Being asked to write John ’s obituary for the Citizens for Global Solutions website is a great honor. His death is very personal to me. His last voicemail message, captured on my phone, is a small treasure that never fails to lift my spirits. That still booming resonance, the shear tonal power of John Anderson’s voice was strong even in his mid-nineties. Driven by a fearless and brilliantly-insightful intellect, uncompromising moral values, and a stark honesty, the thunderous sound of John’s voice was mated with superb oratorial skills. His profound speaking moved audiences far and wide, including his colleagues in the US Congress.
The many current news articles about John focus mostly on his life up until 1980 when he ran for president, but report relatively little of the 37 years to follow. I met him in 1991after Norman Cousins died and John took over as president of the World Federalist Association. We worked together until 2003, when the WFA merged with the Campaign for UN Reform and the position of president was eliminated. Most of my fellow world federalists knew John in the context of his service to a vision of a world that would be truly “postwar,” a vision he carried to the end of his long life.
John was a lawyer, a professor of international law. He saw the just rule of law as a means by which the problem of war would be solved in a global society. He saw the potential of American leadership to leverage its superpower authority to bring about a democratic federal republic of the world, where every nation would have both protection from invasion and a responsibility to uphold the security of all other nations.