U2 frontman Paul David Hewson (aka Bono), in a speech that has recently gone viral praised former President George W. Bush and offered a surprising defense of capitalism.
“It’s incredible, it’s incredible what George Bush’s — President Bush’s — name is in the history books. His name is in the front foreword of a book that’s written on the end of AIDS,” the Irish rocker said during his Nov. 12, 2012, address at Georgetown University.
“If George Bush was here — I know his daughter Barbara is here — I would get Matt Damon to kiss him on the lips and I would give him a more sort of Irish macho handshake kind of a thing,” he said.
The noted rock star continued, turning his attention to the topic of poverty in Africa.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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,” he continued. “Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneur capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. Of course we know that.”
And much like his reaction to Ashton Kutcher’s recent speech on hard work and generosity, Glenn Beck was pleasantly surprised to hear an A-list celebrity offer a defense of capitalism and free enterprise.
“Here’s what Bono is saying. [Aid is for] an emergency,” Beck said. “You come in, and if there’s somebody that is hurting, if there’s somebody that needs help, and they can’t find a way 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.”
“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.
“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,” he added.
You can watch Beck’s reaction to Bono’s comments here:
And here’s Bono’s 2012 Georgetown University address:
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