U2 singer, Bono, is hoping he can model his charitable ONE organization after a very unlikely organization for the singer — the NRA.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview, the 58-year-old musician explained that, while he doesn’t agree with the NRA, he hopes his organization can have the same reach and influence.
“Whatever you feel about the NRA – and I don’t like them very much – they’re a very well-organized group and we want ONE to be the NRA for the world’s poor,” Bono said at the Economic Club of Chicago’s event discussion with ECC Chair and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson (via Rolling Stone). “So the ONE campaign – if you’re getting in the way of legislation that will make lives easier for the world’s most vulnerable populations, we’re gonna find out where you live [and] we’re gonna camp outside your office.”
While the typically left-leaning singer may have surprised many with his strategy of emulating the NRA, he touted the success that ONE, a non-profit established to battle extreme poverty and preventable disease, has had under his leadership at the event. The star noted that there are 10 million members lobbying global legislators for change every day.
The star went on to discuss a major facet of ONE’s outreach, fighting HIV and AIDS. In an effort to give credit where it’s due, he discussed what he feels is a largely bipartisan effort in the U.S. to combat the disease that began with former president George W. Bush.
“The single biggest intervention in the history of medicine to fight disease was America’s leadership fighting HIV/AIDS, and it was started by President Bush, but it was continued – and this is really critical – by President Obama, and in fact he spent more money on it because he was longer in office,” Bono said. “And the reason that bipartisan support has – and this is a big thing to say, but I know the math – there’s 22 million people in the poor world, in the developing world in Africa, largely, on antiviral drugs because of a bipartisan push, and Americans need to be reminded that what they can do when they work together.”