Bono Says Donald Trump Is "Trying to Hijack the Idea of America"

The Hollywood Reporter

Bono has spent much of his career fighting for social and environmental justice around the globe, a battle that has taken him from the stage to Senate hearings and meetings with presidents, kings and lawmakers. The outspoken U2 singer sat down with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose on the host's PBS talk show on Tuesday night and said after nearly four decades of philanthropy and fighting against poverty and environmental degradation, he's not only not going away, he's doubling down on the activism side gig that has both been a source of pride for his bandmates and, sometimes, yes, embarrassment.

Asked by Rose if he sees Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as the "change agent" frustrated America's are yearning for, in typical fashion, Bono did not hold his tongue. "Look, America is like the best idea the world ever came up with. But Donald Trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America, potentially," he said. "It could destroy it ... America is an idea, and that idea is bound up in justice and equality for all - equality and justice for all, you know? ... I don't think he's a Republican. I think he's hijacked the party, and I think he's trying to hijack the idea of America. And I think it's bigger than all of us. I think it's - this is really dangerous. People of conscience should not let this man turn your country into a casino."

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Watching the election, the savvy rocker said the neck-and-neck battle Trump is engaged in with former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is not an accident, but a result of genuine fears some Americans have about the nation's future. "I would not diminish Trump supporters or underestimate their angst, because I feel that in a way, they have correctly assessed that the center parties haven't yet become clear," he said, according to CBS News. "[But] there are very real problems facing not just America, but facing Europe. And remember, who's in the White House? I'm Irish. I don't have a vote. And I can't be telling people how to vote and don't want to, but I have a voice, and I can say that who sits in that office really affects everyone in this world." 

Watch the interview below.


Speaking of the environment, 375 top scientists - including physicist Stephen Hawking - signed an open letter on Tuesday in which they warned that electing Trump could prove a disaster for the Earth's environment. "Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality," read the letter signed by 30 Nobel laureates and hundreds of other prominent scientists. "Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth's climate."

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The scientists noted that during the presidential campaign there have been claims that the Earth is not warming, or that warming is due to "purely natural causes outside of human control," claims they say are not consistent with scientific reality. As noted by the Huffington Post, Trump has claimed that global warming is a hoax "created by and for the Chinese" and said in May that he would cancel the historic Paris climate agreement.

"The political system also has tipping points. Thus it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord," they wrote of the December 2015 agreement between 190 leaders who committed to fight global warming. "A 'Parexit' would send a clear signal to the rest of the world: 'The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change. You are on your own.' Such a decision would make it far more difficult to develop effective global strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The consequences of opting out of the global community would be severe and long-lasting - for our planet's climate and for the international credibility of the United States. ... Walking away from Paris makes it less likely that the U.S. will have a global leadership role, politically, economically, or morally. We cannot afford to cross that tipping point."

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.