If you were invited to attend a pro football game as the guest of President Trump or former President Bill Clinton, George Bush or Barack Obama, would you decline the invitation based on your political views? Not me.

Comedian and TV talk host Ellen DeGeneres got dumped on pretty good on social media after being spotted sharing a box with former President George W. Bush in Dallas on Sunday. How stupid is that? Since when are we not allowed to attend a football game with a friend because we have different political views? Since when are we not allowed to associate with someone with different political views? Who decided this?

The world we live in is shrinking every day. It appears our minds are getting smaller as well.

Unfortunately, too many people have allowed partisan politics to come between them and friends and family members. A recent poll indicated 20 percent of recipients had lost a friend since the 2016 campaign. That is sad.

Without a doubt, I have deleted "friends" and have gone out of my way to avoid certain people since the election, but not simply because their political views are different than mine. I've done so to avoid constant conflict and because of their intolerance of my differing views.

Ellen DeGeneres is right to defend her friendship with Bush. I suspect the two probably spend more time talking about football than politics and that's okay. The sad truth is that we have allowed the daily hysteria that is cable news to define us by our political beliefs and for purposes of profit to divide us into separate camps. That has had an adverse effect on relationships and friendships that have otherwise withstood the test of time.

Don't sacrifice your friends and family in the name of politics or cable TV ratings. Just agree to disagree and remember it is okay to hold different views. In the grand scheme of things, this too shall pass.

Back in the day, we understood that civility could survive if only we avoided discussions about politics and religion. Somehow we've lost our way.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Download The WBSM-AM/AM 1420 Mobile App