Tribute to John Tanton

By Fred Elbel
Volume 30, Number 1 (Fall 2019)
Issue theme: "John Tanton: His Life and Legacy (1934-2019)"

I first  met  Dr.  John  Tanton  at  a  Writers’  Workshop,  then  again  in  Denver  about  2006.  Somehow  I  made  a  decent impression, and I ended up doing technical consulting for The Social Contract. I didn’t know John very  well  personally,  but  my  discussions  with  him  over  the  years  led  me  to  immensely  respect  his  intellect  and ethic. He was a visionary — inquisitive, honest, and steadfastly determined to address important societal issues.

John was incredibly effective. He singlehandedly established the modern immigration sanity movement. In accordance with rule 13 of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, John became the target of incessant personal attacks by leftist Marxists. Yet he continued his important work apparently unaffected by his mindless critics. John said in an interview, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Good advice for all of us who will carry on in John’s absence.

About the author

Fred Elbel, a consultant in Denver who has been active on the immigration issue for several decades, is a frequent contributor to The Social Contract.