Why Bono Wants to 'Model' His Organization After the NRA

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Posted: Dec 13, 2018 8:15 AM
Why Bono Wants to 'Model' His Organization After the NRA

U2 frontman Bono wants his ONE organization to be modeled after the National Rifle Association. Not so much in terms of policy, but in terms of their impressive lobbying efforts, he explained in a recent Rolling Stone interview.

“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 private black tie dinner event Thursday night during a lively discussion with ECC Chair and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson. “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.” (Rolling Stone)

Bono created ONE, a non-profit organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease - particularly in Africa - 14 years ago. It has now grown to 10 million members. In conjunction with his organization, the rock star has successfully lobbied legislators all over the world, often resulting in worthwhile government policies. 

Bono is more liberal than conservative, but his friendship with former President George W. Bush is one of the few bipartisan bright spots to come out of Washington. Most notably, the two worked together to create the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The program became law in 2003 and has since helped prevent at least 11 million AIDS-related deaths and nearly 16 million HIV infections, according to a 2017 report to Congress.

The president and the rock star are bonded for life, whether Bush "likes it or not," Bono told Jenna Bush Hager last month. Judging by how President Bush awarded Bono the first ever George W. Bush Presidential Center's Inaugural Medal for Distinguished Leadership last year, the feeling is mutual.