is no paradigm, simply elites against non-elites. That was the contention of another self-styled “journalist,” Walker Bragman.
“You could have just said you care more about maintaining your proximity to power than you do the millions of lives this man destroyed,” Bragman said.
All of the criticism and blowback from online critics could potentially be viewed as proof of DeGeneres’ point.
John ended his interview with a call for togetherness.
“People need to come together,” he said. “They need to respect people’s views on life. Except when it’s heresy, and I don’t think George Bush is that kind of guy.”
Despite the sentiment, and as refreshing as it is to hear a far-left celebrity speak out against the mass hysteria aimed at the political right, the world might not be ready to accept John’s message of tolerance for others’ views.