There’s a bully on the bully pulpit and silence is not an option.”  — Bono (Rolling Stone, September 20, 2017)

Irish rock band U2, formed in 1976, consists of frontman Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion).

From Salon.com: “Are you ready to gamble your car? Are you ready to gamble your house? Are you ready to gamble the American dream?” Bono asked the audience in September 2016, when U2 appeared for the first time in almost a year as part of the IHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas. Opening with a remixed version of “Desire,” all was business as usual until the bridge, when the visage of [candidate] Donald Trump appeared on a large video screen above the band.

The video repeated the line, “What do you have to lose?” on a loop, reminiscent of the video vignettes the band began using on 1992’s ZooTV tour. “The American dream is dead,” the then-candidate proclaimed. “The American dream is alive,” Bono shouted, before continuing: “What do you have to lose? Everything … everything.”

On October 5, 2016, U2 again mocked candidate Trump and his proposed border wall while performing “Bullet the Blue Sky” at the Dreamforce concert in San Francisco:

Bullet The Blue Sky – U2

From Rolling Stone: “The new bit called ‘Liberty…’ found Bono condescending to clips of the Republican nominee touting his vast wealth and plans to build a great wall on the Mexican border. “Now candidate, you understand it’s not just Mexican people who are going to have a problem with this wall of yours,” Bono said. “It’s everyone who loves the idea of America.”

Twelve months into Trump’s presidency, Bono observed: “I realized I couldn’t work with this president whether he wanted to or not, because you can’t believe what he says. So I took a meeting with Mike Pence. He had been a defender of PEPFAR [President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]. Thirteen million people owe their lives to PEPFAR, and Pence stood up and fought for it in Congress when I was there. So I went, “Great, I can work with him,” but that was in the early days. Cuts [to -PEPFAR] were promised with the overall slashing of foreign aid. The vice president told us in our meeting that he was supportive of PEPFAR, but I have to say it’s Congress that deserves credit for stopping the cuts from going through. That makes you ask harder questions about the administration.”

Bullet The Blue Sky – U2

[This 2016 version includes a pseudo-conversation between Bono and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump’s words from video clips are in quotation marks; all other text is Bono.]

Voters of the nation 
Voters of the nation 

In the howling wind 
Comes a stinging rain 
See them driving nails 
Into souls on the tree of pain 
From a firefly, a red orange glow 
See the face of fear 
Running scared in the valley below 

The sky 
The sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 

In the locust wind 
Comes a rattle and hum 
Jacob wrestled the angel
The angel was overcome 
You plant a demon seed 
You raise a flower of fire 
See them burning crosses 
See the flames, higher and higher 

The sky 
The sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 
Bullet the blue sky 

The Candidate comes up to me, his face red like a rose on a thorn bush. Like all the colors of a royal flush. And he’s peeling off those dollar bills. Slapping them down… slapping them down.

One billion!

Two billion!

Three billion!

And I can see those golden towers. I can see those shopping malls. And the Candidate looks over all his creation, and the Candidate sees that it is good. And the Candidate says:

“I’m really rich. Turned out I’m much richer than anybody ever knew. Billions and billions and billions of dollars.” 

And, and your point is? 

“I’m really rich. Turned out I’m much richer than anybody ever knew. Billions and billions and billions of dollars.” 

Well look, we’re very glad for you, Candidate. Sincerely, we are. The only real question we have for you this evening: What is your vision for this great nation? 

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” 

A wall? Like the Berlin Wall? Like the Great Wall of China? 

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” 

Now Candidate, you understand it’s not just Mexican people who are gonna have a problem with this wall of yours. It’s everyone who loves the idea of America. Like the Irish, for example. Or the French … or the Brazilians. Everyone who loves the idea of America. Everyone who believes what they read at the foot of the bottom of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. 

“If I win, they’re going back.” 

All of them? I mean all of us? 

“If I win, they’re going back.” 

Now Candidate, you’re gonna make a lot of people very upset ‘round here. Because, Candidate, good people are not gonna stay silent while you run off with the American dream. Alright, Candidate? You hear me, Candidate? Smart girls from the Bay Area — not gonna stay silent. Even the nerdy guys ‘round here are gettin’ revved up — not gonna be silent. And these people here, they know a little bit about the business of America. And these guys have a message for you, Candidate: You’re fired! 

“I love the old days. You know what they used to do with guys like that? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” 

What? Guys like The Edge? 

“I’d like to punch him in the face.” 

Like Adam Clayton? 

“I’d like to punch him in the face.” 

Like Larry Mullen Jr.? 

“I’d like to punch him in the face.” 

Anyone who stands up to you?

“Build that wall!” …

Anyone who speaks up?

“Build that wall!” …

You wanna punch them in the face? 

“Build that wall!” …

And inside, it’s America. 

“Build that wall!” …

Inside, it’s America. 

“Build that wall!” …

Inside it’s America. Fortress! Fortress America!

(Edge guitar solo)

(inaudible)

You wanna make America great again? You’ll make America hate again. You wanna make America great again, or you wanna make America hate again? Hate again.

Let’s try great again. Like Madison and Hamilton. Jefferson and Washington. Lincoln and Kennedy. Martin Luther King had a dream… a dream about you and me, the reds and the greens, the nows and forevers, the yet to bes. The where you goin’? The where you been? The living and the dead and the unseen. The somebodies, the nobodies. The Cheyanne and Sioux, the Syrian and Jew. The African Christ who saw a holy light, a mother and angel standin’ on the scene. A fire in the dark for everyone to see: Liberty! Her name is Liberty! Liberty! Liberty! And she says, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed. to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

And I run. I run.

Put your hands up!

I run. I run. I run.

Put your hands up!

I run… into the arms of America.


More Info:

U2: https://www.u2.com

See Bono Talk U2’s ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’ Origins in New Video

Full Text: Bono’s Rant Against Donald Trump During ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ At Dreamfest

President Trump Gets Fired by Bono U2 [Entire Performance]

U2 challenges Trump (Bullet the Blue Sky – U2)

U2 – Bullet The Blue Sky (Live On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2017)

Bono: Trump has “hijacked the party” (Sept 20, 2016) | Charlie Rose

Bono Reveals How He Feels About Donald Trump (May 24, 2017)

Surmising U2, John Lewis And Donald Trump… On MLK Day… Pride!!!! (January 16, 2017)
by Steve Stockman

Bono on How U2’s ‘Songs of Experience’ Evolved Taking on Donald Trump
(September 20, 2017)
By Andy Greene

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U2 Trump Exit – Brussels 2017-08-01 – Eenie Meenie Miny Moe

1950’s TV episode featured salesman named “Trump” who wants a wall to prevent end of the world (January 12, 2019)
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Trump Wall

“As of May 2020, only 16 miles out of 194 miles of wall constructed under the Trump administration was not replacement fencing. On June 23, Trump visited Yuma, Arizona, for a campaign rally commemorating the completion of 200 miles (320 km). U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirms that almost all of this is replacement fencing. On July 14, the House approved a military spending bill which would prohibit defense funds from being reallocated to the wall.”


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