In 2012, U2 frontman Bono gave a speech at the Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. The initiative aims to prepare current and future leaders to make responsible management decisions that create both economic and social value. In his speech, Bono nailed the concept of the American ideal.
Today on radio, Glenn played the audio and called it one of the best descriptions of human potential and the American ideal he’s ever heard.
“I’m so tired of people telling us who we are. They have no idea who we are. They don’t know who Americans really are at our heart,” Glenn said on radio today. “We are hard-working, innovative, charitable, decent people. We are not bigots. While bigotry has been a part of our past and there are individuals that are bigots, that’s not who we are. That’s who we strive against, honestly. And we have educated ourselves, we have conquered darkness many times in the past. We have overcome so much, and we can either wallow in the mistakes of our past or start staying, who are we really? What is our potential? What do we have going for us, as opposed to against us?”
Bono’s remarks perfectly described what America represents to the world:
Anyway, it’s not a right/left issue. It’s a right/wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what’s right. Because when it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America. Because America’s an idea, isn’t it? I mean, Ireland’s a great country, but it’s not an idea. Great Britain’s a great country, it’s not an idea. That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history, right up there with the Renaissance, right up there with crop rotations and the Beatles’ White album. The idea, the American idea—it’s an idea—the idea is that you and me are created equal, and will ensure that an economic recession need not become an equality rescission. The idea that life is not meant to be endured but enjoyed. The idea that if we have dignity, if we have justice then leave it to us, and we’ll do the rest. This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper. And God love you for it, because these aren’t just American ideas anymore. There’s no copyright on them. You brought them into the world. It’s a wide world now. I know Americans say they have a bit of the world in them, and you do, the family tree has lots of branches. But the thing is, the world has a built of America in it, too. These truths, your truths, they’re self-evident in us.”
“You haven’t heard this in a long time, and coming from somebody like Bono, a foreigner, is even better,” Glenn said. “But you just haven’t heard these things about our country in I don’t know how long.”
Watch this portion of Bono’s speech below: