Is Bono a closet conservative? He certainly seemed to understand conservative economic principles pretty well during a speech at Georgetown University earlier this year, in which the rocker advocated for “commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism” as an alternative to aid in third world countries.
“He can't do what he's done and be a total jerk. He's not doing all that charity work and everything else because he's a bad guy,” Glenn said of Bono on radio this morning. “He's a good guy. He's just misguided by going to the governments [of these countries] and asking for a bail out. Well, let me play some audio…. Listen to the left’s icon: Bono… Listen to what he just said about capitalism.”
BONO: So some of Africa is rising and some of Africa is stuck. It’s a question of if the rising bit will pull the rest of Africa up or whether the other Africa will weigh the continent down. Which will it be? The stakes here aren’t just about them.
Imagine, for a second, this last global recession, but without the economic growth of China and India, without the hundreds of millions of newly minted middle class folks who now buy American and European goods. Imagine that. Think about the last five years.
Rock star preaches capitalism. Wow. Sometimes I hear myself and I just can't believe it. But commerce is real. That's what you're about here. It's real. Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneur capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. Of course we know that.
“Did you hear that,” Glenn asked. “‘Aid is just a stopgap.’ See, here's what the President is so screwed up on… The President is saying that the best – all of his minions are saying this: The best thing we can do for job growth, the best thing we can do for people is put them on aid. No, that's a stopgap. That is to go in and rescue somebody when they are in panic situations.”
Benjamin Franklin is known for his charitable work. He founded Pennsylvania Hospital in 1751 with Dr. Thomas Bond "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia." One of the reasons he became involved with the hospital was because he believed in charity. He feared the government aid programs he saw in England, and sought to provide an alternative for the people of the colonies.
“If you put this into your system, over a long period of time, it will kill the spirit and it will kill you. The same thing can be said about temporary aid going on too long,” Glenn said. “This is why Benjamin Franklin eviscerated England. You have to make people uncomfortable in their poverty because we love people. We're charitable. This is the guy who built the first charitable hospital. He hates the poor? No. He says, ‘If you continue to give aid like England did, you will destroy the spirit and then your whole thing will fly apart.’”
“Here's what Bono is saying. [Aid is for] an emergency,” he continued. “You come in, and if there's somebody that is hurting, if there's somebody that needs help, and they can't find anyway to help themselves, then we as people – not American citizens – we as humans have a responsibility and a right to go in and help others.”
But, again, that right and responsibility is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. The left typically fails to acknowledge the long-term solution, but Bono’s decades of charitable work in third world countries has shown him that the only answer to poverty is sustainable economic growth.
“Bono has given aid and begged governments for so long – aid, aid, aid, aid, aid. And then he comes back ten years later, and he's like, ‘This situation is not any better.’ And so he puts his brain in gear,” Glenn explained. “Instead, give them that temporary relief, so they can get themselves back into shape, a little bit stronger. Then you slowly remove the aid from them, and they do it themselves. And then you have the resources to go give the aid to another part of the world, or another community, or another family… I am a fan of Bono because of this. He gets it.”
“Look at how much time and money Bono puts into aid. Look at that,” Glenn concluded. “And then he has the balance to come out and say, ‘Look, I can't believe I'm even saying this. This isn't the guy I wanted to be. Buts this is the truth.’ It's fantastic. If I was on the left, I'd be going after rodeo clowns too because… this thing is coming apart. People are on to you.”