- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2017

U2 singer Bono says President Trump’s election caused the band to significantly delay and rework their upcoming album “Songs of Experience,” because they felt the “moral arc of the universe” was no longer bending in the direction of “fairness, equality and justice” and they felt the need to address it through music.

In an interview published Wednesday by Rolling Stone, Bono said “the emotional temperature is up about 25 percent” and that the current political climate needed a theme in “Songs of Experience,” which is three years in the making.

“The world around us was certainly changing out of all recognition, we nearly lost the European Union, something that has helped keep the peace in our region for nearly 70 years,” he said. “Globalization replaced with localization is somewhat understandable, but the return of hard right views is not to be tolerated. If Marie La Pen had been elected president of France, the whole idea of a European Union would have been vulnerable.

“You’ve had the same sort of disaffection in the United States with the rise of a new kind of constituency, people on the both left and right who have lost faith in political process, the body politic, in political institutions,” he continued. “These sentiments are easily played and manipulated by the likes of Donald Trump. In a world where people feel bullied by their circumstance, sometimes people fall prey to a bully of their own.”

Bono said Mr. Trump’s election was a defining moment in America’s history and caused many people, conservative and liberal, to mourn for “innocence that was lost.”

“For the first time in many years, maybe in our lifetime, the moral arc of the universe, as Dr. King used to call it, was not bending in the direction of fairness, equality and justice for all,” the singer said. “The baseness of political debate, the jingoism, the atavistic fervor of Trump’s verbiage reminded us that we were dreaming if we thought evolution applied to consciousness.

“Democracy is a blip in history and it requires a lot of focus and concentration to keep it intact,” he added.

Bono said he has no plans of backing off his criticism of Mr. Trump on and offstage.

“It is a little bit of a departure as I’ve always believed in working across the aisle as an anti-poverty activist but this isn’t a matter of right or left,” he said. “There’s a bully on the bully pulpit and silence is not an option.”

“Songs of Experience,” U2’s 14th studio album, is set to release Dec. 1.

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