Iconic anti-war folk singer Joan Baez announced Wednesday via Facebook that she is endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president.
“Bernie has won my heart,” Baez, 75, wrote. “I joyfully and wholeheartedly endorse Bernie Sanders to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Election.”
She explained that this is the second time she has endorsed a presidential candidate; the first time, she publicly backed the “master of the spoken word,” Barack Obama. Baez said that “as a daughter of Quakers I pledged my allegiance not to a flag or a nation state but to humankind, the two often having little to do with each other.”
She said a great incentive for her decision to endorse Sanders was due to his support for causes she has been personally involved with for decades.
Specifically, Baez said she agrees with Sanders’ “firm stance against the death penalty” and found “his belief that Palestinians should have a place at the bargaining table” to be “amazing!”. Additionally, Baez praised “his understanding that the prison system must transform its agenda from punishment to rehabilitation, his desire to treat immigrants as human beings, and of course by his grass roots funding and astonishing refusal to sell himself to the devil on Wall Street, or anywhere else for that matter.” She added, “I am profoundly moved by this elder statesman, his compelling honesty, and his ability to engage young people.”
Sanders has garnered the grassroots supports of many millennials. A recent survey conducted by Rock the Vote and USA Today found that Sanders is favored by 46 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 34, whereas Hillary Clinton is preferred by 35 percent of voters in that same age group.
“I’ve learned a lot while writing this piece,” Baez said. “I know that I am ambivalent about supporting someone who will be thrown to the lions if he wins. He is a lion in his own right, and I want to see him win. Not just to conquer the growing evil in the other party, but also to see what he can do to bend the system towards a less corrupt and more generous country than we are at present.”
Baez’s entire endorsement can be found here.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.