Anti-War Activist, John Tinker, Endorses Bernie Sanders

By: Brian McLain

Progressive Voices of Iowa received an endorsement letter from life long anti-war activist, John Tinker. He and his sister Mary Beth were the plaintiffs in 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision Tinker v. Des Moines and helped to define First Amendment rights of students in US public schools. 

The following is the endorsement in its entirety:

Today’s world presents a web of problems, the roots of which go deep into our history. The accumulation of injustice and uncaring concern for our ecosystem, have brought us to a point where social injustices are compounded by the results of injustices which we have inflicted upon the environment. The social priorities which prioritize military approaches to international relations, the waste of our treasure and of our own best energies, the shaping of our economies by those of us who are most self concerned, these results take away from our potential to accomplish the higher human values which come to us as a legacy of the ages, of our deep culture. We know what those value are, in our hearts, and in our heads. These are called human values. But they come also from every religion and ethical system. We know what they are. These include the Good, the Beautiful, the True, the Right, and others.

We are seeking to address as many of the most pressing issues as we can, as quickly as we can, of course. We are all seeking the best representative to best represent our own point of view on the issues which are important to us. Bernie Sanders best represents, to me, the values which hold most firmly. Other of the candidates have programs which I agree with. But, to my mind, Senator Bernie Sanders, has the deepest, most integrated, social perspective that would allow us to address our multitudinous problems as directly as possible. I think of Bernie Sanders as almost an idea, or a set of ideas, which are mature. They have been around for a while, working together to try to imagine a way for the world to survive. You know his platform. The basic idea is that we embrace all of us as full members of our society, regardless whether they be rich or poor. Everyone gets to eat, everyone gets a roof over their head, everyone gets education and healthcare. Everyone, no exceptions. Instead of making instruments of destruction, we make instruments of utility. Instead of belligerence, we offer cooperation and goodwill. All of this at the same time. I think this is basic social program that appeals to many people, left right and center. I think it is a winner. When I think about that basic program, and where the real, authentic will to accomplish it is, I can think of several Democratic candidates. This gives me hope, because I can see the the underlying social movement is strong. There are a great number of us who are aware of the situation we are in, and who are working hard to change things for the better; many people with good hearts and good ideas. Further, when I ask which of the Democratic candidates has been articulating, defending, promoting that general idea the longest, with the most consistency, the most sincerity, I think of Bernie Sanders. He is at the top of my list.

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